Executive Board Members / Research Cluster and Theme Leaders

Prof. Catriona Mackenzie (Director)

Catriona MackenzieBA (Hons) (ANU), PhD (ANU)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Catriona's research interests span ethical theory, moral psychology, social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy and applied ethics. Her current research includes projects on autonomy and oppression, on the moral and political obligations arising from vulnerability, and on narrative conceptions of the self.

Catriona was elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2014.

Research cluster: Agency, Responsibility, and Identity

Prof. Jeanette Kennett (Deputy Director)

Jeanette KennettBA (Hons) (Monash), PhD (Monash)
Department of Philosophy and Cognitive Science CORE, Macquarie University

Jeanette's current research interests range over the following: meta-ethics and moral psychology; neuroethics; moral cognition and development; mental disorder and moral agency; legal and moral responsibility; ethical issues in institutional, professional, and social responses to addiction and mental illness; moral identity in marginalised groups; love, friendship and the self.

Jeanette was elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2011.

Cross-cutting Theme: Neuroethics and Neurolaw

Prof. Wendy Rogers (Deputy Director)

Wendy RogersMBBS (Flinders), BA Hons (Flinders), PhD (Flinders), Dip. Obst. RACOG, MRCGP (UK), FRACGP

Department of Philosophy and Department of Clinical Medicine, Macquarie University

Wendy's research interests focus on the ethics and philosophy of medical practice and healthcare. These include ethical issues arising in the context of: innovative surgery and surgical research; research ethics; organ donation; and disease detection. She also does conceptual research into vulnerability, and the definition of disease. Her current major project is a Future Fellowship on "Defining disease: addressing the problem of overdiagnosis." This research investigates the concept of 'disease' and the ethical issues associated with expanding definitions of disease that label people whose health is not compromised.

Research Cluster: Applied Ethics, Bioethics, and Clinical Ethics

Prof. Richard Menary

Richard MenaryBA (Hons) (Ulster), MSc (Birmingham), PhD (King's College London)
Department of Philosophy; Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University

Richard's research interests include: Philosophy of Mind - especially narrative approaches to the self; Philosophy of Cognitive Science - especially embodied and extended cognition; Pragmatism - especially C.S. Peirce; Wittgenstein; Aesthetics; Virtue theory as it applies to both ethical and cognitive aspects of the individual.

Research Cluster: Mind and Cultural Evolution

Prof. Denise Meyerson

Professor Denise MeyersonBA (Witwatersrand), B Phil (Oxon), D Phil (Oxon), LLB (Cape Town)
Law School and Legal Governance CORE, Macquarie University

Denise works at the intersection of law and philosophy, particularly in the area of the philosophical foundations of constitutional and human rights law. Her recent research includes work on jurisprudence, preventive detention and control orders, the right to equality, the separation of church and state, and the interpretation of public interest exceptions in bills of rights.

Denise was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Law.

Research cluster: Human Rights and Social Justice

A/Prof. Paul Formosa

Paul FormosaBSc. (Queensland), BA (Hons) (Queensland), PhD (Queensland)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Paul Formosa is engaged in research in moral and political philosophy. His particular research focuses are on Kant's moral and political philosophy, the concepts of autonomy, dignity, respect, and agency in moral philosophy, and moral and political evil.

Cross-cutting theme: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Jane Johnson

Jane JohnsonBSc. (Hons) (Sydney), Dip. Arts (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Academic Co-ordinator, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney,
Research Officer at VELiM, University of Sydney
Research Officer, Macquarie University

Jane is interested in applied ethics and interdisciplinary research. Her current research concerns the ethics of innovative surgery, and the ethical and epistemological implications of reconceptualizing the use of nonhuman animals in biomedical research, and understanding the values which underpin response to emerging infectious diseases.

Cross-cutting theme: Animal Ethics and Animal Cognition


Centre Members

Dr. Albert Atkin

CAVE Member Dr. Albert AtkinBA (Nottingham), MA (Nottingham), PhD (Sheffield)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Albert is currently working on linguistic analyses of epistemological concepts, C.S. Peirce's Sign Theories and Diagram Logics, developing an account of demonstrative reference, and analysing our concepts of 'race' and 'racism'. His research interests include philosophy of language, epistemology, pragmatism, theories of reference, and philosophy of race.

Dr. Amy Barrow

CAVE Member Amy BarrowLLB (Hons) (Lancaster), LLM Human Rights Law (SOAS, University of London), PhD (Manchester), Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University

Amy's areas of research interest include the intersection between women, peace and security; gender, violence and the state; and law, rights and social change. Amy researches law in action, by drawing on qualitative research methods to further understandings of how laws and policies are implemented in practice on the ground, including the understanding and use of law by civil society actors.

Dr. Carlos Bernal-Pulido

CAVE Member Carlos Bernal-PulidioLLB (University Externado of Colombia), Doctor of Juridical Science (University of Salamanca), MA (University of Florida), PhD (University of Florida)
Law School, Macquarie University

Carlos Bernal-Pulido has research interests in the fields of Jurisprudence, Constitutional Theory, Theory of Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law, Judicial Review, Torts, Ethics, Theory of Legal Norms and Theory of Action. At the present time, with the support of a Macquarie Research Development Grant, he is working on a project on social ontology and philosophy of law, in which the main question is whether it is possible to account for the nature of law as a normative social practice by means of the concept of collective intentional activity.

Dr. Brette Blakely

CAVE member Brette BlakelyBA (Wellesley, USA), MBioethics (Monash), PhD (University of Melbourne)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science (CHRIS), Australian Institute of Health Innovation

Brette Blakely is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, working on projects related to system thinking and system dynamics modelling as they relate to patient safety, health reform, health policy, medical ethics, human factors in health care and health care resilience. Some of her current projects are looking at surgical innovation, interprofessional relationships, and conflict of interest in the Australian IVF industry.

Dr. Pierrick Bourrat

CAVE member Pierrick BourratBA (Blaise Pascal), MSc (Montpellier), MA (Paris; École Normale Supérieure de Paris); PhD (Sydney)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Pierrick's main research interest is the philosophy of biology and more particularly the evolutionary side of it.  His other areas of interest include the psychology of altruism, cultural evolution and the cognitive science of religion. Pierrick is a Macquarie University Research Fellow, and he is currently working on his project on the origin and maintenance of individuals in evolution.

Prof. Jean-Philippe Deranty

Jean-Philippe DerantyBA (Paris IV-Sorbonne), Agrégation (Philosophy) (Paris IV-Sorbonne), MPhil (Paris IV-Sorbonne), PhD (Paris IV-Sorbonne)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Jean-Philippe's research interests include social and political theory; German philosophy, especially Hegel and the Hegelian tradition; critical theory, especially the work of Axel Honneth; and phenomenology, especially Merleau-Ponty. He is currently collaborating (with Nick Smith) on a project on work and self-development.

Prof. Greg Downey

CAVE Member, Prof. Greg DowneyBA (Virginia), MA (Chicago), PhD (Chicago)
Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University

Greg Downey's research is in psychological and neuroanthropology, especially the study of perception, skill acquisition, and cognitive variation. He has written extensively on sport, phenomenology, gender, enculturation, and relationships between biology and culture in anthropology, and has conducted field research in Brazil, the US, and Australia.

A/Prof. Daniel Ghezelbash

Daniel Ghezelbash
School of Law, Macquarie University

Daniel is an Associate Professor at Macquarie Law School, and the founder and director of the Macquarie University Social Justice Clinic. His research focuses on comparative refugee and migration law, with a focus on the way states have attempted to deter and deflect asylum seekers and refugees, and the international legal regimes relevant in that context. His recent book, Refuge Lost: Asylum Law in an Interdependent World (CUP, 2018), examines the spread of restrictive asylum policies around the world. His current projects include a comparative evaluation of fast-track policies aimed at accelerating decision making in relation to asylum claims, as well as comparative responses to the search and rescue of asylum seekers at sea. He is a board member and long-time volunteer lawyer at Refugee Advice and Casework Services and a Special Counsel at the National Justice Project.

Dr. Kate Gleeson

CAVE member Kate GleesonBA (Hons) UNSW, PhD UNSW
Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University

Kate is interested in the social, legal and political regulation of sex and reproduction. Her current research focuses on the intersection of race and sex in historically biopolitical agendas of institutionalising children, and what those agendas mean for justice and redress for historical child abuse today. She is also interested in the role of medicalisation and rights discourse in changing meanings and responses to child sexual abuse, and the ways in which instruments of human rights have shaped sexual identities and practices.

Dr. Adam Hochman

CAVE Member Adam HochmanBSC (Macquarie), BA (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie Universit

Adam's areas of interest include philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of psychology (from psychoanalysis to evolutionary psychology), philosophy of language, and the history and philosophy of race. Adam is a Macquarie University Research Fellow, and he is currently working on his project What Is This Thing Called Race?

Dr. Katrina Hutchison

Katrina HutchisonBA (Hons) (ANU), PhD (ANU)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie Universit

Katrina Hutchison is a Macquarie University Research Fellow (MQRF). Her MQRF project focuses on gender biases in surgery affecting both surgeons and patients. She is currently undertaking a qualitative study with women surgeons about their experience of careers and training - you can read more about this study here. Beyond this, she works mainly in bioethics and moral psychology. Her research draws on feminist scholarship and is often motivated by concern for those who are disadvantaged, underrepresented or powerless. She makes use of empirical methods alongside the more traditional methods of analytic philosophy, and likes to collaborate with surgeons, lawyers and policy makers on applied projects.

Prof. Neil Levy

CAVE Member Neil LevyBA (Hons) (Monash), PhD (Monash), PhD (Monash) 
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Neil Levy is deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. From 2010 to 2015, he was a Future Fellow based at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne. His most recent books include Hard Luck (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Consciousness and Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Dr. Mianna Lotz

Mianna LotzBA (Auckland), MA (Hons) (Auckland), PhD (Monash)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Mianna's research interests are primarily in the ethical issues emerging from cutting edge medico-scientific developments, including biotechnology and surgical innovation. Her research focuses on ethical questions in relation to reproduction/procreation, including Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART);  the rights and interests of parents and children; the moral foundations of the family; and the ethical and regulatory oversight of research on emerging technologies.

Dr. Therese MacDermott

CAVE Member, Therese MacDermottBA/LLB (Queensland), BCL (Oxford)
Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University

Therese MacDermott returned to an academic career at Macquarie Law School in 2009 after a number of years in private legal practice, an appointment as a part-time Tribunal member hearing discrimination cases, and undertaking legal consulting in the Pacific.  She was previously an academic at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney from 1992 to 2001.  Therese's particular expertise lies in the intersection of labour law and anti-discrimination law, and in dispute resolution.

Prof. Joseph Pugliese

CAVE member Joseph PuglieseBA (Hons) (MQ), Dip. Ed. (MQ), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Joseph Pugliese’s key research areas are: social justice praxis, the intersection of law, culture and the humanities, colonialism and decoloniality, race, ethnicity and whiteness, refugees and asylum seekers, bodies and technologies, and state violence. With Suvendrini Perera, he is a founding member of Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites.

Dr. Robert Ross

Kate RossmanithConjoint BA/BSc (Auckland), MSc (Auckland), PhD in Human Cognition and Brain Sciences (Macquarie)

I am a cognitive scientist with research interests in the cultural and evolutionary foundations of beliefs—particularly delusional beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and “post truth” beliefs.

Dr. Kate Rossmanith

Kate RossmanithBA (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Media, Music, Communication, and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University

Kate is an academic and a nonfiction writer. Her research interests include socio-legal studies, performance studies and nonfiction writing. Her current ethnographic research explores presentations of remorse in the criminal justice system, investigating how judges and the parole board evaluate offenders' remorse, and how offenders experience and enact contrition. Kate is also examining the cultural afterlife of criminal evidence, studying the ethical, legal and creative implications of using criminal evidence in literary nonfiction writing and other art forms.

Dr. Elizabeth Schier

Elizabeth SchierBSc (New South Wales),BA (Hons) (New South Wales), PhD (Adelaide)
Department of Philosophy and Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University

My work lies at the intersection of Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics. I am particularly interested in: developing a psychological account of phenomenal colours; the hard problem of consciousness; the nature of intuitive knowledge in thought experiments and moral reasoning and; emergence as the best scientific metaphysics.

Dr. Robert Sinnerbrink

Robert SinnerbrinkBA (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Robert Sinnerbrink researches in the areas of aesthetics, critical theory, Continental philosophy, and social philosophy. His current research is focussed on philosophical approaches to film and the relationship between aesthetics, ethics, and politics.

Prof. Nick Smith

Nick SmithBA (Newcastle) (UK), MA (York) (UK), PhD (Glasgow)
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

My main interest lies in debates in social philosophy concerned with the diagnosis of modern social pathologies. In part, this takes the form of critical engagements with figures such as Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, Brandom and Taylor. As well as offering interpretations of these philosophers, I have sought to integrate their insights and to bring out their continuing relevance for social criticism. These investigations have also led me to an area of enquiry that could be called the hermeneutics of work: the interpretation of work as meaningful, self-formative activity. My general approach here has been to combine insights from contemporary theories of recognition (such as Honneth's) with social anthropologies of capitalism (such as Sennett's), but this whole area of research is still very much in its infancy and there is much more to be done.

Prof. John Sutton

John SuttonBA (Hons) (Oxford), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Cognitive Science and Cognitive Science CORE, Macquarie University

I am a philosopher working in MACCS, the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science. I work mostly on the sciences and philosophy of memory, primarily in the philosophy of psychology but also in the history of science and in cognitive psychology, within a 'distributed cognition' framework which aims at integrating the cognitive and social sciences. My main current projects are on (1) perspective in remembering and imagining; (2) embodied skills and habits; and (3) collaborative cognition and social memory.

John was elected to the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2015.

Dr. Ana Tanasoca

Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

I am a Macquarie University Research Fellow working in the area of analytic political philosophy. My research has focused so far on international ethics and democratic theory. I am currently working on a project inquiring into the ground and scope of cosmopolitan preservationist ethics. Recent publications include, ‘The morality of multiple citizenship, and its alternatives’ (Philosophy Compass, forthcoming); The Ethics of Multiple Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2018); ‘Ritual deliberation’ (Journal of Political Philosophy, 2019); ‘Against bot democracy: the dangers of epistemic double-counting’ (Perspectives on Politics, 2019).

Dr. Karolyn White

Karolyn WhiteBA (Macquarie), MA (Hons) (Macquarie), PhD (Sydney)
Director of Research Ethics, Macquarie University

I am interested in both clinical ethics and research ethics.  Clinical ethics: specifically how practitioners negotiate ethical issues; and how context may modify practitioners presumptive ethical obligations to patients. My PhD involved investigating ethical issues of health care professionals working in NSW Women's prisons.  Research ethics: specifically Human Research Ethics Committee's and ethics; and consent and research.

In Memoriam

Prof. Doris McIlwain

Doris McIlwainBA (Hons) (Otago), PhD (Sydney)
Department of Psychology, Macquarie University

Doris McIlwain researched the implications of the scope and intensity of a person's direct experience of emotions and reflective access to them for the development of both empathy and morality. She explored how direct and vicarious hot emotional processes contribute to to moral development via optimising i) the possibility of seeing others as thinking, feeling others who are centres of initiative in their own right and ii) prudential action arising from a compelling, personal vision of the future (via mental time travel).

Prof. Peter Menzies

Peter MenziesEmeritus Professor
BA (Hons) (ANU), M Phil (St. Andrews), PhD (Stanford)
Department of Philosopy, Macquarie Universit

Peter Menzies was interested in philosophical debates about the causal theory of agency and in empirical findings which impinge on these debates, especially from neuroscience. He was also interested in the findings from developmental psychology and social psychology about the origins and structure of our concept of free will. He had longstanding interests in questions about the relevant levels of explanation of cognitive processes involved in agency.

Peter was elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Humanities in 2007.


Affiliate Members

Dr. Wendy Lipworth

Wendy LipworthBSc(Med)(HonsI) MBBS (UNSW), MSc (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Wendy's research focuses primarily on the influences on drug development/clinical research, as well as the links between clinical research, rational prescribing, evidence-based medicine and the "Quality Use of Medicines" (QUM). Other research interests include the ethics of biomedical publishing and the ethics and law of biobanking (tissue banking) for research.

Dr. Allan McCay

CAVE affiliate member Allan McCayLLB (Hons) (Aberdeen), DLP (Edinburgh), G.Dip Comm (UTS), PhD (Sydney)

Allan's interests include criminal responsibility,  neuroscience and the criminal law, philosophy of the criminal law, and philosophy of punishment. He is also interested  in free will and moral responsibility. He has a particular interest in behavioural genetics and sentencing, and an interest in neurolaw more broadly.

Allan has also practiced as a solicitor in Scotland and Hong Kong.

Dr. Mary Walker

CAVE Member, Mary WalkerBA (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Macquarie)
Department of Philosophy and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Monash University

Mary's current research at Macquarie focuses on defining disease in relation to overdiagnosis. Her research interests include narrative and practical identity, neuroethics, and philosophical contributions to health and health policy, with a particular interest in drug policy.

Dr. Jane Williams

CAVE affiliate member Jane WilliamsBA (Canterbury), MDevStud (Victoria Wellington), MPH (Sydney), PhD (Sydney)
Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney

Jane’s research is primarily in the areas of public health ethics and reproductive ethics. Her PhD work focused on cancer screening and she is currently working on projects involving maternal health literacy and conflicts of interest in healthcare.


Advisory Board Members

Chair Prof. Denise MeredythPro Vice Chancellor: Education, Arts, and Social Sciences, University of South Australia
Deputy Chair Prof. Justin Oakley Director, Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University
Ex Officio Prof. Catriona Mackenzie Director, Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics
  Dr. Tim Dean 
 Prof. Wayne Hall Director and Chair, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland
 Ms. Kate Hannon Media and Communications Manager, Royal Flying Doctor Service (Central Operations, SA&NT)
 Ms. Julie LettsLead Writer and Policy Officer, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disabilities; Director, Letts Consulting
 Prof. Ngaire NaffineProfessor of Law, University of Adelaide
  Prof. Julian Savulescu Director, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University
 - currently open -

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Page last updated: 12 Mar 2020

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