Dr Kirsty Wissing

Postdoctoral Fellow
ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions

Kirsty is a Postdoctoral Fellow (Social Science) in CSIRO's Maximising Impact Application Domain as part of the organisation's Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform. Trained as a social scientist in the discipline of anthropology, Kirsty's postdoctoral project is a qualitative application of Indigenous biocultural knowledge and values in synthetic biology.

Kirsty was awarded a PhD (Anthropology) at the Australian National University in July 2021. Her PhD considered customary socio-religious attitudes to and uses of water and other fluids in relation to ideas of cleanliness/purity, resource control and morality. Based on 14 months of ethnographic field research in Ghana, Kirsty's thesis sought to bring local Akwamu values into dialogue with larger national issues of environmental resource responsibility, energy production and socio-political power.

Kirsty has previous research experience with Australian Indigenous communities under Native Title and Aboriginal Land Rights legislation in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, having worked for the Central Land Council (CLC) and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) respectively. She has also conducted research into and managed programs about the petroleum, mining and energy industries in Ghana for the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). As a consultant within an inter-disciplinary team, Kirsty has compared customary law, cultural heritage protection and mining in Ghana and Western Australia for the University of Western Australia and the International Mining for Development Centre.