Dr Duane W. Hamacher

Latest News

Dr Duane Hamacher discusses Emu in the Sky. 612 ABC Brisbane (4 July 2016)

Astronomy the Centre point of Indigenous culture, researcher says. ABC Science News (3 June 2016).

Dancing with the stars - astronomy and music in the Torres Strait. Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena IX.

Duane Hamacher is an astronomer and Senior ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Centre. He publishes extensively on Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge and traditions, working closely with Aboriginal and Islander elders and knowledge custodians across Australia and the Pacific.

His research seeks to understand how Indigenous people developed and encoded scientific information in their Knowledge Systems. This involves developing methodologies for reconstructing damaged or fragmented astronomical knowledge, working closely with Aboriginal and Islander communities to document astronomical traditions, exploring the antiquity of oral tradition, and understanding the connections between sky, land, and sea.

Duane leads the Indigenous Scientific Knowledge Research Focus Group in Monash University’s Faculty of Arts, is Secretary of the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, Chairs the IAU C1-C4 Working Group on Intangible Heritage, and serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage. He has presented at TEDx, National Geographic, the Australian Academy of Science, the BBC, ABC, SBS, and various other media outlets and art exhibitions. He is also a regular contributor to The Conversation.

He earned degrees in physics (B.S., 2004, University of Missouri), astrophysics (M.S., 2008, University of New South Wales), and Indigenous studies (Ph.D., 2012, Macquarie University). His Masters research involved searching for planets transiting their host stars using telescopes at Siding Spring Observatory. His doctoral research investigated Aboriginal astronomical knowledge, examining cross-cultural views of transient celestial phenomena, orientations of stone arrangements, and the role of stars in the development of seasonal calendars.

His wife, Tui Britton, is an astrophysicist and science communicator. Tui and Duane have published research together and developed the award-winning “Yellow Water Under the Stars” tour at Gagudju Dreaming Resort in Kakadu (which won 1st place for Best Major Tour in the 2012 Qantas Tourism Awards). Duane also helped develop the “Dreamtime Astronomy” program at Sydney Observatory.

At the launch of the 'Wild Researchers' exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney, November 2015.
At the launch of the ‘Wild Researchers’ exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney, November 2015.


Keywords: Duane Hamacher; Indigenous Astronomy; Australian Aboriginal Astronomy; Maori Astronomy; Polynesian Astronomy; Melanesian Astronomy; Torres Strait Islander Astronomy; Cultural Astronomy; Ethnoastronomy; Archaeoastronomy; Ancient Astronomy; Ethnoscience; Indigenous Knowledge; Cosmology (Anthropology); Geomythology; Ethnogeology; Ethnomathematics; Ethnometeorology; Meteoritics; History of Astronomy; Astronomical History and Heritage.