Dr Duane W. Hamacher

Latest News

I'm pleased to announce that I have accepted an Adjunct Fellowship in the Astrophysics Group at the University of Southern Queensland.

What is cultural astronomy? with Dr Alejandro Martin-Lopez and Dr Duane Hamacher, 2016. Science and Technology Magazine, Vol. 19, pp. 11-20. (in Spanish)

I'm honoured to be part of the film "We Don't Need a Map" by Warrick Thornton, which was selected to open the Sydney Film Festival in June 2017.

Scientists to focus on stars at Byron Festival. EchoNet Daily (Jan '17) Star Stuff
In One Hundred Thousand YearsW, an art exhibition and book by Adam Cruickshank. RMIT, Melbourne. 

Kindred Skies: Ancient Greeks and Aboriginal Australians saw constellations in common. The Conversation (Apr '17) 

How far they'll go: Moana shows the power off Polynesian celestial navigation. The Conversation (Feb '17) 

The passions of Aboriginal Astronomy guide, Willy Stevens. COSMOS Magazine (Feb '17) 

The world's oldest observatory: how Aboriginal Astronomy provides clues to ancient life. ABC Lateline (Oct '16) 

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

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 is Secretary of the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, Chairs the IAU C1-C4 Working Group on Intangible Heritage, serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, and is a collaborator on the ATLANTYS program at the University of Nantes in France. He has given numerous invited keynote lectures around there world and 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 and COSMOS Magazine.

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.

Duane co-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) and 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.