Students

Lauren Strumos

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Lauren Strumos is the Student Caucus Leader for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project.  She received her B.A. (Honours) in Religious Studies from Bishop’s University (2017), her M.A. in Religious Studies from Queen’s University (2018) and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Lauren’s doctoral research engages theories of environmental and ecological justice to explore cooperative environmental activism among religious, nonreligious and Indigenous protestors in Canada.  She is also interested in human-nonhuman animal relations, including questions pertaining to the place and role of animals in the sociology of religion. Lauren is an assistant editor for Nonreligion and Secularity, the blog of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network.

Cory Steele

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Cory Steele received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Religion from Carleton University (2016), his Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa (2018), and is now completing his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in Religious Studies. Cory’s doctoral research explores the intersection of nonreligion, religion, and law.

More specifically, Cory’s research examines the ways in which nonreligion is conceptualized in Canadian law in prominent Supreme Court of Canada decisions. Cory’s research interests also include (non)religious diversity, religion and human rights, and questions related to freedom of (and from) religion. Cory is an assistant editor for Nonreligion and Secularity, the blog of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network.

Sana Patel

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Sana Patel is a Research Assistant for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. She received her BA (Honours) in Political Science from York University (2014), MA in Religious Studies from Carleton University, (2016) and is currently working towards her PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include religion and media, particularly religion on social media, religious authority online, and construction of religious identity among North American young adults. She is also a Research Assistant for the Muslim Canadians Online Project (UQAM), and the Graduate Student Member-at-Large for the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion.

Ted Malcolmson

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Ted Malcolmson received his B.A. (Honours) in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of Manitoba (2013) as well as his M.A. (2016).  He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a specialization in Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa.  His doctoral research looks at the implementation of medical assistance in dying in Canada, looking at how values of patients, medical practitioners, and institutions interact. He is also interested in other cases where law, medicine, and religion intersect like brain death.  Ted is the editor of the University of Ottawa religious studies student journal, the Ottawa Journal of Religon, as well as serving as the treasurer of the CSSR.

Guadalupe Allione Riba

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Guadalupe Allione Riba has a degree in Sociology by the National University of Villa María (Córdoba, Argentina) where she graduated with honors (2019). She was granted a doctoral scholarship by Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Spanish: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CONICET) (2019), and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Studies of Latin America in the University of Córdoba.

Guadalupe’s doctoral research engages neo-conservative activism’s discourse –religious and nonreligious–, particularly the activation and reproduction of moral and sexual panics against the expansion of sexual and (non)reproductive rights in Argentina. In this sense, she participates in the Program of Sexual and Reproductive Rights at the National University of Córdoba.

She is also a teaching assistant (adscripta) in both Epistemology of Social Sciences (Epistemología de las Ciencias Sociales) and Social Philosophy (Filosofía Social) at the University of Villa María.

Mehmet Ali Basak

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Mehmet Ali Basak is a member of Student Caucus for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project.  He is originally from Turkey, where he completed his BA with honours at the Middle East Technical University. He then received a full scholarship from the Qatar Foundation to study for a master’s degree in Contemporary Muslim Societies and Thought at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. In order to enhance his academic background and research skills, he chose to undertake a second MA degree in Religious Studies at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. His MA project at Memorial was titled ‘The Formation of Muslim Identities in Canadian Offline and Online Spaces’. Mehmet is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa.

His main research interest for his work at the University of Ottawa is in the anthropology of Islam with an emphasis on how Muslims navigate between Islamic discursive traditions and everyday remoteness in order to re-establish themselves as a modern subject in Arctic Canada.

Guilherme Borges

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Guilherme Borges is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). He has a Master’s in Sociology (2014) and Bachelor’s in Social Sciences (2011) from the same institution. Besides being a Research Assistant for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future (NCF) project, he also participates in the research group ‘Religious Diversity in Secularized Society’, linked to the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. He conducts research in the areas of Sociology of Religion and Political Sociology and analyzes public intervention strategies adopted by Catholic and Evangelical political leaders. His studies focus mainly on the following themes: reproductive rights, conservative ideas, and political-religious mobilizations.

Sarah Nour Bouali

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Sarah Nour Bouali is currently a third year co-op student studying International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa. Her interests include gender, human rights, international relations, and sustainable development. She is also interested in issues surrounding aid dependency in developing countries and post-colonial institutions. She is currently working as a research assistant under Professor Lori Beaman, primarily involved in research projects related to the environment focal area within the larger Nonreligion in a Complex Future (NCF) project.

Emma Corbett

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Emma Corbett received her B.Sc (Honours) in Urban and Regional Planning from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (2011). After graduating, Emma worked as a local government town planner in Melbourne, with her most recent experience being in State-significant projects involving complex and conflicting land use matters.

Emma has recently moved to Oslo, Norway to pursue her M.Sc in Human Geography at the University of Oslo. As part of her thesis work, Emma is currently exploring alternative food networks and the scale and dynamics of share-based food initiatives. Her other academic interest areas include the psychology of consumption, sustainable innovations and economic geographies.

Mathieu Colin

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Mathieu Colin received his B.A (Honors) from Toulouse’s prestigious « classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles » (CPGE) in History (2016), his M.A. (with distinction) in Religious Studies from the École Pratique des Hautes Études of Paris (2018) and he’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Montreal. Mathieu’s doctoral research focuses on the rise and on the politicization of new atheist and secularist groups in the US. He’s also interested in contemporary Satanism, Western Esotericism and Alt-Right/Right-wing ideologies.

Michael Elliott

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Michael Elliott is a JD Candidate at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. Before pursuing legal studies, he completed his MA in the EURUS program at Carleton University (2018). His MA thesis topic discussed the comparative development of French and German constitutional courts in the emergence of the EU legal order. He received his BA in Philosophy and Communication Studies from Carleton University (2015).

Michael joined the NCF project as part of the Faculty of Law’s Santéship program, affiliated with the uOttawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics. His focus in this context is the confrontation of religious and non-religious discourses in legal controversies of public health, such as in the articulation of constitutional challenges to COVID-19 regulations on the premise of freedom of religion. Michael is excited to launch his legal research career in the areas of constitutional and public law.

Emilybeth Enriquez

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Emilybeth Enriquez is an incoming student member of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. In 2019 she received her B.A. (Honors) as a double major in Philosophy and Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently at the start of her academic year as a Master’s student at the University of Ottawa. Her research interest focuses on toxic inequality for religious minorities in a contemporary Canadian context. She is researching how housing, education and legislation put religious minorities at a disadvantage and further the wealth gap. During her undergraduate career Emilybeth has organized two academic colloquiums for Wilfrid Laurier University and worked alongside non-profit organizations like John Howard Society and Extend a Family.

Hafsa Fatima

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Hafsa Fatima is a third-year student at Macaulay Honors at Brooklyn College pursuing a B.S in Psychology and a B.A in Art whilst being on the Pre-Dental track. Hafsa is a Fulbright-Mitacs Globalink Research Intern and is currently assisting on the USA portion of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project.

Hafsa’s research interests surround the overlap of science and religion when it comes to nontraditional forms of healing, specifically applications of spiritual healing. This interest was developed upon traveling to Indonesia to research Balinese attitudes towards spirituality. Hafsa hopes to explore the dichotomy between religion and non-religion in regards to law and migration.

Benjamin Gagné

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Benjamin Gagné a d’abord obtenu un diplôme d’études collégiales en maintenance d’aéronefs (2009) et pratique dans ce domaine depuis près de dix ans. Il a ensuite obtenu son baccalauréat en théologie avec l’Université Laval (2019) alors qu’il s’intéressait à la missiologie et au dialogue entre l’église et la société québécoise. Il poursuit aujourd’hui une M.A. en sciences des religions à l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches actuelles se concentrent sur le phénomène de désaffiliation chez les évangéliques de deuxième génération au Québec. Il travaille aussi comme auxiliaire de recherche sur le projet « Besoins spirituels dans les établissements de détention provinciaux du Québec » mené par l’Institut d’études religieuses à l’Université de Montréal.

Sohini Ganguly

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Sohini Ganguly received her Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Political Science and her Master’s degree in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, West Bengal, India. She completed her Master of Philosophy from the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, West Bengal, India. Her M.Phil. dissertation focused on Mirabai, a 15th century popular religious female figure of Rajasthan, India. The study focused on the historical representation of Mirabai, how she is embedded in the contemporary oral narratives of Rajasthani women from different tiers of the society and how Rajasthani women negotiated with the idea of Mirabai in their everyday lives. She has published a chapter titled, “Mirabai in History and in the Contemporary Narratives of Women in Rajasthan” in the book History and Collective Memory from the Margins: A Global Perspective, edited by Sahana Mukherjee and Phia S. Salter.

Her research interests include gender, religion, cultural representation, oral history, memory, oral narrative and performative tradition with specific emphasis on the religious identity creation in the Indian context. She is now working on an article related to research methodology on subject and memory. She has been accepted for the doctoral program in Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Charlotte Hobson

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Charlotte Hobson is assisting on the British portion of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. She completed a BA in Theology at the University of Durham (2016) followed by an MA in Religious Studies at Lancaster University (2017). After this she worked as a Research Assistant Intern with the religion and society think tank, Theos, and is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Lancaster. Her research interests surround the rise of British nonreligion, particularly in relation to young people, and her doctoral work explores how inter-generational belief transmission – or the apparent lack thereof – has contributed to this.

Megan Hollinger

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Megan Hollinger is a member of the Student Caucus for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project.  She is currently working towards her M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa and completed her B.A. in Religious Studies, also at the University of Ottawa (2018).  Megan is currently researching antisemitism in contemporary Canada, and the relationship between Canada’s federal policies and legislation and how these have been applied to antisemitic hate crimes.  Jewish identity can be both religious and nonreligious and often antisemitism is based on assumptions about Jewish people that are nonreligious in nature.  Her other research interests include religion and law and religion and politics.  Megan is currently a board member for the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies and is a member with the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion.

Julia Itel

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Julia Itel is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Paris Nanterre University under the supervision of Professor Raphaël Liogier. She received her B.A. in Psychology from McGill University (2016) and her M.A. in Religious Studies from University of Montreal (2018). In her master’s thesis, Julia studied the role of non-religious spirituality in the embodiment of ecological, ethical and sustainable behaviors. Her research has recently been published: Spiritualité et société durable. L’engagement éthique des “créatifs culturels”, Gap: Yves Michel, 2019. She is now focusing on the alternative discourse that frames the ecological transition in France.

In this context, Julia seeks to discover the underlying beliefs, ideologies, myths and meta-narratives that constitute the emergence of a possible transmodernity. Julia is also interested in the new eco-feminist rituals, such as the moon rituals. But more generally, she is passionate about all the unconscious collective myths that shape both individuals and societies.

Aliyyah Jafri

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Aliyyah is Law Student at the University of Ottawa, Common Law Section. Prior to law school, Aliyyah received her Bachelor of Arts in International Development & Political Science from McGill University (2019).

She joined the NCF project through the uOttawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics as a Santéship recipient. Aliyyah is currently focusing on religious and non-religious discourses in legal controversies of public health, specifically in terms of reproductive healthcare in Canada. Her research interests surround the intersections of gender, health, law and religion, both at home in Canada and globally.

Remy Ling

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Remy Ling is a second-year student pursuing her LLB in Law with Business at the University of Exeter. She joined the NCF project this summer through the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship and will primarily assist the UK team with their research.

Her research interests include the intersection of law and religion, having been motivated to learn about Islamic Law and the Sharia after seeing widespread misinformation about Sharia councils reported by the UK media. Remy hopes to use her knowledge of both law and international business to better understand how different legal systems operate in, and interact with, their cultural context.

Hugo Martinez

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Hugo Martinez is a Research Assistant for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project (NCF). He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH, 2011). He relocated to Norway in 2018, to pursue a MSc in Urban Ecological Planning at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Trondheim). During this time, he worked as a Teacher’s Assistant for the program, and as an intern with the UN-Habitat office in Delhi, India. His MSc project (2020) focused on a case study in Delhi, discussing the physical and non-physical attributes of informal street markets that can define them as public spaces.

He now pursues a MA in Human Geography with focus on Urban Studies at the University of Oslo (UiO) where he is involved with the NCF project. His interests include the social construction of spaces, urban lifestyle practices, transformations to sustainability and spatial justice.

Alex McArthur

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Alex McArthur is working as part of the Australian team for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future (NCF) project. He received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 2013. Alex is currently a UTAS PhD candidate working on conceptualizing the relationships between humans and the more-than-human world.

Alex’s background in wilderness guiding and community garden management lends itself to some of the areas relevant to the NCF. Core interests include the application of ecocentric philosophies, the practices of urban eco-cooperatives and cultural shifts toward symbiosis with the more-than-human world.

Hannah McKillop

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Hannah McKillop completed her B.A. (Honours) in Religious Studies at McGill University (2017), and her M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa (2020). Hannah is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. Hannah’s doctoral research explores the intersections between religion, nonreligion, and popular culture in North America.

Hannah’s M.A. work explored the ritual use of the “Harry Potter” series on the podcast “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.” She addressed the ways in which the podcast’s adaptation of traditional Christian and Jewish reading practices into nonreligious spiritual technologies allowed for nonreligious individuals to participate in religious-type action despite their nonreligious affiliation. Hannah’s doctoral research studies nonreligious conceptualizations of the afterlife in North American popular culture, and how they relate to conversations around nonreligious morality and ethics.

Zach Munro

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Zach Munro received his B.A. (Honours) and M.A. in Religion & Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Sociology & Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo. Zach’s doctoral research is on the Secular AA movement within Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), specifically looking at how the nonreligious engage in modes of translation when navigating the theistic-spirituality of the Twelve-Step model. His work also engages affect theory with a concentration on religious/secular interactions. He is an assistant editor to the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network’s official blog.

Somunachi Okee-Aguguo

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Somunachi Okee-Aguguo is currently a fourth year co-op student studying Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include gender, black feminist thought, race studies and colonialism particularly settler colonialism in Canada and neo-colonialism in West Africa. She is also interested in how various systems of oppression impact individuals’ experiences in multiple areas in society such as religion, policing, and academia. She believes in making academia more accessible and diverse through various epistemologies and pedagogies that centre the experiences and voices of marginalised groups. She is currently working as a research assistant under Professor Lori Beaman. Somunachi hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Political Science or Gender Studies.

Christina Pasca

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Christina Pasca is an undergraduate honors student at the University of Tampa studying Sociology and Political Science. Her research interests include a broad range of topics from police militarization to technology to religion and nonreligion. She has a knack for quantitative research and enjoy data analysis. She plans to pursue graduate school after her time at University of Tampa to acquire a PhD in Political Science.

Ariel Remund

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Ariel Remund is a current PhD candidate, research assistant and sociology tutor at the University of Tasmania. Her research topics include; the sociology of emotion, emotional experiences of roadkill, religious diversity and social cohesion. Her research into religious diversity and social cohesion explored religious and community leader’s perceptions of growing diversity in her hometown, Hobart, Tasmania.

Ariel’s doctoral research explores the sociological aspects of human responses to roadkill, particularly our emotional (dis)investment in the problem. As part of her work as a research assistant, Ariel is examining Australian religious freedoms enquiries to observe the changing discourse used to discuss religious freedoms in government policy.

Michael Rundle

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Michael Rundle is a Chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and is currently a post-graduate student at the University of Ottawa. Michael received his BA from Saint Thomas University in 2006, a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) from McGill University in 2008, and a Master of Divinity from the Montreal School of Theology in 2009. In August of 2009 Michael was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada until becoming a Chaplain with the CAF in 2011. In 2020 the Royal Canadian Chaplaincy Service (RCChS) appointed Michael to a Post Grad Training position to conduct graduate level training in the field of Mult-faith studies.

Michael has focused his studies on examining the CAF’s policy on spiritual and religious accommodation. His interest is examining the value and potential harm of accommodation within the CAF. He intends to further explore the impact of the religious and spiritual accommodation policy upon CAF members who would consider themselves non-Religious or a minority voice. Michael’s aim is to assist the military in building a culture of change which goes beyond accommodation and difference; recognizing that true change needs to be built upon equality, respect, and mutual understanding.

Elin Grytten Sandnes

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Elin Grytten Sandnes is a research assistant on the Norwegian part of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project. She received her bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Oslo in 2019, with a focus on the use of renewable energy in climate adaptation in Nepal. After graduating, Elin interned for the Norwegian Embassy in Seoul, working primarily with trade cooperation and culture promotion.

Elin is now pursuing her MA in human geography, with a focus on electrification with renewable energy in developing countries. Some of her other main academic interests are corporate social responsibility, energy policy, climate change adaptation, renewable energy production, and consumption.

Iriana Sartor

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Iriana Sartor has a degree in Political Science from the Catholic University of Córdoba, Argentina (2021). Besides being a Research Assistant for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project, she also participates in the research group “Transformation of Lived Religion in urban contexts in Latin America: the case of the business community of Córdoba” and in the university social responsibility project “Entrepreneurship in Women as a tool to face Gender Inequality in the local labor market”. Both projects are linked to the Catholic University of Córdoba.

As an undergraduate, she participated in a research about the satisfaction perceived by young people in Córdoba towards sex education. Her interests include gender, sexual and reproductive rights, religion; and also, feminine entrepreneurship.

Aniqa Sheikh

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Aniqa Sheikh received her BSc. (Honours) in Biology with a minor in psychology from the University of Ottawa in 2019. She has also recently completed her BA (Honours) in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa. Aniqa is currently a student in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) under the supervision of Professor Lori Beaman. Her research focus lies on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on end-of-life rituals of minority religious communities in Canada. This focus also falls within the broader health focal area within the Nonreligion in a Complex Future (NCF) project.

Stian Alexander Skandsen

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Stian Alexander Skandsen received his Bachelor’s in Humanities and Social Sciences in 2004 from the University of Oslo. Since then he has worked for many years in marketing, before he decided to return to academia.

His academic interests include history of ideas and sociology of religion. Many of his interests relate to religion. For example how its authority was questioned for the first time in the public sphere or how people practice (or do not practice) religion today.

He is currently working on finishing his master’s degree in Sociology where his focus is on non-religion and migration. He is also working as a research assistant on the NCF project.

Isabela Venturoza

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Isabela Venturoza is a research assistant for the Nonreligion in a Complex Future Project in Brazil. She is a Ph.D. student in Social Anthropology at the University of Campinas (Brazil), associated with the Center for Gender Studies Pagu (Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero Pagu/UNICAMP). She has a degree in Social Sciences from São Paulo State University (Brazil, 2012) and a Master’s in Social Anthropology from the University of São Paulo (Brazil, 2016).

She participates in the project Religion, Law, and Secularism from the Nucleus of Religions in the Contemporary World, at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento – CEBRAP). In recent years, Isabela has been teaching courses at different institutions on topics such as masculinities, feminist theory, violence, and public policies and she has been also collaborating with the Brazilian NGO Feminist Collective for Sexuality and Health (Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde), where she works with men who commit violence against women.

Vanessa Warren

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Vanessa Warren is a PhD candidate in Law at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Queensland, and postgraduate qualifications in Information Management from the University of Tasmania. Prior to engaging in her doctoral research she worked as an academic librarian and educational developer, with a particular focus on the development of information literacies and the policies and practices surrounding digital spaces and resources.

Vanessa’s doctoral research examines the intersection of public trust in genomic data sharing and the normative regulatory context governing data sharing practices in Australia. Her research is interdisciplinary, involving both empirical social methodologies and doctrinal legal analysis. In addition to the NCF Project she is a research assistant for the Australia Research Council project Genomic Data Sharing: Issues in Law, Research Ethics and Society, and facilitates animation workshops for schools and cultural institutions in lutruwita Tasmania.