Lecturer and ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at UNSW Australia

Dr Duane Hamacher leads the Indigenous Astronomy Group at UNSW's Nura Gili Indigenous Unit. His research specialty is cultural and historical astronomy. His current project, funded by a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council, explores the astronomical knowledge of Torres Strait Islanders. He supervises research students studying topics ranging from Aboriginal astronomy in Tasmania and regional NSW, to Seven Sisters stories in the Western Desert, to Morning Star ceremonies in the Kimberley.

Duane's teaching focuses on the crossroads of science and Indigenous culture. He developed undergraduate units at UNSW on Indigenous Science (ATSI 2015) and Indigenous Astronomy (ATSI 3006).

Born and raised in the US, Duane earned a degree in physics from the University of Missouri, a research Masters in astrophysics at UNSW searching for extrasolar planets, and a PhD in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University researching Aboriginal Astronomy. He is on the Council of the International Society of Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, a consulting editor for Archaeoastronomy: the Journal of Astronomy in Culture, and an associate editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer, University of New South Wales
  • 2012–2012
    Manager, Association for Astronomy, Macquarie University

Education

  • 2012 
    Macquarie University, PhD (Indigenous Studies)
  • 2008 
    University of New South Wales, MSc (Astrophysics)
  • 2004 
    University of Missouri, BSc (Physics)

Publications

  • 2015
    Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 18(1), pp. 39-52.
  • 2014
    Geomythology and cosmic impacts in Australia., West Australian Geologist, Vol. 505, pp. 11-14.
  • 2014
    Meteors in the Maori astronomical traditions of New Zealand, WGN - Journal of the International Meteor Organization, Vol. 42(1), pp. 31-34.
  • 2014
    Australian Aboriginal astronomy: an overview., Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Vol. III, edited by Clive Ruggles. Springer-Verlag, pp. 2215-2223.
  • 2014
    Using Modern Technologies to Capture and Share Indigenous Astronomical Knowledge., Australian Academic & Research Libraries, Vol. 45(2), pp. 101-110
  • 2014
    Comet and meteorite traditions of Aboriginal Australians, Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, 3rd Edition, edited by Helaine Selin. Springer-Netherlands, pp. 1-4.
  • 2014
    Aboriginal Astronomical traditions from Ooldea, South Australia, Part 1: Nyeeruna and the Orion Story, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 17(2), pp. 180-194.
  • 2014
    Dreamtime Astronomy: development of a new Indigenous program at Sydney Observatory., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 17(2), pp. 195-204.
  • 2014
    Are supernovae recorded in Indigenous astronomical traditions?, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 7(2), pp. 161-170.
  • 2013
    Aurorae in Australian Aboriginal traditions., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 16(2), 207-219.
  • 2013
    Aboriginal oral traditions of Australian impact craters., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 16(3), pp. 295-311.
  • 2013
    Astronomical orientations of Bora ceremonial grounds in Southeast Australia., Australian Archaeology, No. 77, pp. 30-37.
  • 2013
    Recorded accounts of meteoritic events in the oral traditions of Indigenous Australians., Archaeoastronomy, Vol. 25, pp. 99-111.
  • 2013
    Wurdi Youang: an Australian Aboriginal stone arrangement with possible solar indications., Rock Art Research, Vol. 30(1), pp. 55-65.
  • 2013
    The discovery and history of the Dalgaranga meteorite crater, Western Australia., Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 60(5), pp. 637-646.
  • 2012
    Rock art at the ‘Mini-Yengo’ site near Kulnura, New South Wales., Rock Art Research, Vol. 29(2), pp. 23-25.
  • 2012
    Orientations of linear stone arrangements in New South Wales., Australian Archaeology, No. 75, 46-54.
  • 2011
    Astronomical symbolism in Australian Aboriginal rock art., Rock Art Research, Vol. 28(1), pp. 99-106.
  • 2011
    Meteoritics and cosmology among the Aboriginal cultures of Central Australia., Journal of Cosmology, Vol. 13, pp. 3743-3753.
  • 2011
    Eclipses in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 14(2), pp. 103-114.
  • 2011
    An impact crater in Palm Valley, Central Australia?, Australian Space Sciences Conference Series, Vol. 11. Edited by Wayne Short & Iver Cairns, National Space Society of Australia, pp. 129-140.
  • 2011
    "Bridging the gap" through Australian cultural astronomy., Archaeoastronomy & Ethnoastronomy: building bridges between cultures, edited by Clive Ruggles. Cambridge University Press, pp. 282-290.
  • 2011
    Comets in Australian Aboriginal astronomy. , Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 14(1), 31-40
  • 2010
    Meteors in Australian Aboriginal Dreamings., WGN - Journal of the International Meteor Organization, Vol. 38(3), pp. 87-98.
  • 2010
    An Aboriginal Australian record of the Great Eruption of Eta Carinae, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 13(3), pp. 220-234.
  • 2009
    The astronomy of Aboriginal Australia., The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture, edited by D. Valls-Gabaud & A. Boksenberg. Cambridge University Press, pp. 39-47.
  • 2009
    Australian Aboriginal geomythology: eyewitness accounts of cosmic impacts?, Archaeoastronomy, Vol. 22, pp. 60-93.
  • 2008
    The University of New South Wales Extrasolar Planet Search: a catalogue of variable stars from fields observed 2004-2007., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 385(4), pp. 1749-1763.
  • 2007
    The first high-amplitude delta-scuti star in an eclipsing binary system., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 382(1), pp. 239-244.

Grants and Contracts

  • 2014
    Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
    Role:
    CI (sole)
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture (Council)
  • Australian Anthropological Society (Fellow)
  • Astronomical Society of Australia
  • Australian Archaeological Association
  • Australian Rock Art Research Association

Contact Duane for

  • General
  • Media request
  • Speaking request
  • Consulting / Advising
  • Research collaboration
  • Research supervision