Associate Professor, University of Melbourne

Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ARC Centre for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3-Dimensions (ASTRO-3D) in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on astronomy in a cultural, social, and historical context, with emphasis on Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge and traditions in Australia, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.

Born in the United States, Duane earned a degree in physics at the University of Missouri before moving to Australia to complete a research Masters degree in astrophysics at UNSW (searching for transiting extrasolar planets), followed by a PhD in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University studying Aboriginal Astronomy.

He is a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), serves in the IAU Working Group on Star Names, Chairs of the IAU Working Group on Ethnoastronomy & Intangible Heritage, is Secretary of the International Society of Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, and an associate editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

Experience

  • 2016–present
    Senior Research Fellow, Monash University
  • 2012–2016
    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

  • 2017
    Observations of red-giant variable stars by Aboriginal Australians, The Australian Journal of Anthropolgy
  • 2017
    Environment and Landscape, SAS Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Sciences, edited by Heather Blasco.
  • 2016
    Reconstructing the Star Knowledge of Aboriginal Tasmanians, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Vol. 19(3), pp. 327–347.
  • 2016
    “Dancing with the stars”: astronomy and music in the Torres Strait, Proceedings of INSAP IX, edited by K. White. Lampeter, UK: Sophia Centre Press.
  • 2016
    Aboriginal Astronomical traditions from Ooldea, South Australia, Part 2: Animals in the Ooldean Sky, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 19(1), pp. 61-78
  • 2015
    Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 18(1), pp. 39-52.
  • 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
    Are supernovae recorded in Indigenous astronomical traditions?, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 7(2), pp. 161-170.
  • 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
    Meteors in the Maori astronomical traditions of New Zealand, WGN - Journal of the International Meteor Organization, Vol. 42(1), pp. 31-34.
  • 2014
    Geomythology and cosmic impacts in Australia., West Australian Geologist, Vol. 505, pp. 11-14.
  • 2014
    Dreamtime Astronomy: development of a new Indigenous program at Sydney Observatory., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 17(2), pp. 195-204.
  • 2013
    Recorded accounts of meteoritic events in the oral traditions of Indigenous Australians., Archaeoastronomy, Vol. 25, pp. 99-111.
  • 2013
    Aboriginal oral traditions of Australian impact craters., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 16(3), pp. 295-311.
  • 2013
    The discovery and history of the Dalgaranga meteorite crater, Western Australia., Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 60(5), pp. 637-646.
  • 2013
    Wurdi Youang: an Australian Aboriginal stone arrangement with possible solar indications., Rock Art Research, Vol. 30(1), pp. 55-65.
  • 2013
    Aurorae in Australian Aboriginal traditions., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 16(2), 207-219.
  • 2013
    Astronomical orientations of Bora ceremonial grounds in Southeast Australia., Australian Archaeology, No. 77, pp. 30-37.
  • 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
    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
    Eclipses in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy., Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 14(2), pp. 103-114.
  • 2011
    Meteoritics and cosmology among the Aboriginal cultures of Central Australia., Journal of Cosmology, Vol. 13, pp. 3743-3753.
  • 2011
    Comets in Australian Aboriginal astronomy. , Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 14(1), 31-40
  • 2011
    "Bridging the gap" through Australian cultural astronomy., Archaeoastronomy & Ethnoastronomy: building bridges between cultures, edited by Clive Ruggles. Cambridge University Press, pp. 282-290.
  • 2010
    An Aboriginal Australian record of the Great Eruption of Eta Carinae, Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage, Vol. 13(3), pp. 220-234.
  • 2010
    Meteors in Australian Aboriginal Dreamings., WGN - Journal of the International Meteor Organization, Vol. 38(3), pp. 87-98.
  • 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
  • International Astronomical Union

Research Areas

  • Social And Cultural Anthropology (160104)
  • Studies Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Society (169902)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Archaeology (210101)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History (210301)
  • History And Philosophy Of Science (Incl. Non Historical Philosophy Of Science) (220206)
  • Astronomical And Space Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified (020199)
  • Other Studies In Human Society (1699)