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Kirrilly Thompson

Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Newcastle

Kirrilly is a trained anthropologist who uses ethnographic methods to research the cultural dimensions of risk-perception and safety. She has particular interests in human-animal interactions, high risk interspecies activities and equestrian.

Kirrilly has conducted research into railway safety, sport and alcohol, the cultural determinants of food waste, academic research leadership, human behaviour change for animal welfare, natural disaster preparedness, and large animal rescue, amongst other things where she lent a qualitative hand. She is internationally-recognised for her research into human-animal relations.

Kirrilly has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters, co-edited the volume 'Equestrian Cultures in Global and Local Contexts' (2017) and co-authored the book '(Un)Stable Relations: Horses, Humans and Social Agency' (2018).

Kirrilly was awarded an ARC DECRA in 2013 to research the impact of animal ownership on natural disaster preparedness. She was one of ABC Radio National's 'Top 5 Under 40' science communicators in 2015.


  • –present
    Senior Researcher in Anthropology and Animal Studies, CQUniversity Australia


  • 2007 
    Adelaide University, PhD


ARC DECRA (2013), Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Researchers (CQUni, 2015), ABC Radio National Top 5 under 40 (2015).