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Timothy Heffernan

Postdoctoral fellow, UNSW Sydney

Timothy Heffernan is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UNSW School of Built Environment and a Visiting Researcher at the ANU Research School of Psychology and Medicine (2022-24). Tim holds a PhD in Social Science from UNSW Sydney.

Tim's research interests include the 'lived experience' of event-based hardship and recovery. Tim's PhD in anthropology examined the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on European society and culture, particularly Iceland, and the emergence of concerned citizens' movements in response to the GFC.

Current research at UNSW and ANU seeks to identify how best to support individuals and communities in Australia to be resilient to, and recover from, human-induced climate change, especially bushfires and floods. This extends to the characteristics of building resilient towns and citizens.

Tim has previously worked at the Native Title Research Unit (NTRU) at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.


  • 2020–present
    Research assistant, Australian National University
  • 2021–present
    Postdoctoral fellow, UNSW Australia
  • 2015–2021
    Sessional Academic, UNSW Australia
  • 2015–2016
    Research assistant, Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies


  • 2022 
    UNSW Australia, Ph.D. Social Science
  • 2014 
    UNSW Australia, Bachelor of Arts & Social Science (Hons, Class 1)
  • 2013 
    UNSW Australia, Bachelor of Arts


  • 2023
    Social group connections support mental health following wildfire, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology,
  • 2023
    Predictors of individual mental health and psychological resilience after Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfires, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry,
  • 2022
    Economic Anthropology in View of the Global Financial Crisis, The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Human Sciences
  • 2022
    Mental health, wellbeing and resilience after the 2019-20 bushfires: The Australian national bushfire health and wellbeing survey—A preliminary report, ANU Research School of Psychology.
  • 2020
    “Where Is the New Constitution?” Public Protest and Community-Building in Post–Economic Collapse Iceland, Conflict and Society, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 236–254.
  • 2020
    Crisis futures: The affects and temporalities of economic collapse in Iceland, History and Anthropology, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 314-330.
  • 2020
    Crisis and Belonging: Protest Voices and Empathic Solidarity in Post-Economic Collapse Iceland, Religions, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 22.
  • 2016
    Livelihood values in Indigenous cultural fishing: Report of a meeting with Indigenous cultural fishers on the south coast of NSW, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra ISBN 9781922102430
  • 2015
    Implementing native title: Indigenous leadership in land and water livelihoods, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra ISBN 9781922102409

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Anthropology Society
  • European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)

Research Areas

  • Anthropology (1601)