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Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA)
Commencing June 2019 

This project aims to investigate how young people present professional identities on social media when preparing for employment, and how employers use social media in recruitment. This project will provide insights into the positive and negative impacts of young people’s social media use on employability, providing an evidence base and guide for schools and educators to prepare young people for employment. This project will contribute to an understanding of how young people can effectively manage their social media use to enhance their career prospects. This knowledge will be translated into educational materials to inform and guide young people preparing for employment.

Social media and young people’s body imageathlete-beach-biceps-1437864

: Dr Gemma Sharp, Prof Jayashri Kulkarni, Prof Alan Petersen, Claire Moran

This project examines the role of social media in shaping body image, and seeks to understand social media as a channel for discussing body image. We will focus on platforms including Reddit, Snapchat, and Instagram, and will employ mixed-methods approaches including social media analysis and in-depth interviewing. Ultimately we seek to understand the relationship between social media use and the consideration of cosmetic procedures, and to identify points of intervention for information sharing and education around body image.


Facebook Timelinesimage-20150119-2742-1y20hi4
Partners: Dr Sian Lincoln (Liverpool John Moores University)

This project focuses on the sustained use of digital social media, specifically Facebook, exploring changes in disclosure practices over time. Dr Lincoln and I have sought to better understand the role of social media in mediating and archiving ‘growing up’ narratives, where key rites of passage are mediated and recorded by default over time. The digital traces that are generated through the sustained use of sites like Facebook come to serve as longitudinal records of people’s lives, and we are interested in how users – especially young people who have been using digital social media throughout their lives – make sense of these traces. The research method  involves in-depth interviews with participants (20-29 years old) and ‘scrolling back’ through their social media histories (5+ years).

stt_data visSensing Tourist Travel in Tasmania
Partners: Dr Anne Hardy, Prof Richard Eccleston, Dr Tommy Wong, Dr Jaganath Aryal, Dr Dugald Tinch, Dr Kate Booth, Ms Sarah Hyslop

This project seeks to track, through GPS devices, the movement of several hundred groups of tourists over a three month period in Tasmania, while also understanding how they use social media during travel. My own role in the project, as the social media researcher on a team of seven investigators (including tourism researchers, economists, geographers, and sociologists), is to study the social media use of these tourists, analysing how they sense, record, and reflect on their own experiences of travel in digital social spaces. We will recruit a smaller sample of the larger cohort to follow on social media and interview by phone, both during their trip and when they return home, to understand how experiences of travel are mediated online (images, geo-location data, text), and shared with a network, then reflected upon in the future. 

Project website and updates >>


The Scrolling Beyond Binaries Study
Partners: Brendan Churchill (Melbourne); Ben Hanckel (King’s College London); Son Vivienne (RMIT); Paul Byron (Swinburne)

This project seeks to better understand the ways in which young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer + people in Australia use social media in their everyday lives. We are interested in social media use for communication, creating new relationships, maintaining existing ones, and seeking out information (on sexual identity, sexual health, local community, and a wider sense of belonging). We are also interested in the forms of digital social media young LGBTIQ+ people are engaging with, and how these engagements may (or may not) help foster a sense of belonging that can mitigate against experiences of homophobia, transphobia, isolation, and exclusion. We are planning a mixed-methods approach beginning with a national survey and continuing with semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted via Skype. This project is in its early stages. More information and updates:

Project website and updates >>


HDR Supervision

I am privileged to work with a range of postgraduate research students. HDR (Higher Degree Research) Supervision is, I think, one of the most important parts of my job, and certainly one of the most enjoyable. I have supervised, and am open to future supervision, on topics in the sociology of youth and digital media. Below is a list of current projects I supervise, and a list of past projects.


  • PhD: Why Wearables? Exploring the Use of Self-Tracking Devices
  • PhD: Digital Belonging: Polymedia and Adolescent Migrants in Australia
  • PhD: Emotion, touch and male bonding: An in depth investigation of masculinity and male friendship in Australia
  • PhD: Encouraging drivers to stay focused on the road
  • PhD: Sexual Risk Behaviours in Australian-Asian/Pacific Islander Men who have Sex with Men


  • Honours, 2018: Pornographic sexual scripts: A comparative analysis of feminist pornography and mainstream pornography
  • PhD, 2017, Dr Oskaras Vorobjovas-Pinta: Gay Neo-Tribes: An Exploration of Space and Travel Behaviour
  • Honours, 2017: The use of personal narratives of sexual assault within anti-sexual violence campaigns
  • Honours, 2017: Let’s Talk About Consensual Non-Monogamy: Exploring Attitudes among Young Adult Australians
  • Honours, 2016: The role of digital social media in re-partnering practices for people in their 30s and 40s
  • Honours, 2015: Tool, Toy & Tutor: Understanding Self-Tracking Devices
  • Honours, 2015: Coming out on YouTube: Young same-sex attracted men’s experience of coming out online