Megan Warin

Professor Megan Warin

Professor

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


My research investigates gender and class differences in obesity, public understandings of obesity science (developmental origins of health and disease and epigenetics), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander views on health, eating and intergenerational transmission, and the nature of desire in disordered eating. Much of my research is interdisciplinary and works across biosocial approaches to cultural practices, embodiment and health, drawing on a range of scholarship (anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, lifecourse, feminism & sociology) that seeks to engage with the social and life sciences.

My recent Australia Research Council Future Fellowship and ARC Linkage project explores how people in a community targeted as ‘obesogenic’ respond to obesity interventions, and why obesity interventions continue to have limited reach. As an anthropologist I situate eating and food in everyday lives, where social relationships and cultural understandings are valued over decontextualized information about nutrients. A current ARC Discovery project examines the ways in which environmental epigenetics offers an important explanatory framework for Indigenous Australians to link the social past with the biological present, providing a culturally relevant way of understanding the various intergenerational effects of historical trauma.

I welcome inquiries from Masters and PhD candidates interested in: food and eating, health, bodies, eating disorders, obesity, lifecourse perspectives, biosocial approaches, the anthropology of epigenetics and the First 1000 days..

My current projects include:

  • Food/Body encounters: new approaches and alternative solutions to obesity prevention and policy (ARC Future Fellow) (Warin, M)
    There is growing recognition of the need for new ways of tackling the obesity problem, and for forms of intervention that move beyond the limitations of individual behavioural changes. This research project provides a paradigm for re-orientating how we come to know obesity by investigating the cultural and institutional processes that shape everyday food and activity practices. Understanding and intervening in these dynamics of social practice are central to the challenges of reversing trends in the prevalence of obesity. Cultural understandings of food, eating and obesity, and the key role of health inequalities that contribute to obesity, were presented to the Senate Select Committee into obesity in 2018, and included in the Senate's final report and recommendations on interventions and policy directions for obesity in Australia.

     
  • Epigenetic Charisma: The Politics of Epigenetic Hope and Hype in Australia (ARC Discovery) (Kowal, E.; Warin, M & Meloni, M)
    This project seeks to examine the ways in which epigenetic discourses are strategically taken up and used in Indigenous Australian contexts. Unlike genetic research, epigenetics offers the promise of hope through environmental change, but also carries a potential of biosocial damage.
  • Risk, Trust and Socio-economic Status: Understanding middle-aged women’s responses to alcohol/breast cancer risks (ARC Discovery) (Ward, P; Warin, M; Wilson C; Olver I; Miller, E; Bissell P; Meyer, S & Macdonald, S)
    This project aims to identify and understand the nature of alcohol consumption patterns by ‘middle-aged’ Australian women in different socio-economic status (SES) groups, and if/how these are shaped in response to considerations of trust and future health risks. We will focus on the known risk of alcohol for the development of breast cancer, which is particularly important given that Australian culture is seemingly saturated by alcohol use, marketing and social acceptability.
     
  • Family by Family: Addressing childhood obesity through local understandings and local solutions (Channel 7 Children's Research Fund) (Warin M; Zivkovic T & Maher J)
    Research demonstrates that individual approaches telling people to eat less and exercise more do not work.  This project seeks to understand how an innovative and community led initiative that focuses on aspects of people’s lives that impact on health (such as housing, under-employment, mental health) enables people to engage in social change around food and family eating. 
     
  • Improving nutrition and health outcomes for women and babies in the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program (Aboriginal Families and Baby Bundles) NHMRC
    Many Aboriginal women in SA give birth before they are 25 years old, and the recent strong policy on improving the quality of pregnancy care has focused on reducing low birthweight. This project broadens support during pregnancy and in antenatal care by offering a novel package of culturally appropriate nutrition and well-being strategies, embedded in the SA Aboriginal Family Birthing Program at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH), a model highly accepted by Aboriginal women. Key partnerships include Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Care Workers, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, the Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS) and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
Date Project Name Investigators Funding Body Amount
2019 - 2021 Epigenetic Charisma: The Politics of Epigenetic Hope and Hype in Australia Kowal, E.; Warin, M & Meloni, M ARC Discovery $348,000
2019 - 2021 Risk, Trust and Socio-economic Status: Understanding middle-aged women’s responses to alcohol/breast cancer risks Ward, P; Warin, M; Wilson C; Olver I; Miller, E; Bissell P; Meyer, S & Macdonald, S ARC Discovery $461,000
2018 - 2019 Family by Family: Addressing childhood obesity through local understandings and local solutions Warin M; Zivkovic T & Maher J Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $74,000
2016 - 2021 Improving nutrition and health outcomes for women and babies in the Aboriginal Family Birthing Program Middleton, P; Stuart-Butler, D; Ah Kit, J; Brown, S; Rumbold, A; Makrides, M; Warin, M; Brown, A; Mensah, F & Deverix J NHMRC $975,881
2016 Indigenous knowledge in a postgenomic landscape: The politics of epigenetic reparation Warin, M Faculty Active Research Grant $3,992
2015 - 2019 Food/Body encounters: new approaches and alternative solutions to obesity prevention and policy Warin, M ARC Future Fellow $789,729
2013 Developing a new biocultural framework to address 'wicked public health problems. M Warin,  V Moore, J Dodd, A Chong (Ypih) Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit. Warin, M Interdisciplinary Research Fund $22,000
2012 - 2015 Steward or nanny state: Consulting the public about the use of regulations and laws to address childhood obesity. Braunack-Mayer, A; Street, J; Reynolds, C; Moore, V; Warin, M; Carter, D; Moss, J & Merlin, T Australian National Preventive Health Agency Research Grants Program $288,381
2012 - 2015 An ethnographic study of obesity risk in a disadvantaged community. Warin, M; Moore, V; Ward, P; Jones, M & RA: Zivkovic, T ARC Linkage $162,885
2012 - 2013 Food stories: How children from socially disadvantaged areas engage with childhood obesity prevention programs. Warin, M Channel 7 Children's Research Fund $75,000
2011 - 2014 Dynamics of denial: Why are people with eating disorders reluctant to engage with treatment services?

Warin, M; Wade, T & Gilchrist, P 

ARC Linkage $108,000

 

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Curing Diabetes Through Motherly Care: the Gendered Politics of Homemade Food in Hyderabad Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Pallavi Laxmikanth
    2019 Co-Supervisor The Care Project - Improving the Wellbeing of Older Kaurna Ngarrindjeri Women Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Annapurna Nori
    2019 Principal Supervisor Exploring epigenetics in response to intergenerational trauma in Indigenous Australia: race, gender, and the production of scientific knowledge. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Henrietta Rose Byrne
    2013 Principal Supervisor Shaping the Attitudes of Young people to their Sexual Health Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Katherine Anne Radoslovich
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2013 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Enacting Knowledge, Power, and Equity: Understanding the Public Appetite for Preventive Obesity Regulations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Lucy Claire Farrell
    2012 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Assemblages of Care: Why Women with Disordered Eating are Ambivalent to Seek Therapeutic Care Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Connie Marguerite Musolino
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Navigating “madness” and “fatness”: distorted spatiotemporalities in experiences of antipsychotic-induced weight gain Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Tara Lee Bates
    2010 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Gender and Invested Agency: Cultural Expressions in the United Arab Emirates Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jillian Schedneck
    2009 - 2011 Co-Supervisor To Entrap and Empower: Maternal Responsibility in an Age of Neo-Liberal Health Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Toni Delany
    2009 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Negotiating Perceptions of Failure, Risk and Redemption in an Australian Breast Milk Bank Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Gabbie Zizzo
    2005 - 2007 Co-Supervisor The Trouble with White Pants: Medicalisation and Agency in the Context of Menstrual Suppression Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jessica Gunson
    2004 - 2005 Co-Supervisor What is Social Support? A Grounded Theory of Social Interaction in the Context of the New Family Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Philippa Williams
    2003 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Beyond Masculinity: A Qualitative Study of Men's Help Seeking and Health Service Use in South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr James Smith
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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2012 - ongoing Member American Anthropology Association United States
    2012 - ongoing International Fellow, Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University United Kingdom
    2010 - ongoing Member Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Associate Editor Social Science and Medicine Elsevier United Kingdom
    2016 - ongoing Editor Frontiers in Sociology - Sociological Theory
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2017 - ongoing Research Leader - Robinson Research Institute University of Adelaide Australia
    2014 - ongoing Co-cordinator, Early Career Researcher network Faculty of Arts, University of Adelaide
    2014 - ongoing Co-Director, Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 - 2017 Co-cordinator, Australian Food, Society and Culture Network University of Sydney Australia
    2011 - ongoing Catherine Helen Spence Memorial Scholarship Committee Catherine Helen Spence Memorial Scholarship Committee, Ministerial appointment by Premier of South Australia
    2010 - 2011 Chair, NHMRC Career Development Award Peer Review Panel National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
    2010 - ongoing Fellow Higher Education Academy (HEA) United Kingdom
    2009 - 2014 Co-convenor, Academic Women’s Forum University of Adelaide
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83134864
  • Email: megan.warin@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 3345
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 1
  • Room: 1 40a
  • Org Unit: Sociology, Criminology & Gender Studies

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