School of Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Megan is a Professor in the School of Social Sciences and has held academic positions in Anthropology (Durham University), Gender Studies, Public Health, and Psychiatry. Her 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, phenomenological approaches to embodiment and the nature of desire in disordered eating. Much of her 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, philosophy, feminism & sociology) that seeks to engage with the social and life sciences.
Her recent Australia Research Council Future Fellowship (2015-2019) 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 she situates eating and food in the practice of everyday lives, where social relationships, place and cultural understandings are valued over decontextualized information about nutrients.
Her research in eating and embodiment examines gender and responsibility in discourses of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and epigenetics, and the ways in which women's reproductive bodies and behaviours are positioned as key environments of temporality and health for future generations. A current ARC Discovery project examines both the productive and limiting discourses of environmental epigenetics as an explanatory framework for Indigenous Australians in linking the social past with the biological present to understand the intergenerational effects of historical trauma.
Megan welcomes inquiries from Masters and PhD candidates interested in: food and eating, health, bodies, eating disorders, sensory anthropology, phenomenology, 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 the dangerous 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 Position Institution name 2019 Professor University of Adelaide 2015 - 2019 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2007 Fellowship Fellow Higher Education Academy UK (Advance HE) United Kingdom —
Date Institution name Country Title 2007 - 2008 Durham University United Kingdom Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 1998 - 2001 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
Year Citation 2019 Warin, M., & Zivkovic, T. (2019). Fatness, obesity and disadvantage in the Australian suburbs: unpalatable politics. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
2010 Warin, M. (2010). Abject relations: Everyday worlds of anorexia, revised and expanded edition.
Year Citation 2020 Warin, M. (2020). Beyond carrot sticks and sermons: The practice of education in obesity interventions. In D. Leahy, K. Fitzpatrick, & J. Wright (Eds.), Social Theory and Health Education: Forging New Insights in Research (pp. 230-240). London, United Kingdom: Routledge. 2020 Warin, M. J. (2020). Kristeva, anorexia and embodied abjection. In N. Bubandt, & T. Schwarz Wentzer (Eds.), Philosophy on Fieldwork: Critical Introductions to Theory and Analysis in Anthropological Practice. Bloomsbury Press. 2020 Warin, M. J. (2020). The Metabolic Rift between Culture and Liberalism in Obesity Interventions and Policy. In M. Gard, D. Powell, & J. Tenorio (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Critical Obesity Studies. Routledge. 2018 Warin, M., & Martin, A. (2018). Emergent postgenomic bodies and their (non)scalable environments. In M. Meloni, J. Cromby, D. Fitzgerald, & S. Lloyd (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society (pp. 703-725). London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.
2016 Warin, M. (2016). Relatedness in Anorexia. In L. Manderson, A. Hardon, & E. Cartwright (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology (1 ed., pp. 125-129). London: Routledge. 2015 Zivkovic, T., Warin, M., Moore, V., Ward, P., & Jones, M. (2015). The sweetness of care: biographies, bodies and place. In E. Abbotts, A. Lavis, & L. Attala (Eds.), Careful Eating: Bodies, Food and Care (pp. 109-12). Surrey: Ashgate Publishing. 2014 Warin, M., Zivkovic, T., Moore, V., & Davies, M. (2014). Mothers as smoking guns: fetal overnutrition and the reproduction of obesity.. In D. K. Eli, & P. S. Ulijaszek (Eds.), Obesity, Eating Disorders and the Media (pp. 73-89). Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. 2011 Warin, M., Moore, V., & Davies, M. (2011). The Traffic in 'Nature': Maternal Bodies and Obesity. In M. Unnithan Kumar, & S. Tremayne (Eds.), Fatness and the Maternal Body: Women's Experiences of Corporeality and the Shaping of Social Policy (Vol. 22, 1 ed., pp. 22-42). United States of America: Berghahn Books.
|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.||Warin, M; V Moore, J Dodd, A Chong (Ypih) Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit.||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||Biological postcards: The popularisation of Barker’s hypothesis||Warin, M||Faculty Research Active Grant Scheme||$7396|
|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
|Early life influences on obesity and fat patterning in children: critical periods, environmental determinants, and socio-cultural context||Moore V; Davies, M; Robinson J; Warin, M & Worsley, T||National Health and Medical Research Council||$1.1 million|
|2006-2008||The Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study: Promoting Health Wellbeing and Utilisation of Health Services by Middle aged and Older Men||
Wittert, G; Hiller, J; Taylor, A; Warin, M; Braunack-Mayer, A, & Nettelbeck T..
|Premiers Science Research Award||$300,000|
|2004-2007||Florey Adelaide Male Aging Study||Wittert, G; Marshall, V; Hiller, J; Warin, M; Taylor, A; O’Loughlin, P; Tilley, W; Choong, C; Wallace, J; Forbes, B; Sugarman, R.||Florey Medical Research Grant||$450, 000|
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 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 Curing Diabetes Through Motherly Care: the Gendered Politics of Homemade Food in Hyderabad Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Pallavi Laxmikanth 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
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 Dr Lucy 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 Dr 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
Date Role Membership Country 2015 - ongoing Member EpicSA - Epigenetics Consortium of South Australia Australia 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 — 2009 - ongoing Member Lifecourse and Intergenerational Health Group Australia
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2019 - ongoing Editor Inscriptions: Writing the Social Studies of Science Manchester University Press United Kingdom 2018 - ongoing Associate Editor Social Science and Medicine Elsevier United Kingdom 2016 - ongoing Editor Frontiers in Sociology - Sociological Theory — —
Date Office Name Institution Country 2017 - ongoing Research Leader - Robinson Research Institute University of Adelaide Australia 2017 - ongoing International Board Member, Mind the body: Rethinking embodiment in healthcare University of Tilburg Netherlands 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 —
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