Dr Timothy Heffernan

Dr Timothy Heffernan

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. in Social Science (Anthropology); B. Arts & Social Sciences (Hons, Class 1)

Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA)
School of Built Environment

I am an anthropologist living and working on Gadigal Country. I work with communities in Australia and Europe affected by event-based hardship, such as environmental disasters and political and economic crises. Informed by ethnographic fieldwork, my research examines the connection between communities' experiences of unwelcome change and the ways they set about recovering, noting this is rarely straightforward.

Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at UNSW School of Built Environment and a visiting researcher (2022-2024) at the ANU School of Psychology and Medicine. My research has been funded by the Canadian, Australian and NSW Governments and UACES: University Association for Contemporary European Studies.

I am co-editor of The Anthropology of Ambiguity (Manchester UP, 2024) and the author of the draft manuscript Compassionate Solidarity: Crisis, recovery and the making of kincentric politics in Iceland. In addition, I have published in several leading peer-reviewed journals including Social Anthropology, History and Anthropology, Conflict and Society and The Australian Journal of Emergency Management.

Inaugural network lead: UNSW Interdisciplinary Ethnography Network (UNSW IEN)

Room 3030, Anita B. Lawrence Centre
  • Book Chapters | 2024
    Alimardanian M; Heffernan T, 2024, 'Afterword: Sitting and being with ambiguity', in Alimardanian M; Heffernan T (ed.), The anthropology of ambiguity, Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 240 - 248
    Book Chapters | 2024
    Heffernan T; Alimardanian M, 2024, 'Introduction', in Alimardanian M; Heffernan T (ed.), The anthropology of ambiguity, Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 1 - 12
    Book Chapters | 2024
    Heffernan T, 2024, 'Queering the crisis– recovery nexus: Personhood and societal transformation after economic collapse in Iceland', in Alimardanian M; Heffernan T (ed.), The anthropology of ambiguity, Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 67 - 84
    Book Chapters | 2022
    Heffernan T, 2022, 'Economic anthropology in view of the global financial crisis', in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Human Sciences, pp. 457 - 481, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7255-2_14
  • Edited Books | 2024
    Alimardanian M; Heffernan T, (ed.), 2024, The anthropology of ambiguity, Manchester University Press, Manchester
  • Journal articles | 2025
    Heffernan T; Shearing C; Sanderson D; De Sisto M, 2025, 'Building cross-sector recovery collaborations after Australian bushfires: The importance of embracing and linking diverse capitals and capacities', Environmental Hazards, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2024.2368498
    Journal articles | 2024
    Brady K; Gallagher C; Molyneaux R; Sanderson D; Heffernan T; Gibbs L, 2024, 'Improving long-term disaster recovery research in Australia through boosting dataset comparability', , https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/ajem-april-2024-improving-long-term-disaster-recovery-research-in-australia-through-boosting-dataset-comparability/
    Journal articles | 2024
    Christensen BK; Monaghan C; Stanley SK; Walker I; Leviston Z; Macleod E; Rodney RM; Greenwood L-M; Heffernan T; Evans O; Sutherland S; Reynolds J; Calear AL; Kurz T; Lane J, 2024, 'The Brief Solastalgia Scale: A Psychometric Evaluation and Revision', EcoHealth, 21, pp. 83 - 93, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-024-01673-y
    Journal articles | 2024
    Heffernan T; Stewart K; Shearing C; Sanderson D, 2024, 'Flipping the script: Young people mobilse adults to increase participation in disaster risk reduction', The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 39, pp. 40 - 45
    Journal articles | 2024
    Stanley SK; Heffernan T; Macleod E; Lane J; Walker I; Evans O; Greenwood LM; Kurz T; Calear AL; Reynolds J; Cruwys T; Christensen BK; Sutherland S; Rodney RM, 2024, 'Solastalgia following the Australian summer of bushfires: Qualitative and quantitative insights about environmental distress and recovery', Journal of Environmental Psychology, 95, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2024.102273
    Journal articles | 2023
    Cruwys T; Macleod E; Heffernan T; Walker I; Stanley SK; Kurz T; Greenwood LM; Evans O; Calear AL, 2023, 'Social group connections support mental health following wildfire', Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 59, pp. 957 - 967, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-023-02519-8
    Journal articles | 2023
    Macleod E; Heffernan T; Greenwood L-M; Walker I; Lane J; Stanley SK; Evans O; Calear AL; Cruwys T; Christensen BK; Kurz T; Lancsar E; Reynolds J; Harris RR; Sutherland S, 2023, 'Predictors of individual mental health and psychological resilience after Australia’s 2019–2020 bushfires', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 58, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00048674231175618
    Journal articles | 2020
    Heffernan T; Pawlak M, 2020, 'Crisis futures: The affects and temporalities of economic collapse in Iceland', History and Anthropology, 31, pp. 314 - 330, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2020.1762589
    Journal articles | 2020
    Heffernan T, 2020, 'Crisis and belonging: Protest voices and empathic solidarity in post-economic collapse iceland', Religions, 11, pp. 22, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel11010022
    Journal articles | 2020
    Heffernan T, 2020, '“Where Is the New Constitution?” Public Protest and Community-Building in Post–Economic Collapse Iceland', Conflict and Society, 6, pp. 236 - 254, http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2020.060114
    Journal articles | 2019
    Heffernan T, 2019, 'Messy Europe: crisis, race, and nation-state in a postcolonial world', SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 27, pp. 122 - 124, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12618
    Journal articles | 2019
    Heffernan T, 2019, '“Gambling Debt: Iceland’s Rise and Fall in the Global Economy” E. Paul Durrenberger and Gísli Pálsson Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2014', Student Anthropologist, 6, pp. 82 - 83, https://studentanthropologist.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/heffernan.-book-review.-sa-2019.pdf
  • Reports | 2024
    Heffernan T; Stewart K; Shearing C; Sanderson D, 2024, Flipping the script: young people mobilise adults to increase participation in disaster risk reduction, AIDR, Melbourne, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28722, https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/media/10533/ajem-2024-01_09.pdf
    Reports | 2023
    James Martin Institute for Public Policy ; NSW Education Department ; Heffernan T, 2023, Local links and learning: Resilience in regional, rural and remote schools. Fostering community ties and harnessing learning opportunities to boost resilience, The James Martin Institute for Public Policy, Sydney, http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/rg.2.2.22693.68325
    Reports | 2022
    Heffernan T; Macleod E; Greenwood L-M; Walker I; Lane J; Stanley S; Evans O; Calear A; Cruwys T, 2022, Mental health, wellbeing and resilience after the 2019-20 bushfires: The Australian national bushfire health and wellbeing survey—A preliminary report, Research School of Psychology, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Canberra, http://dx.doi.org/10.25911/ag7d-7574
    Reports | 2016
    Kennett R; Tran T; Heffernan T; Strelnikow L, 2016, Livelihood values in Indigenous cultural fishing: Report of a meeting with Indigenous cultural fishers on the south coast of NSW, Canberra, ACT
    Reports | 2015
    Kennett R; Tran T; Talbot L; Heffernan T; Barton M, 2015, Implementing native title: Indigenous leadership in land and water livelihoods, AIATSIS, Canberra, https://aiatsis.gov.au/publication/35072

Enhancing Housing Recovery Policy and Practice for Improving Community Resilience to Future Disasters.
Funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI, 23/PRO/71332) (2023-2024)

2023 Finalist, NSW Resilience Australia Award (Community) in recognition of the Resilient Towns Initiative, Snowy Valleys

2020 Fellow, Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies

Professional memberships:

    Fellow of the Australian Anthropological Society

    University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), Ordinary Member 2019-2022

Other affiliations:

    Visiting Research Fellow (2022-23). College of Health and Medicine, The Australian National University.

University Service

    LGBTIQ+ Co-Champion, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, 2024-
    Australian Anthropological Society University Representative, 2022-present