Dr Katherine Carroll

Ph.D. (Sociology); BA(Hons); BPhysiotherapy
Research Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Sociology 1608
  • Sociological Methodology And Research Methods 160807
  • Reproduction 111404

Research interests

  • Sociological, interdisciplinary and feminist study of reproductive tissue banking and donation, particularly breastmilk and human eggs.
  • Doing sociology with medicine in applied research settings to understanding the practices and experiences of healthcare delivery in complex, high-technology settings. 
  • Qualitative and collaborative research methods including video reflexive ethnography, photo elicitation interviewing and hospital ethnography. 



Katherine commenced at the ANU in September, 2016 as a Research Fellow to examine the socio-cultural aspects of the donation and banking of eggs, milk and other reproductive tissues from an interdisciplinary feminist perspective.  

Prior to her appointment at the ANU, she held a position as Assistant Professor in the Mayo Clinic Medical School in the USA for two years where she established a Qualitative Research Services team to undertake qualitative and sociological research in and with medicine.

Before leaving Australia for the USA, she held a three-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project Fellowship at the University of Technology, Sydney and an Endeavour Fellowship to study the role of human milk in Australia’s tissue economy. She also held a research position at The University of Sydney to examine egg donation for stem cell research.

Katherine has helped pioneer the Video Reflexive Ethnography (VRE) methodology in a variety of hospitals in Australia and the USA. She has worked in collaborative research partnerships with health professionals in the high-technology, ethically charged spaces of the neonatal intensive care unit, adult intensive care, surgery, surgical pathology, and the emergency department. She has published extensively on the methodology, including a co-authored book, Visualising Health Care Practice Improvement (2013, Radcliffe) and guest-edited a special issue on using video methods in health care research (2009 International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, vol.3 Iss.3).


Researcher's projects

I am currently working on the following projects:


  • Breastmilk donation after infant death: perspectives of mothers and health care professionals (with Professor Catherine Waldby, ANU and Dr. Debbie Noble-Carr, ANU)


  • Examining Prenatal Decision-Making for Infants with Life-Threatening Illness –Parental and Provider Experiences in Prenatal Consultation (with Dr. Chris Collura, Mayo Clinic



Past student projects

Brydan Lenne (2018) Evidence Based Medicine in the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (PhD Candidate)

Creating a Breastfeeding Friendly ANU Campus (with Kathryn Eden, 4th year Sociology Student, 2017)

Dr. Heidi McLeod (2017) 'Respect and Shared Decision Making in the Clinical Encounter - A video reflexive ethnography' PhD Awarded.

Dr. Michael Gionfriddo (2016) ‘Asthma Medication Step-Down Decision Making: Qualitative Systematic Review and Study of Asthma Patients’ Experiences’  PhD Awarded.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 July 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers