Dr Hilary Howes

DipML (German) (Melb.), BSc (Melb.), BA (Hons) (Melb.), MA (HPS) (Melb.), PhD (ANU)
Research Fellow, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • History And Philosophy Of Science (Incl. Non Historical Philosophy Of Science) 220206
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori) 210313
  • German Language 200307
  • Archaeology Of New Guinea And Pacific Islands (Excl. New Zealand) 210106
  • European History (Excl. British, Classical Greek And Roman) 210307


I am a Research Fellow in the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, working on Associate Professor Cressida Fforde's project 'Return, Reconcile, Renew: Understanding the History, Effects and Opportunities of Repatriation and Building an Evidence Base for the Future'. From 2015 to 2020 I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, working on Professor Matthew Spriggs’ Laureate Fellowship project 'The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific: A Hidden History'. My research addresses the German-speaking tradition within anthropology, archaeology and ethnology in Australia and the Pacific region.

I hold a PhD in History, completed in 2011 in the School of Culture, History and Language at ANU, as well as a Master of Arts in History and Philosophy of Science, a Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours), a Bachelor of Science, and a Diploma in Modern Languages (German), all from the University of Melbourne. From 2011 to 2015 I was employed as Executive Assistant to the Ambassador at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, where my responsibilities included bilateral research collaboration and the repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains from German collecting institutions.

Current student projects

Michelle Richards - the ongoing contribution of Pacific museum collections to archaeology

Past student projects

Eve Haddow - missionaries and archaeology in Oceania

Victor Melander - Thor Heyerdahl as Pacific archaeologist

Joanna Barrkman - the significance of ethnographic museum collections for source communities today


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Updated:  07 March 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers