Dr Nicole Sweaney

BSc (ANU), Grad Dip Env (ANU), Hons (ANU), phD (ANU)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Lecturer, Honours & Masters Coursework Convenor (Fenner School of Environment and Society), Statistical Analyst and Research Consultant
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Ecology 0602
  • Zoology 0608
  • Statistics 0104
  • Environmental Science And Management 0502
  • Gender, Sexuality And Education 390406
  • Teacher And Student Wellbeing 390412
  • Gender Studies 4405
  • Human Geography 4406

Research interests

I have varied research interests. 

I am interested in research addressing the management and conservation of ecological communities. I am interested in adaptive management and developing deeper understandings of how native species interact with, and are influenced by, human-impacted environments. 

I am also interested in applying data analysis and visualisation tools to questions of social science. The design, and interpretation of social surveys and the application of analysis to help understand behaviour and opinions of humans is of interest to me. 

Lastly, I have a keen interest in issues of diversity, inclusion and particularly gender equality. I enjoy using my skills in social research to examine our engrained practices and presumptions around gender and the roles we play in society and our families. 



I grew up with a fascination for animals and science, and always knew it was something I wanted to pursue. 

I completed my Bachelor of Science, majoring in zoology and evolution and ecology. I went on to work for short stints in the public service within the research sector, before returning to university to complete my Honours, examining the impacts of bushfire and logging on beetle biodiversity. 

After completing my Honours, I worked as a research officer at ANU before commencing my phD, where I studied how native butterfly species interact with farmlands and pine plantations. 

Post phD, I began to consult organisations in regard to research design, social surveys, and data analysis. I have worked with a range or local and international companies and organisations on a wide array of projects across environmental and social science topics. I am particularly passionate about research that addresses issues around equality, inclusion, and gender. 

I started teaching undergraduate courses during my phD and have a passion for higher education. I continue to teach undergraduate and post-graduate students here at the ANU, and supervise research students.

I am beginning research examining relationships and roles in households (heteronormative, monogamous) where mothers and fathers switch stereotypical income-earner and care-giver roles.  




Current student projects

Heather Studley (2022). Hons. The impact of wind farms on landholders’ environmental knowledge, awareness and stewardship

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Updated:  11 June 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers