Dr Annick Thomassin

PhD Anthopology McGill; M.A. Anthropology Laval; B.A. Anthropology, Laval
Reseach Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

  • Maritime Anthropolgy;
  • Marine Fisheries Management;
  • Small-scale fisheries;
  • Co-management;
  • Indigenous people-settler relations;
  • Indigenous development alternatives and life projects;
  • Governance systems and paradigms;
  • Sovereignties;
  • Political ontology;
  • Understanding of nature;
  • Digital mapping and storytelling;
  • Relational methodologies;
  • Indigenous knowledge systems;
  • Indigenous cultural and natural management;
  • Urban/peri-urban fisheries and environmental stewardship;


I have over 17 years’ experience in the field of social anthropology and political ecology working across a range of interrelated topics including coastal resources (co)-management, small-scale and Indigenous fisheries and environmental stewardship practices, Indigenous economic perspectives, Indigenous-settler state relations, the intersection of Indigenous and Western ontologies, and conceptualisations of sovereignty. Over these years I have worked closely with Indigenous partners to develop methodologies and methods informed by Indigenous perspectives and privileging two-way knowledge exchanges. Most of my work and studies so far have been focused on the Australian, Canadian and Vietnamese contexts with emerging collaborations in Japan (in particular with the Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU) in Osaka).

Titled Ina ngalmun lagau malu’ (This Part of the Sea Belongs to Us): Politics, Sea rights and Fisheries Co-management in the Torres Strait, my doctoral research explored how specific standpoints on the ownership, resource management and economic development of marine territories, that inform the management structure of fisheries, impede genuine dialogues and collaborations between Torres Strait Islanders and the Commonwealth government in Australia. I was recently awarded a Wenner-Gren Foundation’s Hunt Fellowship to turn my doctoral dissertation into a book.

I am one of the chief investigators of the project Rekindling Japanese and Torres Strait Islanders connections: 50 years on (2022-2025) which aims at revisiting and repatriating important Japanese research about Torres Strait in the 1970s. This project is funded by the Australia-Japan Foundation (DFAT), the AIATSIS and the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project Scheme 2023). I am also the primary investigator of the project Environmental Stewardship Resurgence in Walbanga Country funded by the Indigenous Research Exchange scheme (Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies (AIATSIS)).

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Updated:  24 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers