Dr Michael Morrison

Associate Professor , Digital humanities - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Michael Morrison

Phone: +61 (02) 6773 1980

Email: mmorri62@une.edu.au


I am an archaeologist with a career long interest in the archaeology and history of northern Cape York Peninsula (CYP). My two major research programs investigate: (1) Aboriginal foodways during the Holocene, and; (2) cross-cultural entanglements, political economies and the role of Indigenous foodways and labour in the negotiation of new structures of power during the early colonial period (1865-1939). I have conducted multiple collaborative and community-based research projects with Indigenous custodians from this region, and am an advocate for a community engaged approach to research; that is, research projects that are designed to address questions and priorities of importance to local communities and that adopt approaches that enhance the wellbeing of custodians and community members.

I have two-decades of experience in the Indigenous cultural heritage management sector, providing advice, training and support to Indigenous custodians and other stakeholders in the management of Indigenous homelands and cultural heritage places and values. This includes work in a range of sectors, including Indigenous land and sea management, telecommunications and energy, mineral exploration, mine development and road development.

I have over a decade of experience teaching archaeology students at all levels (undergraduate to PhD), particularly in environmental archaeology, coastal archaeology, archaeological method and theory, cultural heritage management, and digital heritage. My current role at UNE encompasses digital heritage, which allows for deep engagement with cutting edge approaches to digitisation, data analysis, research data curation and the use of digital communication platforms. I apply these approaches to my research, and seek to grow the knowledge and expertise of students in this area particularly through facilitating opportunities to engage with communities, industry partners and other researchers.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Archaeology, Flinders University (Adelaide) 2010
  • Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours), Archaeology, James Cook University (Townsville) 2000

Research Interests

Current research areas

  • The archaeology and history of northern and central Cape York Peninsula
  • Archaeological investigations of Indigenous socio-demographic, cultural, social and economic change in Holocene Australia;
  • Indigenous foodways through the colonial period in western Cape York Peninsula;
  • The repatriation of Indigenous cultural heritage using digital technologies and platforms;
  • Spatial approaches to archaeological and historical research;
  • Indigenous heritage management in the Australian context.

Research Supervision Experience

I have supervised some 22 completed student research projects, encompassing Masters, Honours and PhD research projects. These studies mostly comprised investigation of research questions emerging from my own research. I am open to supervising new research students at all levels where proposed projects align with my current or prior research interests, regardless of discipline. This includes students in archaeology, history, anthropology, GIS, earth sciences, palaeontology, Indigenous studies and other related disciplines. It is recommended you contact me with a brief (<100 word) synopsis of your research interest and the problem you seek to address before developing a more fully-fledged proposal.