Duane Hamacher

Duane Hamacher

Adjunct Professor

Location: Woiwurrung & Boonwurrung Country, Melbourne, VIC
University of Melbourne Profile


Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on cultural, social, historical, and heritage aspects of astronomy and meteoritics. Originally from the US, Duane earned a degree in physics at the University of Missouri with a focus on astronomy, a research Masters in astrophysics at UNSW with a thesis on transiting exoplanets, and a PhD in the social sciences at Macquarie University, with a thesis on Australian Aboriginal astronomy.

He worked as a Lecturer in the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit at UNSW where he was awarded a DECRA Fellowship to document Torres Strait Islander star knowledge. He moved to Melbourne as a Senior Research Fellow in Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, then to UniMelb as an A/Prof in the School of Physics. He is Secretary of the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Chair of the IAU Working Group on Ethnoastronomy & Intangible Heritage, and member of the IAU Working Group on Star Names. He presented at TEDx and works as a consultant for films, documentaries, commemorative coins, art exhibitions, curricula, and theatre productions.

  • Safeguarding Australia’s Astronomical Heritage
  • Visual Perception and Constellation Patterns
  • Star Knowledge of the Torres Strait
  • Applied Indigenous Knowledges
  • Astronomy of the Kulin Nations
  • Cultural & Historical Astronomy
  • Astronomical Heritage
  • Dark Sky Studies

Prof Hamacher’s publications can be viewed here