Pacific Youth


Imelda Ambelye is a PhD candidate at James Cook University, in Queensland, Australia. Her fieldwork for her doctoral research was conducted in two villages in Papua New Guinea, evaluating the empowerment and participation of women for community development and social change, comparing mining-affected and non-affected communities. Her previous education was at the University of Goroka, the PNG University of Technology and the University of Queensland.

Doris Bacalzo is a research associate with the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland. She studied biology before pursuing graduate studies in anthropology. She received her MA in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines with an ethnographic study of a Mangyan group in the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, focusing on customary law, indigenous women and gender relations. For her PhD at the University of Lucerne, she looked at the lives of young people and investigated the politics of differentiation, inclusion and exclusion involving children of interethnic marriages among the Wampar of the Markham Valley in Papua New Guinea. She continues to do research among the Wampar and is engaged in a Swiss National Science Foundation–sponsored longitudinal and collaborative project to analyse local inequalities and social relations under the effects of large-scale international projects (copper-gold mine, biomass energy and palm oil).

Laurence Marshall Carucci, Letters and Science Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Montana State University, holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and has conducted more than seven years of community-based research with Marshall Islanders since 1976. The focus of his research has been on issues of social and cultural change among the Enewetak/Ujelang people and the members of other communities who suffered through the Second World War and the subsequent era of United States nuclear testing in the Northern Marshall Islands. The results of his research appear in numerous articles, book chapters and books, including Nuclear Nativity, The Typhoon of War, and Memories of War (the latter books co-authored with Lin Poyer and Suzanne Falgout). His current research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century historical transformations experienced by Enewetak/Ujelang people in the Marshall Islands and Hawai‘i.

Aidan Craney is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Institute for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe University and an international development consultant. His research looks at youth livelihoods and iterative development practices in the Pacific Islands region. Drawing on his experiences living, working and researching within the region, Aidan’s research methods are interdisciplinary and focus on constructing holistic understandings of how social change occurs. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from La Trobe University for his thesis, ‘To Be Seen But Not Heard: Youth Livelihoods and Development in Fiji and Solomon Islands’, as well as a Master of Social Science (International Development) from RMIT University and Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Melbourne.

Daniel Evans is a PhD Candidate at The Australian National University. He has had a long-term association with Melanesia, having spent over a decade living and working in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. His past roles have spanned legal sociology and justice system reform. Daniel has worked on a number of bilateral development projects and undertaken various consultancies. His PhD is concerned with male youth in two communities of Honiara, Solomon Islands. He is interested in the intersection between youth and illicit livelihoods, criminality, security, identity, nationalism and the state.

Aaron John Robarts Ferguson is a graduate of Pacific University (Forest Grove, Oregon, United States) with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and History. His research in the Pacific has centred on ‘youth futures’ among Samoan youth, as well as historical structures of US imperialism in the Samoan Islands. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, where he conducts health and medical science research and aims to pursue an advanced degree in medical anthropology.

Mary K Good is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, United States. She has recently begun a project on employment, unemployment and decision-making about work opportunities and family responsibilities among Tongan youth. Her other ongoing research projects have focused on the use of new digital media such as online social networks and text messaging by youth on the island of ‘Eua in Tonga. Good is particularly interested in the ways processes of global modernity affect youths’ understandings of morality, sentiment and competing responsibilities.

Helen Lee is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University. Since the 1980s she has conducted research with the people of Tonga, both in their home islands in the Pacific and in the diaspora, particularly in Australia, with a focus on childhood and youth, cultural identity and migration and transnationalism. Her doctoral research on Tongan childhood was published as Becoming Tongan: An Ethnography of Childhood (H Morton, 1996). Her other books include Tongans Overseas: Between Two Shores (2003) and, more recently, Mobilities of Return: Pacific Perspectives (2017, co-edited with Jack Taylor) and Change and Continuity in the Pacific (2018, co-edited with John Connell). Her Australian Research Council Linkage Project (2015–19) looked at the impact of immigration status on Pacific Islanders in rural Victoria.

Caleb Marsters is a PhD candidate at Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori and Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. His field of research centres on Pacific youth, positive mental wellbeing, sports for development and suicide prevention in New Zealand. His PhD seeks to build upon his Master’s thesis by conducting further research on strategies to support mental wellbeing among young Pacific males in New Zealand.

Lila Moosad completed her PhD at the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, in 2019. Her thesis focused on the wellbeing experiences of young Pasifika women in Melbourne and the structural barriers to their wellbeing. Her research interests include the intersections of population movements/visa categories/health, participatory and strengths-based health research and health experiences of minority youth in urban settings. She currently works in the Gender and Women’s Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.

Mary L Spencer, PhD, is Dean Emerita, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Professor of Psychology and Micronesian Studies, Micronesia Area Research Center (retired), University of Guam.

Jemaima Tiatia-Seath is currently Co-Head of School and Head of Pacific Studies, Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. She is of Samoan descent and has a public health background. She was one of six panellists on the New Zealand government’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry. Her research interests include Pacific studies, mental health and wellbeing, Pacific suicide prevention and postvention, climate change, youth development, Pacific health inequities.