Emma Kowal is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Alfred Deakin Research Institute of Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. After studying medicine and anthropology at university she moved from Melbourne to Darwin to pursue a career in Aboriginal health as a doctor and public health researcher. Her PhD research was recently published as Trapped in the Gap: Doing Good in Indigenous Australia (2015).
In 2007 she returned to Melbourne to begin postdoctoral research on the use of genetics in Indigenous Australian communities, work that has led to the formation of the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at the Australian National University where she is Deputy Director. Her ongoing research explores the role of human biology in the founding of Indigenous studies in the 1960s.