I graduated with a BA (hons) and Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Canterbury in 2004, and in 2009, a Graduate Diploma in Japanese Studies from Massey University. I finished my PhD at the University of Auckland in 2015. I also participated in a researcher exchange where I spent three months at Waseda University in late 2011. I am currently the Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate School for East Asian Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.
In between my Masters and starting my PhD, I was a participant on the JET program (2004-2007: Fukushima-shi) and on returning to New Zealand I worked at the Ministry of Research, Science, and Technology from 2007-2010 as a policy adviser. My primary academic/research/policy interests, before my current Japan focus, were science and technology politics/policy, political philosophy, issues of ethnic identity and nationalism, and Chinese modern history and politics. I combined the first three of these interests for my Master’s thesis, which looked at the issues surrounding the conduct of population genetics research in postcolonial contexts. I carried over this interest in issues of identity into my PhD where I am looking at generationally situated concepts of national identity and their impact on foreign and security policy ideas in Japan. In addition to lecturing courses on East Asia security issues and China’s rise at the University of Auckland, and American Politics at the University of Canterbury, I also taught modules on these same topics at the Royal New Zealand Navy. I have also spent time working in the office of a member of the Japanese House of Councillors.
I have had short commentary pieces published at the East Asia Forum and the Nottingham China Policy Institute blog. I have also been published in the Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, the Canadian Naval Review, and the International Relations of the Asia-Pacific journal.