Dr Amy McLennan

CertIII(Fitness),  DipLang(Fr), BMedSci, BSc(Hons), MPhil, DPhil

Twitter: @amykmcl
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2362-6324
Academia: https://oxford.academia.edu/AmyKMcLennan/
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amy_Mclennan
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-mclennan-6423166b/

Research Associate

Amy’s strengths are ethnographic research, network building, teaching/facilitation, project management and policy design. She is driven by the view that collaborative work which crosses ‘traditional’ boundaries is vital for understanding and addressing today’s major global health issues. Her background reflects this view; she has academic training in biomedical sciences, social sciences and French language, and professional experience in the academic, policy and private sectors.

Amy is a John Monash Scholar. She currently works in the Project Office of the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this, she completed an MPhil in Medical Anthropology and DPhil in Anthropology in Oxford, and then worked as a Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Assistant in Medical Anthropology.

Her research to date has broadly focused on food, nutrition, health, human ecology, obesity and diabetes. She has methodological expertise in qualitative approaches, including long-term ethnographic fieldwork, participant observation, narrative elicitation and analysis, life history interviewing, community consultations, biocultural approaches, and the investigation of historical material. She continues to teach some medical anthropology and qualitative methods, and is involved in ongoing collaborative research with colleagues based in anatomical science, network modelling, health policy and environmental sustainability.

In addition to her ongoing academic work, Amy has over 5 years’ experience as a project manager. She has managed projects for government agencies, non-government organisations and private sector clients. This has included managing international academic conferences, development assistance initiatives, international working visits, national strategic policy design and local health services reviews.

Amy also has international experience in workshop facilitation, focus groups and community consultation. This has included: Pacific-Europe Network for Science, Technology and Innovation Think-Tanks (Think Tank 1 Facilitator, Bremen, 2014), Review of the UN High-Level Panel Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Delegate and Working Group Facilitator, London, 2013), Global Social Leaders Programme (Facilitator, London, 2013), Joint Iraq-Australia Scoping Activity in Human Rights (Program Manager, Australia-wide, 2007) and Health Technology Assessment International 3rd Annual Meeting (Program Manager, Adelaide, 2006).

Publications (selected)

(2017) Beguerisse-Díaz M, McLennan AK, Garduño-Hernández G, Barahona M, Ulijaszek SJ. The ‘who’ and ‘what’ of #diabetes on Twitter. Digital Health 3: 1-29.

(2017) McLennan AK. Local food, imported food, and the failures of community gardening initiatives in Nauru. In: Wilson M (ed.) Postcolonialism, Indigeneity and Struggles for Food Sovereignty: Alternative Food Networks in Postcolonial Spaces. London: Routledge.

(2016) Ulijaszek SJ & McLennan AK. Framing obesity in UK policy from the Blair years, 1997-2015: the persistence of individualistic approaches despite overwhelming evidence of societal and economic factors, and the need for collective responsibility. Obesity Reviews 17(5): 397-411.

(2016) Shaw V & McLennan AK. Was acupuncture developed by Han Dynasty Chinese anatomists? Anatomical Record 299(5): 643-659.

(2016) Ulijaszek SJ, McLennan AK, Graff HM. Conceptualizing ecobiosocial interactions: lessons from obesity. In: Singer M (ed) A Companion to the Anthropology of Environmental Health. New York: Wiley Blackwell.

(2015) McLennan AK. Bringing everyday life into the study of ‘lifestyle diseases’. Lessons from an ethnographic investigation of obesity emergence in Nauru. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 7(3): 286-301.

(2015) McLennan AK & Ulijaszek SJ. Editorial: An anthropological insight into the Pacific Island obesity crisis and its clinical implications. Diabetes Management 5(3): 143-145.

(2014) McLennan AK & Ulijaszek SJ. Obesity emergence in the Pacific islands: why understanding colonial history and social change is important. Public Health Nutrition 18(8): 1499–1505.

Chapters in edited volumes

(2014) McLennan AK, Ulijaszek SJ, Eli K. Social aspects of dietary sugars. In: Goran MI, Tappy L, Lê K-A (eds) Dietary Sugars and Health: From Biology to Policy. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis / CRC Press.

(2012) Locket NA, Norris RM & McLennan AK (eds). Locket’s 3D Anatomy Cutouts. Sydney: McGraw Hill.


At the University of Oxford, I have taught and supervised undergraduate projects in the Archaeology & Anthropology, Human Sciences and Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery degree programs. I have also taught and supervised graduates reading for the MSc/MPhil in Medical Anthropology, and visiting students enrolled in US Liberal Arts degrees. Key topics include: Introduction to Anthropology; Introduction to Medical Anthropology; Anthropology of Food; Biocultural Approaches to Obesity; Human Ecology; and Food, Nutritional Anthropology and Global Health Governance.

Previously, she has also taught Human Biosciences for Nurses at Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

Awards and scholarships

(2015) Higher Education Impact Fund grant, University of Oxford, UK
(2009) Monash Award, General Sir John Monash Foundation, Australia
(2007) Clarendon Award, University of Oxford, UK
(2003) RA Simpson International Travel Grant, Flinders University, Australia


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