Dr Amy McLennan

Amy McLennan

Research Affiliate

DPhil MPhil BSc(Hons) BMedSc DipLang(Fr)

Amy is a collaborative anthropologist with a strong sense of local and global community, and a deep commitment to improving human wellbeing. Her background includes academic training in the biomedical sciences, social sciences and French language, and professional experience in the academic, policy and private sectors.

Amy is a Research Fellow at the 3A Institute of the Australian National University. She is working with a cross-disciplinary team in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences to build a new applied science to manage digital technology, artificial intelligence and cyber-physical systems, and their impact on humanity

She holds a Bachelor of Medical Science from Flinders University, a Bachelor of Science (Hons in Anatomical Sciences) from the University of Adelaide, an MPhil in Medical Anthropology and a DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She also remains a Research Associate with the School of Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where her recent research has included collaborative projects focusing on food, health policy, loneliness, non-communicable diseases, digital health and anatomical sciences.

Amy is an experienced senior policy analyst, having previously worked in the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the South Australian Department of Health. Amy is also an experienced facilitator, most recently as a design consultant with ThinkPlace Global, and previously for a range of international organisations. This has included facilitating innovative multi-sectoral workshops on leadership (General Sir John Monash Foundation, New York 2018), global health (PACE-NET+, Bremen 2014), the SDGs (Commonwealth Secretariat, London 2013), social innovation (Future Foundations, London 2013), international development (AusAID, Canberra/Sydney 2007) and health technology (HTAi, Adelaide 2006). 

Amy is an Australian John Monash Scholar, and committee member of the Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN).

ANU CECS  | Twitter  |  ResearchGate  |  Academia.edu  |  ORCID


(2018) McLennan AK & Ulijaszek SJ. Correspondence: Beware the medicalisation of loneliness. Lancet 391: 1480.

(2017) McLennan AK, Ulijaszek SJ & Beguerisse-Díaz M. Diabetes on Twitter: influence, activism, and what we can learn from all the food jokes. In: Schneider T, Eli K, Dolan C & Ulijaszek SJ (eds) Digital Food Activism. London: Routledge.

(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.

(2017) Schneider T, Eli K, McLennan AK, Dolan C, Lezaun J & Ulijaszek SJ. Governance by campaign: The co-constitution of food issues, publics and expertise through new information and communication technologies. Information, Communication and Society. 

(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. 

(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.

(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, Amy has previously taught and supervised undergraduate projects in the Archaeology & Anthropology, Human Sciences and Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree programs. She also taught and supervised graduates reading for the MSc/MPhil in Medical Anthropology, and visiting students enrolled in US Liberal Arts degrees. Key topics have included: 

•    Introduction to anthropology
•    Introduction to medical anthropology
•    Anthropology of food
•    Human ecology
•    Nutritional anthropology
•    Global health governance.

In her public and private sector roles, Amy has designed and delivered interactive short-courses for policy makers and private sector organisations. Key topics have included:

•    Policy project scoping, management and delivery
•    Compelling communication 
•    User engagement
•    Social research design and sensemaking.

Amy has also previously taught human biosciences for nursing students at Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

Awards and Scholarships

(2015) Research Incentive Grant, Carnegie Trust (with Dr Marisa Wilson, University of Edinburgh)
(2009) John Monash Scholarship, General Sir John Monash Foundation, Australia
(2007) Clarendon Award, University of Oxford, UK
(2003) RA Simpson International Travel Grant, Flinders University, Australia