Dr. Duane Hamacher is an astronomer and Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in Melbourne and an Adjunct Fellow in the Astrophysics Group at the University of Southern Queensland. His research focuses on Indigenous astronomical and geological knowledge and traditions in Australia, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.
His current project, funded by a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council, explores the astronomical knowledge of Torres Strait Islanders.
Born in the United States, Duane earned a degree in physics at the University of Missouri before moving to Australia to complete a research Masters degree in astrophysics at UNSW searching for extrasolar planets, followed by a PhD in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University studying Aboriginal Astronomy.
He is a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Chair of the IAU Working Group on Intangible Heritage, Secretary of the International Society of Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, and an associate editor of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.
The Polynesian peoples' astronomical knowledge helped them colonize the vast Pacific Ocean.