Djuke Veldhuis – RSV Councillor

Dr Djuke Veldhuis is the Director of the Advanced Science – Global Challenges course at Monash University and passionate about engaging at the intersection of science and society. She holds a BA (Hons) in Archaeology & Anthropology and a PhD in Biological Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Science Journalism from City, University of London.

Her research involves analyses with a combination of qualitative and quantitative data and a variety of statistical techniques. Djuke’s doctoral research in Papua New Guinea combined quantitative stress hormone measures with subjective markers of economic and psychological wellbeing. Her research in Alaska takes as its starting point that many environmental and social problems, from air pollution to overfishing, are the result of a breakdown in cooperation. Using traditional economic games in combination with an ethnographic approach the aim is to understand how factors such as competition, punishment and reputation can influence the ability of communities to tackle environmental problems. Both projects involve extensive bilateral engagement with NGOs, health professionals and community leaders to build up local capacity and trust.

She has also developed and delivered science communications training to hundreds of people across the globe. Previous roles include managing FameLab, an international science communication competition in partnership with Cheltenham Festivals, The British Council and NASA, as well as work with the US Global Development Lab’s “Partnership for enhanced engagement in research.”

Djuke was co-opted to the RSV Council in 2022 and again in 2024, with her current term extending to May/June 2026. She was appointed as Chair of the Inspiring Victoria Partnership Board in November 2023.