Researcher biography

My PhD, titled “What’s so funny? Using a Multidisciplinary Approach to Understand Sitcom Success”, looked at correlates of the four most popular US sitcoms at the time – Modern Family, The Office, Big Bang Theory, and Family Guy. Using traditional humour theories as a foundation, as well as a typology developed by Arthur Asa Berger to analyse jokes, I developed a humour typology containing various humour techniques to code sitcoms. The coding data was then correlated to audience data (survey and physiological) from participants who viewed the sitcoms, as well as ratings data of the sitcoms. The findings of this study were presented at the 2011 International Society for Humour Studies Conference (ISHS) in Boston, and at the 2012 Australasian Humour Studies Conference in Canberra. The humour typology I developed has gone on to be used to code stand up humour in Persia (Heidari-Shahreza 2017), modified to analyse jokes stories of Sri Lanka (Gamage & Kondowe 2019) and now is featured in the newly released book Humour in Audiovisual Translation (2020) by Margherita Dore.

Since graduating I have worked as a Research Analyst at Southbank TAFE and as a Research Officer at General Practice Training Queensland. In my current role with the Institute for Social Science Research (UQ), I work across multiple projects that are characterised by a health systems focus. I am keen to get back into humour studies and would like to tie it in with my social science research, looking at how humour is used as a coping mechanism as well as a social device.