I’m Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, an applied sociologist of Latin-Australian background. I hold a PhD in Sociology. I am also an Adjunct Research Fellow with Swinburne University.
I began my career as an academic before joining the Australian Public Service leading interdisciplinary research teams. Later I led the research team for an environmental health and safety investigation commissioned by state government, and then worked as a research and social media consultant. I also implemented and managed the Australian Academy of Science’s national program to increase gender equity and diversity across higher education and research organisations.
I specialise in analysing issues of gender and sexuality, culture, discrimination and diversity in the workplace, social media, environmental health and safety, and interdisciplinary research.
I support the careers of sociology graduates via my not-for-profit Sociology at Work, which I founded in 2009. I also co-manage several other not-for-profit groups serving public education, science literacy and environmental awareness.
Read my extended biography below or visit my research blog The Other Sociologist.
I began my sociology career in 2001 teaching sociology and working as a research assistant while I was also writing my PhD dissertation. I completed my PhD at the end of 2004.
Throughout this time, I worked as a lecturer, convenor and researcher at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, from 2001-2005, as well as a lecturer at Monash University in 2005. Over the years, I taught courses on introductory sociology, ethnicity, families and diversity, gender and sexuality, and technology. I also worked on research projects related to public perceptions of social good; setting up a biotechnology database and producing materials for a related academic website; I assisted on a project on “Rich List” businesses; and I worked on a study on social marketing for vulnerable consumers. I left this work to pursue other opportunities beyond academia.
In 2006 I moved from Melbourne to Adelaide, where I began working as an applied sociologist within the Australian Public Service. I worked within an interdisciplinary team of scientists from both the social and natural sciences. Our team specialised in research for strategic policy, social modelling and developing analysis tools for government clients.
As well as contributing to this work, I was a Science Team Leader on two large, long-term projects; one was dedicated to the analysis of media information campaigns, and the other explored intercultural communication. I also conducted research on a broad range of topics, addressing issues such as political violence, the social inclusion of minority groups, leadership and behaviour, power in social networks, as well as media and website analysis.
I left almost six years later to return to Melbourne. In 2012, I worked as the Senior Analyst for an environmental health and safety investigation. I led a team of 23 analysts evaluating thousands of reports and hundreds of interviews. I reviewed the training practices and managerial procedures regarding hazardous chemicals and their connection to cancer and other illnesses found amongst emergency response workers and volunteers. In the same year, I also worked on independent research and social media.
In the same year, I began working on my research and social media consultancy Social Science Insights and formally launched it in January 2013. I support clients who want to improve their services and communities through quality social research as well as educational and inspirational social media. I work mostly in the areas of diversity, health, public education, and corporate responsibility, but I’ve worked with a range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations from educational groups, to businesses in the catering and food industry, fitness and wellbeing, fashion and beauty, technology and more.
In late April 2015, I joined the Australian Academy of Science, as Program Manager of the Science Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative. I designed and implemented a two-year pilot that will test the viability of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia. This is an equity and diversity accreditation program for universities, research and medical centres that is in its 10th successful year in the UK. I was tasked with recruiting six organisations for the pilot. Within the first year, we ended up with 40 institutions across higher education, science institutions and government agencies. Building on the UK process, I created a training program to support these organisations in evaluating their gender and diversity policies, practices and outcomes, using a framework of intersectionality (examaning the interconnections between gender, racial and other inequalities). The objective is to improve the hiring, promotion, retention, recognition and participation of all women, including Indigenous and transgender women, as well as other under-represented minorities in science.
Publications & Social Media
I have published over 200 government reports, academic articles, client reports, conference papers and other articles, as well as many other blog and social media posts. My research covers topics such as multiculturalism and immigration; intercultural education; gender equality; community development; environmentalism; political conflict; business and entrepreneurship; and interdisciplinary social modelling.
I have been blogging and writing on social media since 2009. My main research blog is The Other Sociologist, where I discuss issues of social inclusion (including race, gender and sexuality), as well as how to improve public science education and applied sociology.
I write about how social science can help businesses, community development and social policy on the Social Science Insights blog.
I also blog about arts, popular culture, social causes and visual sociology on my Tumblr. As a labour of love, I manage a Tumblr blog, Antipodeans, showcasing the cultural significance of Australian art.
My work has been featured in The Conversation, the London School of Economics and The Australian Sociological Association. See my full list of academic publications and selected other writing. Read more about the various blogs and social media profiles that I manage or watch some of my sociology and science videos.
In 2007, I founded the Applied Sociology Thematic Group – this is a research group within The Australian Sociologist Association, serving researchers working outside universities. As a result of this work, in 2009, I established Sociology at Work (S@W). S@W is an international network of applied sociology practitioners, activists and students. We have a current membership of almost 10,000 people across our website and social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter. I maintain our blog, website and social pages. I am also one of the Founding Editors of Working Notes, S@W’s free online journal.
I have been an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Swinburne Institute for Social Research since 2005, as part of its Democracy and Justice Flagship. (This means that I am not employed by SISR, but I occasionally publish under this affiliation and I supervise students.)
I am also one of the curators for Science on Google+. We are the largest science community on Google+ with a growing membership of over 500,000 people from around the world. I moderate the Social Science stream. I am also one of the Managers for STEM Women, a not-for-profit group dedicated to addressing gender inequality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We also support and raise awareness for women’s careers in STEM, with a community of over 100,000 followers. I am a co-manager of Biocultural Diversity & Land(Sea)scapes, an environmental group led by researchers dedicated to supporting biodiversity and sustainable planning for diverse cultures. We have over 3,000 members, both through our Google+ page and Community.
My Research Interests
- Communities: social identities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class, nationality, youth sub-cultures
- Culture: migrants, race, multiculturalism, discrimination, social cohesion, socio-economic mobility of minorities, resettlement experiences of refugees, Islam in non-Muslim majority nations
- Media analysis: target audiences, comparative media literacy, website analysis, traditional and new media consumption in developing societies, social marketing, advertising
- Social Media: blogging communities, social influence patterns on Twitter, social networks and privacy on Facebook, public science on Google+, visual education via Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube
- Political issues: civic engagement, politically-motivated violence, national security, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, human terrain analysis, social movements,
- Education and training: intercultural communication, community development
- Business: Small business online practices, digital entrepreneurship, women Executives, social science in management training and development
- Social theory: social constructionism, ethnomethodology, feminism, postcolonialism
- Qualitative methods: in-depth interviewing, behavioural analysis, cultural assessments, ethnography, data management and ontology development
- Quantitative methods: I am passionate about making meaningful interpretation of Census data and social surveys. In my former work, I provided social science input to interdisciplinary social modelling.
In my Other Life, I am…
- An Avid Fashionista, especially of vintage and retro threads;
- A Movie Aficionado, especially of indie, international and horror films;
- Book Worm;
- Tireless Dancer;
- Art Fanatic;
- Pop Culture Tragic and Connoisseur of out-dated cultural references.
- Occasional Children’s Clown.
Connect with me
If you’d like to reach me via email, fill out the form on my Contact Me page. Otherwise you can find me on:
To read more about the purpose of my website and a super riveting disclaimer, click here.