People

Our researchers, working together across multiple Schools and Institutes at the University, have expertise in the areas of Korean migration to Australia, Korea-Australia relations, media and communication, business, urban planning, science, and culture.

Researchers

Associate Professor Jay Song
Associate Professor Jay Song

Dr Jay Song, KSRH Director and Associate Professor in Korean Studies

Jay is a Korea Foundation Associate Professor in Korean Studies and Research Coordinator for the Migration, Gender, and Environment cluster at the Asia Institute. Song conducts research in the areas of North Korea, human rights and Asian migration. Her current research projects focus on Korean migration to Australia using complexity theory. More information

Dr Daejeong Choi
Dr Daejeong Choi

Dr Daejeong Choi, Senior Lecturer in Management

Daejeong is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and Marketing. He conducts research on human resource management systems, employee behaviours and outcomes, and work team leadership. Daejeong is developing a research project on global mobilities, focussing on Korean Australian immigrant workers, expatriates, and second-generation Korean Australians. More information

Dr Jonathan Glade
Dr Jonathan Glade

Dr Jonathan Glade, Lecturer in Korean and Japanese Studies

Jonathan is a Lecturer in Korean and Japanese Studies at the Asia Institute. Jonathan’s research focuses on Korean culture from regional and global perspectives. His current research project looks at the globalisation of Korean and Japanese food and the ways in which food intersects with notions of nation and identity. Jonathan coordinates the class “Global Cultures of Japan and Korea,” which explores Korean culture’s global spread and impact. More information

Dr Hyungmin Kim
Dr Hyungmin Kim

Dr Hyungmin Kim, Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning

Hyung Min is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. His research focuses on the economic and spatial dynamics of cities, investigating the urban implications of global activities such as Foreign Direct Investment, international students, and international real estate investment. His research pays attention to globalisation of Korean urban development, South and North Korean cities, and Korean outward investment. More information

Dr Peter K. Lee
Dr Peter K. Lee

Dr Peter K. Lee, KF Research Fellow

Peter is a Korea Foundation Research Fellow, undertaking a policy project on “Korea-Australia Middle Power Collaboration” in March 2022 - May 2023. His research focuses on Korea-Australia relations, middle powers, and security cooperation. Peter is also a Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. He received a BA (Hons) and MIR from the University of Melbourne and his PhD from the Australian National University.

Associate Professor Wonsun Shin
Associate Professor Wonsun Shin

Dr Wonsun Shin, Associate Professor in Media and Communications

Wonsun is a Associate Professor in Media and Communications, in the School of Culture and Communications. Wonsun’s research looks at young peoples’ engagements with digital media, privacy management, and parental mediation. She also conducts research on digital media use in advertising and its impacts on consumers. Wonsun is working on research projects investigating digital media use by Asian-Australians during COVID-19 and Korean consumers’ privacy concerns in dealing with online advertisers, and has extensive expertise in quantitative research methods. More information

Professor Richard Sandberg
Professor Richard Sandberg

Dr Richard Sandberg, Professor in Computational Mechanics

Richard is Chair Professor of Computational Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and an ARC Future Fellow. He is also the lead for the Power Generation and Transport program of the Melbourne Energy Institute. He conducts industry-focused research on gas turbines for electricity generation and aircraft propulsion with the focus on both reducing emissions from current technologies and on developing new solutions that help enable the transition to sustainable fuels, like hydrogen. He collaborates with Korean researchers on gas turbine research and is keen to also develop industry partnerships in Korea. More information

Associate Professor Dongryeol Ryu
Associate Professor Dongryeol Ryu

Dr Dongryeol Ryu, Associate Professor in Infrastructure Engineering

Dongryeol Ryu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Australia. He currently leads the Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources Group.  His research is specialized in remote sensing of land surface and the roles of land surface changes in hydroclimate processes. He works closely with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and other various institution of Korea on the innovation use of remote sensing for Earth and environmental monitoring. Dongryeol received Ph.D. degree in Earth System Science from University of California, Irvine in 2006, and the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Sciences from Seoul National University, Korea. More information

Research assistants

Ms Jun Kim
Ms Jun Kim

Ms Jun Kim

Jun is a third year undergraduate Arts student majoring in Asian Studies and Psychology. She hopes to pursue further studies at the Asia Institute post-graduation with a focus on Korean Studies.

Ms Lulu Spencer
Ms Lulu Spencer

Ms Lulu Spencer

Lulu is a research assistant for the Korean Studies Research Hub since 2021. As a politics student at the University of Melbourne, they completed an honours thesis on identity in Korea-Japan relations in 2020. Lulu has obtained a graduate certificate in Public Policy from the Australian National University and plans to continue to explore these areas of interest in the field of Korean Studies.

Dr Adam Zulawnik
Dr Adam Zulawnik

Dr Adam Zulawnik

Adam is a Teaching Associate and Coordinator of Korean 1 at the Asia Institute. Prior to the current position, he was an Academy of Korean Studies postdoctoral research fellow at Monash. He is a Korean and Japanese language and translation specialist and conducts research in the areas of translation theory and Korean and Japanese language. Adam’s current research projects include the formulation and implementation of methodology for the translation of politically controversial texts and development of a comprehensive textbook about the history of South Korean popular culture.

Visitors

Associate Professor Sungkyung Kim
Associate Professor Sungkyung Kim

Associate Professor Sungkyung Kim, AKS Visiting Fellow

Sung Kyung is Associate Professor at the University of North Korean Studies (UNKS) in Seoul, Korea. She also serves as a deputy director of the Center for North-South Korea Mind Integration at the UNKS and editor-in-chief for the Review of North Korean Studies. In 2018-2021, she was a member of Peace and Prosperity Division in the Presidential Commission and board member of the Ministry of Unification in Korea. Prior to these positions, Sung Kyung was a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and senior visiting fellow at Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. Her research interests include North Korean mobility, sociology of emotion, and cultural geography. Sung Kyung received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Essex in UK.

Associate Professor Jeffrey Robertson
Associate Professor Jeffrey Robertson

Associate Professor Jeffrey Robertson, KF Visiting Fellow

Dr. Robertson is an Associate Professor of Diplomatic Studies at Yonsei University. He worked for the Australian Government in the field of foreign policy and North Asia, focusing on China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. His research interests include diplomatic practice, foreign policy, Korean peninsula affairs. His main research areas include diplomatic studies, foreign policy, and South Korea. Dr. Robertson’s time with the Korean Studies Research Hub (KSRH) at the University of Melbourne will be spent completing a book on the Australia-Korea bilateral relationship with the support of an Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) Grant. The book uses a diplomatic studies approach to secure insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Australia-Korea bilateral relationship.

Dr Boyoung Yoon
Dr Boyoung Yoon

Dr Boyoung Yoon, AKS Visiting Fellow

Boyoung is a Lecturer in Sociology of North Korea at the School of North Korean Studies, Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea. She is also a policy advisor to the Ministry of Unification and Gyeonggi Province. Her research focuses on North Korean society and everyday lives of North Koreans. She recently published on the social context of North Korean bribery and recreational activities. Other key Korean-language publications include: Changes in Everyday Communities in North Korea (2021), A Study on North Koreans’ Right to Information Access (2020), Value Adaptation of North Koreans Defectors in South Korea (2019), and Development of Inter-Korean Relations and Change of Perception of North Koreans Residents (2018). Previously, Boyoung was a humanitarian volunteer at the Mercy Corps working with North Korean refugees and migrants in Yanji, China. Boyoung received a BA, MA and PhD from Dongguk University.

Jaedon Shin
Jaedon Shin

Jaedon Shin, Artist in Residence

Jaedon Shin was born in Korea and migrated to Australia.  He graduated Fine Art at RMIT University in 2011 and is currently Melbourne based. Through his practice Jaedon contemplates inter and trans cultural experiences-interrogating his dual identity as a Korean and Australian subject and the enduring impression of his upbringing in Korea-a divided nation, where each side of the country lives in apprehension, fear and longing for the other–combined with the experience of being a migrant in Australia.  Jaedon explores narratives that are often highly personal and critical in nature and that reveal a desire for human connection, identity and belonging.

Students

Ms Jasmine Barrett
Ms Jasmine Barrett

Ms Jasmine Barrett, PhD Candidate

Jasmine is an AKS PhD candidate at the Asia Institute. Her research focuses on the development of the disability sector in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Her dissertation is tentatively titled, “Disability in the DPRK: Identity, social inclusion, and changing perceptions of disability”. Prior to joining the Asia Institute, Jasmine was an entrepreneur partnering with the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled to create employment for people with disability in the DPRK.

Mr Theo Mendez
Mr Theo Mendez

Mr Theo Mendez, PhD Candidate

Theo is a PhD candidate at the Asia Institute and the Melbourne Climate Futures Hub. Theo’s research focuses on the potential for greater collaboration between South Korea and Australia in clean energy, and the ways in which this could transform Australia-South Korea relations. His dissertation is tentatively titled “Building a Sustainable Relationship: Examining the Potential for Greater Collaboration between Australia and South Korea in Clean Energy”. Before joining the University of Melbourne, Theo was an undergraduate researcher at the University of Western Australia’s Korea Research Centre where he researched the representation of Asia in Australian education policies.

Mr Spencer Hines
Mr Spencer Hines

Mr Spencer Hines, PhD Candidate

Spencer is a PhD candidate in Screen and Cultural Studies at the School of Culture and Communication. His thesis centres on the films and creative practice of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo. Investigating the creative principles and methodologies observed in the films’ production, Spencer’s research gestures toward a broader focus on the history of film and the creative arts within the Korean context. Spencer has also completed a Graduate Certificate focussing on Korean Studies at the University of Melbourne.