A/PROF David Bissell

A/PROF David Bissell


  • mobilities, transport, cities, technologies, labour, embodiment, performance, affect



  • I am Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Geography. I combine qualitative research on embodied practices with social theory to explore the social, political and ethical consequences of mobile lives. My research draws on cultural geography and mobilities research to investigate contemporary social problems involving mobility-labour relationships. This research programme has been developed through four Australian Research Council funded projects:

    1. Commuting Life: Labour Mobilities and Transformations in the Twenty-First Century City (2012-2016, DE120102279). This project explored how the stresses and strains of travel to and from work emerge, play out through home and work life, and impact on the longer-term wellbeing of city workers. Through extensive fieldwork in Sydney, this project developed a richer understanding of how commutes are transforming city life, contributing to geographical debates on habit and the performative dimensions of routine. It culminated in the book ‘Transit Life: How Commuting is Transforming Our Cities’ which was published by MIT Press in 2018.

    2. Living Apart Together: How Mobile Work is Transforming Homes (2016-2020, DP160103771). This project, with Co-I Andrew Gorman Murray and Libby Straughan, is exploring how households cope with the personal and family pressures when one partner works away from home for days, or even weeks, at a time. Through fieldwork with mobile workers and their partners, we are developing new ways of understanding how repeated cycles of being together and then apart impact on wellbeing, and we are using these insights to contribute to geographical debates on distance and separation.

    3. Enhanced Humans, Robotics and the Future of Work (2016-2020, DP160100979). This project, with Co-Is Anthony Elliott, Thomas Birtchnell and Eric Hsu, is exploring how robotics and artificial intelligence impact upon individuals, communities,



Member of

  • Institute of Australian Geographers. Member Cultural Geography Study Group 2009 -


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • 2016-2019 Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP160103771. Living Apart Together: How Mobile Work is Transforming Home. 2016-2017 Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP160100979. Enhanced Humans, Robotics and the Future of Work. 2012-2015 Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award (DECRA) DE120102279. Stressed Mobilities: Understanding the Significance of the Commute for City-Workers.   


Education and training

  • PhD, Durham University 2008
  • MA, Durham University 2005
  • BA, University of Cambridge 2003



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I welcome enquiries from prospective students working in areas related to my research expertise. I am currently primary supervisor for five PhD students: Vickie Zhang (commenced 2017), Nida Mollison (commenced 2018), Adam Moore (commenced 2018), Elisabetta Crovara (commenced 2018), Lyn Gallacher (commenced 2018).