Dr Susannah Chapman

ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 53309


Dr Susannah Chapman is a Research Fellow at The University of Queensland.Trained as an environmental and legal anthropologist, her research explores the intersection of law, science, and society, with a particular focus on transformations in human-plant relations, intellectual property, and seed regulation since the early twentieth century. Using ethnographic and archival methods, her work asks questions about the coloniality, biopolitics, and translational practices of contemporary efforts to regulate plant reproductive material and crop diversity in both The Gambia and Australia. Dr Chapman was awarded her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Georgia. She has previously worked at the University of Georgia, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the University of The Gambia.

Research Interests

  • Intellectual Property
  • Environmental and economic anthropology
  • Political Ecology
  • Post-colonial studies
  • Science and technology studies

Research Impacts

Dr Chapman's research speaks to issues of agrobiodiversity conservation, the politics of translation in deliberations over intellectual property, and shifts in regulatory structures for plant germplasm. Her current research explores issues how changes in intellectual property arrangements in Australia are reshaping the social, economic, and technological relations of agricultural supply chains.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Georgia


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision



  • Brad Sherman and Susannah Chapman eds. (2020). Intellectual property and agriculture. Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law series, Cheltenham, United Kingdom : Edward Elgar. doi: 10.4337/9781788973885

Book Chapter

  • Chapman, Susannah and Heald, Paul J. (2020). Agrobiodiversity loss and the construction of regulatory frameworks for crop germplasm. Environmental resilience and food law. (pp. 159-179) edited by Gabriela Steier and Alberto Giulio Cianci. Boca Raton, FL USA: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9780429443350-9

  • Coombe, Rosemary J. and Chapman, Susannah (2020). Ethnographic explorations of intellectual property. In Oxford research encyclopedia of anthropology (pp. 1-45) Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190854584.013.115

  • Sherman, Brad and Chapman, Susannah (2020). Rethinking intellectual property law's relationship with agriculture. Intellectual property and agriculture. (pp. xiii-xviii) edited by Brad Sherman and Susannah Chapman. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.

  • Chapman, Susannah and Brown, Tom (2013). Apples of Their Eyes: Apple Trees and Memory Keepers of the American South. Seeds of Resistance/Seeds of Hope: Place and Agency in the Conservation of Biodiversity. (pp. 42-64) edited by Virginia Nazarea, Robert Rhoades and Jenna Andrews-Swann. Arizona USA: University of Arizona Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor