Explore our remarkable PhD and research candidates

Our research candidates are an integral part of the research culture at Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre.

Their projects are diverse and engaging, pushing the boundaries and encouraging enquiry. Explore some of our candidates and their research below.

David Bishop

Dave is a New Zealand singer songwriter and he is currently studying towards a Doctorate of Musical Arts. His stage name is Davey Beige and he performs original folk, blues and rock. His research project revolves around song-writing and includes the release of his new album titled “Beginner’s Mind”

Leah Cotterell

Leah’s research—building on prior work—is being developed into applications for use by other singers in professional training and practice and in community mental health singing workshops. Her DMA explores emotion induction and empathy through her musical memoir, ‘The Pleasure of Sad Songs’.

Duncan Gardiner

Duncan is a classical guitarist, composer, researcher and educator. Combining these passions, his research explores the extent to which the guitar was incorporated into musical activities in colonial Queensland and brings historical music to today’s audiences.

Mark Griffiths

Mark’s doctoral work builds on a successful portfolio career, and investigates pedagogical strategies that foster expressive performance skills within pre-tertiary pianists. His research interests are reflective practice, one-to-one pedagogy, expressive performance, gesture, and movement analysis.

Phoebe Green

Phoebe is undertaking artistic research that ties together her practice as a performer, collaborator, researcher and advocate. Passionate about music from our time and place, her investigation of the 'interiors' of a practice reveals new knowledge from processes that are rarely discussed.

Gillian Howell

As a young musician Gillian Howell travelled to post-war Bosnia to lead music workshops with traumatised children for the NGO WarChild. 20 years later, her PhD research in the field of music and conflict examines post-war music interventions as forms of aid, education and cultural development.

Teresa Kunaeva

Teresa’s PhD explores musical learning and performance opportunities for “the chronologically gifted” through community music ensembles in Queensland. She is exploring the motivations and challenges to music participation by older adults and factors that may promote their ongoing musical engagement

Alfredo Lopes

Alfredo Lopes is a jazz saxophonist and researcher. Currently Alfredo is developing a doctoral exegesis investigating perspectives on creative design as a composer/player/leader in a small jazz ensemble.

Charulatha Mani

Charulatha Mani is a singer of Carnatic music, the Classical music of Southern India. Investigating text, meaning, and musical rhetoric across cultural contexts, her doctoral work considers Monteverdi’s musical declamatory approach alongside the Carnatic tradition’s expository ‘Viruttam’ style.

Cathy Milliken

Cathy is an acclaimed composer and solo performer, a founder member of Ensemble Modern, former Head of Education for the Berliner Philharmoniker and is also a creative director and educator. A recipient of several prestigious awards in composition, her doctorate examines social composition.

Padraig Parkhurst

Padraig is an early career researcher, composer, poet and guitarist. He is currently completing a Masters of Music Research in composition examining ‘melodrama’: the use of spoken voice over music in the Western Art Music tradition.

Julia Pope

Julia’s doctoral research explores the vitality and sustainability of culturally-diverse music programs in schools in Australia and New Zealand. Focusing on programs using Indonesian gamelan instruments, she hopes her work will help to improve vitality and sustainability in school music programs.

Hannah Reardon Smith

Hannah is a flutist, improviser, composer, writer, researcher, disability support worker, and co-artistic director of new music ensemble Kupka's Piano. With contemporary performance qualifications from the School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, her doctorate explores women's free improvisation practices.

Michal Rosiak

A flautist, composer and a co-director of Unbound Flute Festival, Michal’s DMA focuses on creative symbiotic relationships between composers and performers. Through collaboration, he explores the importance of favourable environments, personal interactions and communication during creative activity.

Nathaniel Smorti

A clarinetist, teacher, and researcher based at the Queensland Conservatorium, Nathaniel moved to Brisbane after receiving a Masters of Musical Performance at the University of Waikato. Studying under Paul Dean, his research explores contrasting approaches to performance of the clarinet canon.

Pegah Varamini

Pegah is a Persian classical music performer, researcher, and composer. Through her research she aims to bridge an apparent gap between Persian and Western classical music pedagogy to make the education of this musical tradition more accessible for those without a background.

Andrea Vocaturo

Andrea Vocaturo is an Italian-born guitarist and composer based in Brisbane. He is currently completing his doctoral studies at Griffith Uni, focusing on the exploration of a modified fifths tuning as a vehicle for guitar composition and the creative implications of alternate tuning practices.

Jack Walton

Jack is a Brisbane-based musician and researcher with respective interests in folk and improvised music, and educational assessment. His doctorate investigates practices for assessing music performance in Australian higher education through the dual lenses of policy and social perspective.

Megan Waters

Megan’s PhD explores the perceptions of playing-related discomfort/pain experienced by undergraduate string students. Her research has documented the experiences and perceptions of 40 classical strings students as they progressed through their Bachelor of Music program.

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