Dr Ella Dilkes-Frayne

Position: Research Officer

School and/or Centres: School of Sociology

Email: ella.dilkes-frayne@anu.edu.au

Phone: 02 6125 4308


PhD (Monash), Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (Uni Melb)


Ella joined the School of Sociology at ANU as a postdoctoral researcher in March 2018. She is currently involved in a number of research projects examining: the expansion of the concept of behavioural addictions; the efficacy of social interventions to improve empathy and role-taking; and the impact of gender and feminism in the social sciences.

Ella’s research interests span several disciplines and fields, including social studies of health and medicine, spatial sociology, human geography, and science and technology studies. Her research takes an in-depth qualitative and ethnographic approach, informed by actor-network theory and new materialism, to explore the highly situational nature of action and its effects. Her work has primarily addressed illicit drug use and concepts of addiction.

Ella was awarded her PhD from Monash University’s School of Psychological Sciences in 2016 for her ethnographic study of young people’s party drug use in nightlife environments, in which she developed a theoretical and methodological approach to examining drug use ‘events’ to illuminate the role of context in drug use.

Prior to joining ANU, Ella worked at Monash University’s School of Psychological Sciences, in partnership with Turning Point, on research to improve online counselling service provision to family members affected by a relative’s use of alcohol and other drugs. In a previous role at Monash University’s School of Sociology, in partnership with the National Drug Research Institute, she was involved in ARC-funded research examining people’s experiences of drug use and addiction for the development of an innovative online public resource livesofsubstance.org aimed at reducing drug-related stigma.


Dilkes-Frayne, E. (2018). Commentary on Ritter et al. (2018): Making research active in policy—Engaging in ontological politics and evidence events. Addiction, 113, 1548-1549.

Barnett, A., Dilkes-Frayne, E., Savic, M., & Carter, A. (2018). When the brain leaves the scanner and enters the clinic: The role of neuroscientific discourses in producing the problem of “addiction”. Contemporary Drug Problems (Online ahead of print).

Savic, M., Dilkes-Frayne, E., Carter, A., Kokanović, R., Manning, V., & Lubman, D. (2018). Making multiple ‘online counsellings’ through policy and practice: An evidence-making intervention approach. International Journal of Drug Policy, 53, 73-82.

Dilkes-Frayne, E., & Duff, C. (2017). Tendencies and trajectories: The production of subjectivity in an event of drug consumption. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35(5), 951-967.

Dilkes-Frayne, E., Fraser, S., Pienaar, K., & Kokanović, R. (2017). Iterating ‘addiction’: Residential relocation and the spatio-temporal production of alcohol and other drug consumption patterns. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 164-173.

Pienaar, K., & Dilkes-Frayne, E. (2017). Telling different stories, making new realities: The ontological politics of ‘addiction’ biographies. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 145-154.

Fraser, S., Pienaar, K., Dilkes-Frayne, E., Moore, D., Kokanović, R., Treloar, C., & Dunlop, A. (2017). Addiction stigma and the biopolitics of liberal modernity: A qualitative analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 192-201.

Moore, D., Pienaar, K., Dilkes-Frayne, E., & Fraser, S. (2017). Challenging the addiction/health binary with assemblage thinking: An analysis of consumer accounts. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 155-163.

Treloar, C., Pienaar, K., Dilkes-Frayne, E., & Fraser, S. (2017). Lives of Substance: A mixed-method evaluation of a public information website on addiction experiences. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy (Online ahead of print).

Pienaar, K., Dilkes-Frayne, E., Fraser, S., Kokanović, R., Moore, D., Treloar, C. & Dunlop, A. (2017). Experiences of alcohol and other drug addiction, dependence or habit in Australia: Findings and recommendations from a national qualitative study. Melbourne: National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University.

Dilkes-Frayne, E. (2016). Drugs at the campsite: Socio-spatial relations and drug use at music festivals. International Journal of Drug Policy, 33, 27-35.

Demant, J., & Dilkes-Frayne, E. (2015). Situational Crime Prevention in nightlife spaces: An ANT examination of PAD dogs and doorwork. In D. Robert & M. Dufresne (Eds.), Actor-Network Theory and crime studies: Explorations in science and technology. Farnham: Ashgate.

Dilkes-Frayne, E. (2014). Tracing the “event” of drug use: “Context” and the coproduction of a night out on MDMA. Contemporary Drug Problems, 41(3), 445-479.

Ella’s broader research interests include:

  • Sociology of drugs and addiction
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Sociology of health and medicine
  • Social and spatial context (spatial sociology and human geography)
  • Actor-Network Theory and new materialism
  • Qualitative and ethnographic methods

Updated:  25 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications