The Team

Dr Crystal Abidin (Co-Principal Investigator)
Curtin University, Australia

Crystal Abidin is a digital anthropologist and ethnographer of vernacular internet cultures. She researches young people’s relationships with internet celebrity, self-curation, and vulnerability. Her books include Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (2018), and Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to Cultures to Cultures of Internet Fame (2019), and her forthcoming books investigate Instagram cultures, Influencer cultures, and the Blogshop industry.

She is listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2018) and Pacific Standard 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016). Crystal is DECRA Fellow/Senior Research Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University, and Affiliate Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) at Jönköping University. Reach her at

Niki Cheong (Co-Principal Investigator)
The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Niki Cheong is a PhD researcher at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research interest lies in the intersection of media, politics and digital culture – currently, he is investigating online manipulation of information focussing on cybertrooping in Malaysia’s social mediasphere.

He was formerly a journalist at The Star, Malaysia’s largest English daily, and served as editor of its international award-winning (digital) media platform R.AGE. In 2017, he published his first book Growing Up in KL: 10 Years of The Bangsar Boy featuring writings from his newspaper column which ran for over 11 years. Niki has taught in the field of communication, media and culture at such institutions as The University of Nottingham, UK and Monash University Malaysia. He is currently module convenor for the Politics, Media and Culture in Southeast Asia summer school programme at The University of Nottingham Malaysia.

Dr Amelia Johns
University Technology of Sydney, Australia

Amelia Johns is a Senior Lecturer in Digital and Social Media in the School of Communication, UTS. Her work spans the fields of digital media and youth citizenship studies, with a focus on young people’s negotiation of identity, racism, civic and political engagement and activism in digitally networked publics.

Her most recent research project examined Malaysian-Chinese youth everyday digital practices, and the role they play in negotiating forms of political activism and citizenship. She is the author of Battle for the Flag‘ (2015), and co-editor of Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest, Culture‘ (with Anthony McCosker and Son Vivienne, 2016). She is currently Co-Chair of  first year unit: Citizenship and Communication at UTS. She is also lead researcher on ARC Discovery project: ‘Fostering Global Digital Citizenship: Diaspora Youth in a Connected World’.

Dr Joanne Lim
The University of Nottingham, Malaysia

Joanne Lim is Associate Professor of Communication, Media and Cultural Studies at the School of Media, Language and Cultures, University of Nottingham Malaysia. Her research focuses on areas of new/digital media and participatory culture, new communication technologies, interculturality, youth identities and civic/political engagement within the Malaysian-Southeast Asian context.

She is Associate Editor of Media Asia (Routledge) and co-edited a book on The Korean Wave in Southeast Asia: Consumption and Production‘ (2015). She authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters including Engendering civil resistance: Social media and mob tactics in Malaysia (2017), Understanding the Potential for a Hallyu “Backlash” in Southeast Asia (2017); Mobile Media and Youth Engagement in Malaysia (2014); East Asian Trends: Negotiating youth identities, culture and citizenship (2014), Rhizomatic Behaviours in Social Media: V-logging and the Independent Film Industry in Malaysia (2013); and Videoblogging and Youth Activism in Malaysia (2012).

Joanne recently completed a project on ‘Integrating New Communication Technology: A Study of Media Convergence in the Malaysian Democracy’ and is currently involved in projects on ‘Mental Health and Suicide Reporting’ and ‘Predictive Analytics using Sentiment Analysis in Social Media’ (in relation to palm-oil perception). She is a former (broadcast) journalist in Malaysia, Canada and a former co-producer of a radio talkshow in the US. 

Dr Natalie Pang
National University of Singapore

Natalie Pang received her PhD in Information Technology from Monash University, Australia, where her research on participatory technologies in communities won her two awards — the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence, and the Faculty of Information Technology Doctoral Medal.

Her teaching and research interest is focused on community informatics, with basic and applied research of new media in various community contexts to support social, cultural and civic engagement in these communities. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Archives & Manuscripts, Computers in Human Behavior, Media Culture & Society, Online Information Review and New Media & Society.


Dr Emma Baulch
Monash University Malaysia

Dr Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández
Queensland University of Technology

Dr Fiona Suwana
University of South Australia