Research activity per year

Personal profile




Catherine Mills is a Maureen Brunt Professorial Fellow in the Monash Bioethics Centre, Leader of the Reproduction in Society research group and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her team has capacity to undertake qualitative and quantitative research on, as well as ethical and regulatory analysis of, assisted reproductive technologies, genomics in reproduction and reproduction and social justice. The team has particular interest in stakeholder and community engagement in reproductive innovation. Her own research addresses ethical, social and regulatory issues that emerge around biomedical and technology innovation in human reproduction, particularly from the point of view of gender and social inequality.  She also has expertise in feminist philosophy and aspects of Continental philosophy, particularly the work of Michel Foucault, and debates on biopolitics.

She is the author of three single author books, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her books are: The Philosophy of Agamben (2008), Futures of Reproduction: Bioethics and Biopolitics (2011) and Biopolitics (2018). She is also co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics (2022).

Her current research projects include leading the patient and community engagement stream of the MitoHOPE Program, an ARC Linkage project on ethical, social and regulatory issues related to expanded non-invasive prenatal testing (with Illumina and Victorian Clinical Genetic Services) and an ARC Discovery project on the knowledge and translation of epigenetics within perinatal care. She led the first MRFF-funded project in the humanities in Australia, on ethical, regulatory and social issues raised by genomics in preventing mitochondrial disease.

Previous funded projects include an ARC Future Fellowship (2013 to 2018), on ideas of responsibility in relation to human reproduction. An ARC Discovery Project (2017-2019) supported research on the ethical and legal issues raised by technologies that permit inheritable modifications to the human genome, such as mitochondrial replacement techniques and CRISPR-Cas9. An earlier ARC Discovery Project supported research on obstetric ultrasound and selective termination of pregnancy.

She has received competitive grant funding from major national and international funding agencies, including ARC, NHMRC, MRFF and Wellcome Trust. Industry funders include Illumina, Monash IVF and Ferring Pharmaceutical. She is a member of the Bioethics Advisory Committee of Vitrolife.

In service and leadership, she is a current member of the ARC College of Experts. She has previously been Head of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (2023-2024) and Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre (2020-2022). She has also been a member of the Human Genome Society Committee on Ethics Law and Society, and the Ethics of Gene-Modifying Technologies Working Group, for SHAPES, National University of Singapore, and co-coordinator of the Feminist Approaches to Bioethics Network.


HDR Supervision


She is available to supervise research students in the Philosophy (including Bioethics) HDR program. She has particular interest in supervising projects in the following areas (or combination thereof):

- innovation in human reproduction, including issues around medically assisted procreation, inheritable genome modification, selective reproduction and disability

- reproductive ethics, including ethics of pregnancy and parenting, obstetrics and perinatality

- biopolitics, including biocapital and power, especally the work of Foucault

- feminist theory, including theories of gender and intersectionality, maternity and subjectivity 



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Reproductive technologies
  • Bioethics
  • Ethics
  • Biopolitics
  • Foucault
  • Feminist theory

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or