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Ms Tessa Moll



Honorary Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Off-Campus (Home)


Tessa Moll is a medical anthropologist, with a focus on feminist and postcolonial science and technology studies. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ARC-funded project Impressionable Bodies: Epigenetic Models of Plasticity in the Global South. She has two intersecting areas of interest. In her doctoral research, Tessa explored potentiality in biomedicine, in particular assisted reproductive technologies in South Africa. Her current project explores the circulation of epigenetic sciences and emerging conceptions of the permeable body in post-apartheid South Africa.

You can find Tessa's publications on her page.

Read more on Tessa's profile

Knowledge areas

Social studies of science

Biopolitics and reproduction

Anthropology of race and science

Assisted reproductive technologies

Medical anthropology

Feminist theory

South African studies


Invited talks

2019: “IVF success rates in regimes of truth and hope.” University of Cape Town Department of Anthropology Seminar. 12 August.

2018: “Papers, Pictures, Persons: Racialisation in the matching of gamete donors in South Africa.” University of Cape Town Department of Anthropology Seminar. 27 March.

2015:  “Conceiving the Future: Anthropological Perspectives on IVF.” Special Interest Group – Embryology in Cape Town. 10 November

Papers presented at professional meetings

2020 “Scaling effects and harm of DDT toxicity in Limpopo, South Africa.” Ambrams, A. and Moll, T. Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present, and Future, Royal Anthropological Institute. London, 4-7 June. *

2020 “Absorptive embryos: thinking through toxicity in South Africa’s fertility clinics.” Chronic Living: Quality, Value and Health in the 21st Century, University of Copenhagen. 23-25 April. *

2018 “Goodness in the Genes: Respectability, Egg Donation and the Maintenance of South African Whiteness.” Remaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies at ReproSoc, University of Cambridge. 27-29 June.

2018  “Gendered Bio-Responsibilization: Traveling Egg Providers in South Africa.” Pande, A. and Moll, T. Dreaming Feminist Futures at African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town. 21-23 March.

2017 “Gendered Bio-Responsibilization: Traveling Egg Providers in South Africa.” Pande, A. and Moll, T. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C., 29 November – 3 December.

“Making race in South Africa: Curature and the production of similarities in donor matching.” American Ethnological Society (AES) Spring Conference. Stanford University, 31 March – 4 April.

2016:   “Mixing and Matching: Race and Inheritance in Assisted Reproduction in South Africa.” Contemporary Ethnography Across Disciplines (CEAD) Conference. University of Cape Town, 15-18 November

2015:   “Statistics, Time and Success in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.” Anthropology Southern Africa Annual Conference. University of the North-West, Potchefstroom, South Africa. 30 August – 2 September.

*Abstract accepted, but conferences canceled due to coronavirus pandemic


Impressionable Bodies: Epigenetic models of plasticity in the Global South

This project aims to investigate how epigenetics, the science of how environmental factors switch genes on or off, is reshaping notions of the body, heredity and biological plasticity in the global South., Using case studies in Australia, India and South Africa this project comparatively analyses how epigenetics is mobilised in public debates on responsibility, risk and the amelioration of disadvantage. This project expects to ensure the policy translation of epigenetics maximises social benefits and reduces risks of social harm, particularly to vulnerable minority groups.


Filter by


Epigenetics and the anthropology of reproduction

F Ross, M Pentecost, T Moll

(2023), pp. 458-472, A Companion to the Anthropology of Reproductive Medicine and Technology, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

Foetal programming meets human capital: biological plasticity, development, and the limits to the economization of life

T Moll, M Meloni, A Issaka

(2023), pp. 1-28, BioSocieties, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Subjects of scarcity: Making white egg providers in the repro-hub of South Africa

T Moll

(2022), pp. 314-340, Birth Controlled: Selective Reproduction and Neoliberal Eugenics in South Africa and India, B1

book chapter

A biosocial return to race? A cautionary view for the postgenomic era

M Meloni, T Moll, A Issaka, C Kuzawa

(2022), pp. 1-24, American Journal of Human Biology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Six Days in Plastic: Potentiality, Normalization, and In Vitro Embryos in the Postgenomic Age

T Moll

(2022), pp. 1-24, Science Technology and Human Values, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Reproductive travel to, from and within sub-Saharan Africa: A scoping review

Tessa Moll, Trudie Gerrits, Karin Hammarberg, Lenore Manderson, Andrea Whittaker

(2022), Vol. 14, pp. 271-288, Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Reproduction, sacrificial life, and the logics of attrition in the afterlife of apartheid

Tessa Moll

(2021), pp. 90-102, Birthing Techno-Sapiens: Human-Technology Co-Evolution and the Future of Reproduction, Abingdon, Oxon, B1

book chapter

Medical mistrust and enduring racism in South Africa

Tessa Moll

(2021), Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Dordrecht, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Assisted Reproduction: Politics, Ethics and Anthropological Futures

F Ross, T Moll

(2020), Vol. 39, pp. 553-562, Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Making a Match: Curating Race in South African Gamete Donation

Tessa Moll

(2019), Vol. 38, pp. 588-602, MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Gendered bio-responsibilities and travelling egg providers from South Africa

Amrita Pande, Tessa Moll

(2018), Vol. 6, pp. 23-33, Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report