Joshua Silberstein Bamford

BSc/BMus(Hons), FM, DPhil(Oxon)


Dr Joshua S. Bamford grew up in Perth, surrounded by a variety of birds, fish, reptiles, two dogs and his biologist parents. He graduated with First-class Honours in Musicology and Psychology from the University of Western Australia, and then completed a Masters in Music, Mind and Technology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. This was followed by an internship at the Cognitive Biology department in the University of Vienna, Austria. He currently resides in Oxford where he is working towards a DPhil at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. Both his travels and research have fundamentally been motivated by a desire to understand how music and dance have evolved as human behaviours. While studying, he has also held numerous odd jobs as an opera singer, circus skills instructor, arts manager, tutor, research assistant, and science communicator. He is currently the editor of the Australian Music & Psychology Society Newsletter and sits on the council for the International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology. If he had spare time, he would be out swing dancing.


DPhil - Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology

Erasmus exchange - Behaviour, Neurobiology and Cognition

MA - Music Mind and Technology, Cognitive Neuroscience

BSc/BMus (Hons) - Musicology, Psychology, Classical Voice

Current Research

Music and dance have a unique ability to bring people closer together, but we don't really understand why.  This research project, based at the University of Oxford, will aim to discover how music and dance create a social bonding effect, from both an evolutionary and cognitive perspective.  Increased academic understanding of music and dance is desperately needed to develop evidence based community building projects, to bridge widening divides in our societies.  

See Joshua's profile as a UWA Inclusion Leader.