Surveillance researcher with a focus on technology governance.


PhD candidate at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University

Ausma Bernot is a PhD Candidate at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. She has six years of work experience with forensic science and research organisations across the globe, in particular China, where she had the chance to gain insights on how technologies are governed at provincial and national levels. Being fluent in Mandarin and building on existing networks in China, Ausma has excellent capabilities to access key information on both technology and governance in the country.

Her current research focuses on the effects that the merging of infotech and biotech triggers in the fields of governance, surveillance, policing, and public safety. Ausma’s doctoral research explores the dynamic interaction between surveillance technologies and social context and questions totalisation of surveillance in China.

When she is not reading or writing about surveillance, you could find her exploring the wonders of the nature around Queensland.


Bernot, A. and Trevaskes, S. (2022). Smart Surveillance, Smarter Governance. China Story Yearbook. [Peer-reviewed chapter]

Bernot, A. and Siqueira Cassiano, M. (2022). China’s comprehensive response to the Covid-19 pandemic: A first anniversary assessment. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. [Original research paper]

Bernot, A. (2021). Transnational state-corporate symbiosis of public security: China’s exports of surveillance technologies. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. Advance online publication.  [Original research paper]

Bernot, A., Trauth-Goik A., and Trevaskes S. (2021). Handling Covid-19 with big data in China: Increasing ‘governance capacity’ or ‘function creep’? Australian Journal of International Affairs. Open Access, Online first. [Commentary paper]

Trauth-Goik, A. and Bernot, A. (2021). Decentralising data collection and centralising information in the People’s Republic of China: Decentralise Manage and Service reformsSurveillance & Society. 19(4), 518-536, 537-553URL: [Original research paper]

Siqueira Cassiano, M., Haggerty K., and Bernot A. (2021). China's response to Covid-19 pandemic: Surveillance and autonomy. Surveillance & Society. 19(1) Open Issue. URL: [Commentary paper]

Bernotaite A. (2020). Building of the world’s largest DNA database: the China case. In: Shrivastava P., Dash H.R., Lorente J.A., Imam J. (eds) Forensic DNA Typing: Principles, Applications and Advancements. Springer, Singapore. [Chapter]

Media and Speaking Engagements

New Zealand's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) [Invited online roundtable talk] (2021, Sep 8) China's information technology exports, police information management infrastructure, and modular application of technology to Covid-19 monitoring.

The Conversation [Article] (2022, Jul 21) Even if TikTok and other apps are collecting your data, what are the actual consequences? Read the article here

Australian Centre On China In The World, ANU [Speaking] (2022, May 10) Part of the panel at the release of China Story Yearbook 2021, "Contradictions"

Australian Centre On China In The World, ANU [Speaking] (2022, May 5) Presented my research on Social Sorting of LGBTQ+ Activists and Organisers in China

The Interpreter [Blog post] (2022, Mar 16) Social media in times of war. Read the article here

CDAO-Brisbane [Speaking] (2022, Mar 8) Shared my research findings at the conference on the topic 'Big Data Monitoring and Use in China'

The Wire [Media interview] (2021, Nov 23) Commentary on policing feminist activism in China, "What has happened to Peng Shuai?" Listen to the interview here

The Conversation [Article] (2021, Oct 26) China is accused of exporting authoritarian technology. But the west has done so, too, more covertly. Read the article here

The Interpreter [Blog post] (2021, Sep 22) Digital authoritarianism not just a China problem. Read the article here

The Conversation [Article] (2021, Aug 31) 'China's surveillance creep': how big data COVID monitoring could be used to control people post-pandemic. Read the article here

The Interpreter [Blog post] (2021, Jul 9) China’s forced invisibility of LGBTQ communities on social media. ``

Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University, Australia [Research Talk] (2021, Apr 15) China’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response: A First Anniversary Assessment

Concordia University of Edmonton, Canada [Research Talk] Bernot, A. and Siqueira Cassiano, M. (2021, Mar 19) Controlling COVID-19 in China: Crisis management one year “in”

Shared my views with Moa Kärnstrand about China's DNA databases. Göteborgs-Posten's article can be accessed : Read the archived article here


My teaching philosophy

“Art of teaching is art of assisting discovery”- Mark Van Doren 

My beliefs and intentions in teaching are based on two core elements: learner autonomy and the role of the educator as a content and learning facilitator. My learning practice is therefore based on techniques of scaffolding knowledge and skills, while encouraging learners to be self-directed. To achieve that, I build on Ella Kahu’s student-centred theory of holistic engagement and use active and formative learning tools, such as Griffith’s Active Learning Design Tool and classroom assessment techniques for formative learning. Through creating an engaged teaching presence and growing a Community of Inquiry, I aim to create an environment where learners can independently identify multiple sources of support.

When teaching more experienced and autonomous learners, I apply the principles of Learner-Led Education. Learner-Led Education incorporates learning approaches that are constructivist, transformative, and problem-based. These techniques help in growing self-regulated learners who are familiar with the process of learning, key components of academic success, and the resources and support available to them.


This mix of pedagogical approaches moves me as the educator into the background role of a facilitator and creates a student-centred teaching and learning environment. By gauging learner-generated activities and inputs, I create an environment where learners play an active role in critical review, analysis, and appraisal of study materials.


In recognition to my teaching experience and skills, Advance HE has inducted me as Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Teaching Portfolio

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice


  • Social Science Research Methods

  • Understanding Social Problems 

  • Criminology Skills (Open Universities Australia )               

  • Homicide

Course coordinator

  • Social Science Research Methods (Open Universities Australia)

School of Social Science


  • Introduction to Criminology

School of Humanities and Social Sciences   

Casual lecturer                                 

  • Crime, Surveillance and Society

Selected Grants and Awards

  • 2022 Griffith Asia Institute research grant for "Institutional dimensions in Indonesia's open data implementation"

  • 2022 Australian Centre on China in the World, Library Fellowship, Australian National University

  • 2019 Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship & Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship

  • 2013 Ningbo Government International Student Scholarship for Academic Excellence for exemplary academic performance

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