1992 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


I am an anthropologist by training. I have held academic positions in Australia and overseas, and have worked in the Australian Public service in various analytic, managerial and policy roles. I joined the Department of Security Studies and Criminology in 2018 as a lecturer in Intelligence Studies and Cyber Security. I currently also serve as the Department's director of postgraduate research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD).

Research interests

My current research and practice focuses on decision advantage, information superiority and cognitive warfare.  I'm otherwise interested in intelligence policy, intelligence management and architecture (although at times choreography or plumbing seem more appropriate metaphors), active cyber defence, counterintelligence, and complex intelligence analysis. 

I currently work on three ongoing projects: One focuses on cyber deception and its integration into active cyber counterintelligence. Another explores the cognitive ecology of strategic surprise using case studies from the Middle East. The last one traces the evolution of cognitive warfare and its effect on decision advantage and information superiority in light of specific instances of covert action and information operations including the Russian involvement in the 2016 US election campaign and its aftermath.

My current research builds on my earlier research experience, which includes the investigation of such diverse themes as kinship and family in Australia and the securitisation of Arabic instruction in Israel. The common these that runs throughout my work is my general interest in cognition and the way it is embedded in the lived world and how it is distributed across physical and social environments. 



I currently teach in the Master of Intelligence Studies and Master of Cyber Security Analysis streams, where my courses have focused on cyber intelligence; intelligence theory and practice; counterintelligence; denial, deception and strategic surprise; The Australian Intelligence community; and OSINT. 

In the earlier years of my academic career I taught courses on diverse themes including culture and cognition; qualitative and quantitative research methods; and anthropology of the Middle East.

Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, Australian National University

Anthropology, MA, Australian National University

Education (Secondary), Graduate Diploma, University of Canberra

History of the Middle East in the Modern Period (SM), BA (Magna cum Laude), Tel Aviv University

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Research Outputs

The US 2016 presidential election & Russia's troll farms

McCombie, S., Uhlmann, A. J. & Morrison, S., 2020, In : Intelligence and National Security. 35, 1, p. 95-114 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • A target-centric intelligence approach to WannaCry 2.0

    Turner, A. B., McCombie, S. & Uhlmann, A. J., 7 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Money Laundering Control. 22, 4, p. 646-665 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Arabic instruction in Israel: lessons in conflict, cognition and failure

    Uhlmann, A. J., 2017, Leiden ; Boston: Brill. 171 p. (Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia; vol. 117)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    The failures of translation across incommensurable knowledge systems: a case study of Arabic grammar instruction

    Uhlmann, A. J., 2015, Strings of connectedness: essays in honour of Ian Keen. Toner, P. G. (ed.). ANU Press, p. 143-159 17 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access


  • Activities

    • 1 Invited talk

    Panel: The World of Espionage

    Allon Uhlmann (Speaker)
    15 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk