This page contains interviews with sensory experts on touch during the COVID19 pandemic. It also includes an evolving bibliography of news media and academic articles on the same topic.

Have an academic article or news piece you think we should include? Let us know at

If you want to submit your own sensory experiences to the Pandemic Sensory Archive then you can do so here.

Expert interviews – Click below to listen to our chats with various sensory experts.

Chelsea Bagan is the founder of Trophy Wife Nail Art, a salon based in Melbourne, Australia. A business that was born in 2010 initially as a side-hustle, that turned into something really special. A nail art and beauty space that became the anti-salon salon. Relaxed and inclusive, a creative space that celebrates beauty and design. Why the name ‘Trophy Wife’? In this instance it is a tongue-in-cheek take on an out-dated social term we are politely taking aim at.

Kory Floyd

Professor of Communication and Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona | 23/6/21

Professor Kory Floyd’s research focuses on the communication of affection in close relationships and its effects on stress and physiological functioning. He has written 16 books and over 100 scientific papers and book chapters on the topics of affection, emotion, family communication, nonverbal behavior, and health. His work has been recognized with the Charles H. Woolbert award, the Bernard J. Brommel award, and the Mark L. Knapp award from the National Communication Association, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Western States Communication Association, and the Early Career Achievement award from the International Association for Relationship Research. One of his most recent books, The Loneliness Cure, examines the problem of affection deprivation and identifies strategies for increasing affection and intimacy in close relationships.

Merinda is an artist using performance, movement, installation and conversation to ask how we might reorient ourselves towards deeper care and intimacy. Her work is inspired by the environment, human and more-than-human social and ecological structures and the possibilities available to us in future imaginings. Her practice aims to find clarity and connection in the external world through deep listening, observation, and research into the emotional and physical states in our internal worlds.

She grew up in Bundjalung Country, Northern NSW, and is currently living and creating in Yugambeh Country, South East QLD. Merinda’s solo and collaborative work has most recently been commissioned by; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane & Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (Imprints, 2020/2021), Outerspace (Umwelt Collective:, 2020), The Walls (Take your pleasure seriously, 2020, MIAMI/MIAMI international residency), Placemakers* GC (Fully Automated Human Touch, 2020) and Gold Coast City Council (Conversations with the Forest, ongoing). You can read more about Merinda’s work, and the artworks mentioned in the interview at: You can also listen to the instructions for the “Imprints” artwork here:

Mahalia Rose

Hairdresser at Hair by Mahalia Rose | 10/6/21

Mahalia has been hairdressing since 2008, in that time working in 13 salons across Queensland and Victoria. Mahalia now works independetly, and aims to create a safe space for everyone, in particular for LGBTIQ+ and sex worker communities. When Mahalia started working independently in 2018, the goal was to remove gender pricing and focus on creating a fun and safe environment for everyone to enjoy. Find out more about Mahalia’s salon here.

Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster

Postdoctoral Researcher in the Social Studies of Medicine Department at McGill University | 21/06/21

Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster is a writer and historian of healthcare, medicine, work, and the emotions. Her research spans Europe and North America from the eighteenth century to the present day, but her main area of expertise is modern and contemporary British healthcare. Agnes has written, researched, and presented for a range of audiences on everything from cancer in Victorian England, to the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic, to the wellbeing of surgeons in twenty-first-century America.

You can find out more about Agnes’ academic, policy, and media work here.

Key articles – Collating expertise and key links on touch during the pandemic.



Academic publications: