Dr Carol Oliver is Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales. She established the Mars Lab in the public space of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (the Powerhouse) in Sydney in partnership with other institutions. The Mars Lab is now a self-sustaining international education and space engineering research facility.
Carol also pioneered the first astrobiology-related three-dimensional immersive Virtual Field Trip, which she made in partnership with NASA Learning Technologies. She later worked with the NASA Astrobiology teams at Arizona State University and MIT to convert the VFT concept to new web technologies. In addition she led an international team to create the Smart Science Initiative, which introduced adaptive e-learning into high schools.
She is currently teaching astrobiology online at UNSW and researching the changing nature of online learning and the public communication of science.