Associate Professor Drew Evans is a passionate advocate for high-tech manufacturing in Australia. After completing his PhD at the Australian National University, he worked for a private R&D company on new digital print technology before returning to academia. His team at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute researches thin film materials science and translates it into commercial reality with industry partners—such as the world’s first plastic automotive mirror, of which more than three million have been exported to the US. Associate Professor Evans holds a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council to research plastic that conducts electricity. In parallel with this are commercial projects to integrate these polymers into new agriculture and biomedical devices. He has published many scientific papers, holds several patents, and is partnered with industry exploring scale-up manufacturing in commercial products. He is a member of the SA Science Council, and was awarded the SA Tall Poppy of the Year award in 2013 and the BioSA Young Achiever Award in 2016.
Hamish is currently a Research Fellow in a joint position with the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong and the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. He is presently investigating how effective prescribed burning is at reducing bushfire risk to a range of human and natural values across southern Australia.
Prior to entering academia Hamish worked at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for 9 years, conducting and coordinating research and working with decision makers on regional climate change impacts. In 2015 Hamish completed a PhD at UNSW on the impacts of climate change on bushfire risk. Hamish's previous qualifications include German, Spanish, marketing, accounting, biochemistry and neuroscience. His motto is 'If in doubt, change careers'.
Hamish is convinced that good things come from bringing science and society closer together. He runs Science at the Local, a regular pub science event in the Blue Mountains, that also includes a podcast. Hamish is a proud father of three and husband of one.
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Róisín is a postdoctoral researcher at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University. Prior to this appointment, she was at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. Róisín read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge before training at the University of Oxford in protein crystallography receiving a DPhil in 2010 for structural investigations of how immune proteins malfunction in autoimmune disease. Her research interests are in structural biology, particularly protein crystallography as applied to drug discovery. She investigates and targets the virulence proteins that bacteria use to cause disease as part of a larger goal to develop new antimicrobials drugs for life-threatening infections. Her primary research interest is the search for new treatments for melioidosis, a tropical bacterial disease in northern Australia and south east Asia caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. She also has a keen interest in One Health approaches to tacking antimicrobial resistance. Róisín’s particular areas of policy interest are gender equity, and skill development and career structure support for junior researchers.
Emma is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Newcastle, working in the field of molecular nutrition, studying gene-nutrient-environment interactions. She a multi-faceted research background, with qualifications and experience in food science, nutrition, epidemiology, science management, biomedical sciences, immunology and microbiology.
Emma completed her PhD, in 2016, as a joint project between the University of Newcastle and the CSIRO. She attended the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting in Germany in 2015, and the 8th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates in Japan in 2016. In 2014 Emma was a Visiting Fellow at the USA National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences (NIEHS).
Emma is also a passionate science communicator. She has written for newspapers and magazines, and appears regularly on local and national radio. Emma’s science communication work focuses on nutrition myth busting and empowering the public to interpret nutrition research. In 2017 she was named as a NSW Young Tall Poppy, in recognition of both her research and communication work.
Michael is a NHMRC Doherty Biomedical Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and School of Psychology. He uses cellular and preclinical techniques to discover and develop novel pharmacotherapies for brain disorders that currently lack effective treatments. Some of his most important work to date is the discovery and development of novel pharmacological treatments targeting the brain oxytocin system that have the potential to treat a range of disorders, from addiction to autism. More recently, he has joined the leadership team of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.
Some of his recent career highlights include winning the 2016 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher, the inaugural NSW Premier’s Prize for Early Career Researcher of the Year (2015), and the 2016 International Behavioural Neuroscience Society Early Career Award. In 2016 Michael was inducted into the World Economic Forum’s Young Scientists Community of 50 of the top scientists under the age of 40 from around the world.
Adrian is an OCE Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CSIRO Manufacturing in Sydney. His research focuses on the synthesis of novel nanomaterials, such as graphene, and atomic-scale electron microscopy of these structures. Applications for these nanomaterials range from future energy storage devices to water membranes.
Adrian studied as a John Curtin Undergraduate Scholar at Curtin University and received a BSc in Nanotechnology with First Class Honours, before completing a DPhil in Materials at the University of Oxford through a Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship and a Clarendon Research Grant. In 2013 he completed an internship at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in South Korea.
Adrian has broad interests around Australian scientific innovation and impact, science policy, and STEM education, with over 10 years’ experience in teaching and science communication. Amongst other positions he was an associate lecturer in physics; the director of the Curtin University Siemens Science Experience; a school liaison officer and tutor of materials science for St Anne's college at the University of Oxford; and a guest science presenter for BBC radio Oxford.
Gina is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and the University of Western Australia. Her research interests including identifying the underlying genetic causes and disease mechanisms in patients with rare diseases, in particular severe neuromuscular diseases. She finds her research particularly rewarding as the findings are of immediate clinical utility as an accurate genetic diagnosis enables families to access options to avoid having further affected children. She also enjoys working closely with clinical and diagnostic colleagues around the country and internationally. Her research has attracted a number of awards including the World Muscle Society “Young Myologist of the Year” (2016), a WA Young Tall Poppy Award (2016) and the Vice Chancellor’s Research Award for Early Career Researchers (2014). As a mother to two young children she is passionate about issues surrounding retention of women in the workplace and greater flexibility, in particular greater flexibility for people of all genders. She is also passionate about mentoring and career stability for fellows, as such she is a member of the Harry Perkins Institute’s Student and EMCR Committees, a committee member of the UWA Researchers’ Association and the WA representative to the National Association of Research Fellows.
Carly is a Research Scientist at CSIRO Food and Nutrition in Adelaide. She is a geneticist who uses molecular biology and bioinformatics to “study the unseen majority” commonly known as microbes. Her current research is focused on characterising the role of microbes in promoting human gut health. Another area of interest is the study of methane-producing microbes, which allowed her to spend time in the United States as a Fulbright Professional Scholar in Climate Change and Clean Energy in 2015. Carly is a passionate advocate for gender diversity in science and is seeking to encourage more female EMCRs to acts as mentors, with the aim of enabling younger women coming through the system to reach their full potential.
Justine is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland. Her research focus is on the conservation of threatened species, island ecosystems and terrestrial Antarctica. Her current research investigates interactions between indigenous and non-native species, the risks posed by non-native species to Antarctic ecosystems.
Justine obtained her PhD on sub-Antarctic plant ecology from the University of Tasmania (2005). She undertook a postdoctoral fellowship (2007-2010) at the NRF-DST Centre for Excellence for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University (South Africa) researching invasion dynamics of sub-Antarctic islands. She has worked for state and federal government as conservation biologist. In 2012 she commenced a postdoctoral fellowship with the ARC Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions, UQ. Currently she leads a research project with the National Environmental Science Programme, Threatened Species Recovery Hub (UQ) on island conservation. She has been undertaking field work in the sub-Antarctic for 20 years. She is a mother of one and passionate about gender equity is science. Justine is a co-founder of Women in Polar Science and Homeward Bound - a global women scientists leadership program.
Vanessa is a soil scientist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University. She completed her PhD at the Australian National University and then worked as a research scientist at Geoscience Australia and Southern Cross University. Her research broadly focuses on soil chemistry, and looks at the interactions between soils, sediments and water. She works in both agricultural environments, assessing the effects of land degradation, and potential remediation options, and natural environments, seeking to understand biogeochemical cycling in wetland soils.
She is keen to communicate the importance of soils to society, and regularly organises outreach events and gives talks to the general public on this topic. She is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) and has been involved in the executive committees in Soil Science Australia and the Australian Regolith Geoscientists Association.
Irene is a Senior Research Fellow at the Physics Department in Curtin University. Originally from Spain, Irene completed her PhD from University of Sussex (UK) in 2007. After a post-doc at the Institute of Materials of Nantes (France), she moved to Curtin University for her second post-doc in 2009. The year after, she obtained an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2014). Her first daughter and her current ARC Future Fellowship award arrived almost at the same time in 2014. Her research career has been mainly dedicated to the atomistic modelling of carbon materials. In collaboration with experimental chemists, physicists and engineers, she has investigated graphite, diamond, amorphous carbons and a range of carbon nanomaterials. She has won multiple prizes for her scientific outreach projects and particularly enjoys creating scientific artistic images.
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