Tim is an environmental scientist and adventurer committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss. A 2009 Yale World Fellow and Member of the Order of Australia he uses his public speaking engagements, award winning films and books about his expeditions to progress thinking in these areas. Tim not only recreated Sir Douglas Mawson’s famous survival journey of 1912 in 2008 using period clothing, equipment and starvation rations, but in 2013 complete with a replica of the James Caird, he honoured the memory of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s journey of 1914-17 in a similar fashion. He is sustainability adviser on multilateral aid projects for the World Bank and AusAID, Senior Associate Sustainability for Australasia at Arup, and Director of an outcome-focused environmental initiative Do-Tank. He believes that solutions to many of our most pressing issues already exist and that although thinking is good, doing is better.
@TimJarvisAM on Twitter
Dr Rob Brander is a coastal geomorphologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, NSW, Australia. He has been studying beaches and surf science since 1986. Rob is passionate about surf safety, coastal education and bodysurfing.
Rob started giving community Science of the Surf talks in 2001 and developed his school SOS program in 2006 – a program that won a NSW Department of Education and Training Frater Award for Excellence in School Performance in 2007. Somewhere along the line, he gained the moniker “Dr Rip” from the local Sydney lifeguards and lifesavers for his habit of dumping purple dye into rip currents.
In 2012 Rob was awarded a Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.
@Dr_Rip_SOS on Twitter
Dr Rob Brooks is a professor of evolutionary biology and the director of the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at UNSW. With his research group (the SEX LAB) he explores the evolutionary and ecological consequences of sexual reproduction.
Rob writes for various websites and magazines, including a regular column called Natural History of the Present on The Conversation. His first book – Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has Shaped the Modern World – won the 2012 Queensland Literary Prize for Science Writing.
Rob also generously donates his spare time to edu-taining the public at the pub through regular stand-up gigs at Nerd Nite events in Sydney.
@Brooks_Rob on Twitter
Dr Chris Tisdell is a mathematician at UNSW. Chris is interested in freely available learning materials, known as Open Educational Resources (OER). He has experimented with producing and sharing educational videos online through YouTube, and recognition of the success of this initiative has resulted in YouTube making Chris a ‘YouTube Partner in Education’. Chris was an early Australian contributor to the online educational hub “YouTube EDU” and His free, open-education youtube channel “understand mathematics” now has over 10,000 subscribers and his videos have received over 2 million views. Chris also creates free interactive educational e-books. His first e-book “Engineering Mathematics: YouTube Workbook” is the most popular download on the world’s largest e-book publisher, bookboon.com
Before becoming a professional mathematician, Chris was a DJ for over 10 years. He also ran a small record store. Some students believe this entertainment background helps Chris mathematical lectures to be more engaging than most.
Dr Emma Johnston is an ecologist and eco-toxicologist who studies the impact of human activities and the effects of pollutants on marine life. In particular, Emma investigates the effects of contaminants and introduced species on the structure and diversity of indigenous marine species in places as diverse as the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica.
Emma is the director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences, recently launching a new harbour cruise called Underwater Secrets – Sydney Harbour Revealed, which focuses on scientific research into the iconic waterway. Emma was a category winner in the NSW Science and Engineering Awards, and is soon-to-be host of Foxtel’s Coast Australia alongside Tim Flannery.
@DrEmmaLJohnston on Twitter
Dr Craig Cormick
Dr Craig Cormick is a communications project manager within CSIRO. He formerly worked at the Department of Innovation, and is widely published on drivers of public attitudes towards new technologies, and is a regular commentator, both in Australia and overseas, on causes of public concern towards applications of nanotechnologies and biotechnologies. He has authored the reports Cloning Goes to the Movies (2006) and What you really need to know about what the public really thinks about GM foods (2005), and has published several books and has won the ACT Chief Minister’s Book of the Year Award (1999) and a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (2006)
Jenni Metcalfe is Director of Econnect Communication, which is Australia’s earliest science communication consultancy, operating since 1995. Econnect conducts all phases of science communication, from research to practice and then evaluation of that practice. Jenni lectures in science and medical journalism at the University of Queensland and has qualifications in science, journalism, education and communication. She has worked as a science communicator for 23 years and is a foundation member of Australian Science Communicators and was President from 2005-2007. Jenni has been a member of the Public Communication of Science and Technology Network scientific committee since 1996. She is particularly interested in the interface between the theory and practice of science communication and is currently studying this topic as part of her PhD with the University of Queensland.
@JenniMet on Twitter
Dr Susannah Eliott
Susannah has a PhD in cell and developmental biology from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and nearly 20 years of practical experience in science communication with the science-media nexus as her primary focus. She is currently CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre, an independent not for profit organisation that works with the news media to inject more evidence-based science into public discourse. Prior to this she spent more than five years in Stockholm, Sweden, as director of communications for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), an international network of scientists studying global environmental change.
In the 1990s Susannah managed the Centre for Science Communication at UTS, where she helped establish the successful Horizons of Science series of media roundtables and was involved in numerous other initiatives such as Science in the Pub and Science in the Bush. She worked with the federal government on the State of the Environment Report (1994), the CRC for Cardiac Technology as leader of their Education and Communications program (1993-95) and developed a specialist course for science reporters in the UTS Journalism School (1997).
She was appointed to the national Climate Commission in February 2011 (to May 2012) and chaired the Expert Working Group on Science and the Media for the Federal Government as part of the “Inspiring Australia” initiative (2010-2011). She sits on several boards and panels including the Advisory Board of the Ethics Centre of South Australia (2007-12), the Advisory Committee for the ANU Climate Change Institute and the judging panels for the Banksia Environmental Awards, the CRC Early Career Awards and the SA Tall Poppy Awards (2008-9).
Dr Derek Muller
Derek Muller is the Creative Director at Veritasium – a science video blog which aims to present topics in all areas of science from the simplest to the most complex. The goal is to make scientific ideas clear, accessible, and interesting. Veritasium features 90 films with experiments and interviews with Australians about issues such as global warming, seasons and the scale of the universe. This work is informed by his PhD in Physics Education Research from the University of Sydney, over six years of teaching experience, and over a decade of video production.
@veritasium on Twitter
Deborah Smith recently joined the University of New South Wales as media and communications officer in the Faculty of Science, after a distinguished career in science journalism. She was Science Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald from 2002 to 2012, and has written on science for a range of Fairfax publications, as well as holding positions as foreign correspondent in Europe, senior feature writer, and page editor.
Deborah was a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Science Journalism in 2002 and 2004 and won the award in 2005 for her overall science coverage, including reports on Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny extinct humans whose remains were unearthed in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. She has an honours degree in physical chemistry and worked as a forensic scientist before becoming a journalist.
@DebSmithSCI on Twitter
Dr Will J Grant
Will Grant is a talker, writer, thinker and reader based at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU. His talking / writing / thinking / reading has focused mostly on the intersection of science, politics and society, and how this is all this is changing in response to new technologies.
@willozap on Twitter
Dr John La Salle
Dr John La Salle, Director of the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), has been involved with the ALA since its inception and played a key role in its establishment in 2006. John is an internationally recognised insect taxonomist who is a leading figure in adopting emerging technologies to accelerate the processes of taxonomy, species discovery and description, and delivery of information from natural history collections. As Director of the Atlas of Living Australia he is helping to unlock the information stored in Australian biological collections and related biodiversity databases, and make this information accessible and useable online.
@atlaslivingaust on Twitter
Peta Ashworth leads CSIRO’s Science into Society Group (SISG), researching stakeholder perceptions to areas of national significance to Australia. Peta holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position at the University of Queensland. With over 30 social science researchers, the current profile of research for her group includes working across energy, climate adaptation, oceans, minerals, sustainable agriculture and human service domains. In each project researchers develop social processes to engage with a range of relevant stakeholders on the topic of research. Peta Chairs the International Energy Agency’s Greenhouse Gas (IEA GHG) Social Research Network and has gained an international reputation in researching stakeholder perceptions to climate change and low emission energy technologies. As part of her work Peta co-authored The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook – How to save energy, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Kristin uses foresight and strategy frameworks to help organisations and individuals discover new insights. She established Bridge8 in 2004 following careers in engineering, human resources and product development across sectors including mining, R&D, aviation, agriculture and nanotechnology.
@kristinalford on Twitter
Kylie Walker is a communications professional with more than 18 years experience in strategy, media and advocacy. As a journalist she covered everything from the crayfish industry to Keanu Reeves, from Alan Bond’s court trevails to the discovery of a new hominid species. Her roles have included corresponding stints in politics, economics, rural affairs, industrial relations, science, and medicine. After leaving the federal Press Gallery in 2005, Kylie turned to communications, public affairs and advocacy with prominent national science and medical NGOs. Now Director Communications and Outreach at the Australian Academy of Science, she oversees external and internal communication strategy, media, events, publications and philanthropy. She is also Chair of the National Science Week ACT Coordinating Committee, but mostly because this gives her access to lots of great science shows.
@Science_Academy on Twitter
James is a writer, illustrator & animator who creates clear explanations of complex information. He has been involved with factual television and online media for over 14 years having started as a researcher with Beyond 2000 in 1997.
@jameshutson on Twitter
Dee is a science communicator, teaching resource developer and events coordinator. She completed her PhD in Computational Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. She has experience in delivering the Ri STEM Directories, the Gatsby Science Enhancement program and was Education Manager of the Faraday program with IET before moving to Australia in January 2013.
Sarah Terkes manages all the Digital Communications for the Faculty of Science at UNSW. Sarah’s educational background is in information technology and web development, but she has worked in Research Communications since 2007. Her long-term role as Research & Communications Manager at the UNSW Institute of Environmental Studies involved leading a variety of research projects as well as communicating science to the public via video, theatre, gamification, the web and social media.
Prof. Léonie Rennie
Léonie Rennie is Emeritus Professor of Science and Technology in the Science and Mathematics Centre at Curtin University. Her interests focus on learning science and technology in integrated and out-of-school contexts, finding ways of helping people use and understand science, and the promotion of scientific literacy more generally. She is an established author of many articles and books on these topics, including Knowledge that Counts in a Global Community and Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, both published in 2012.
Carol Saab is the Communication Manager for social & video at CSIRO. She’s been with the organisation since 2009 and was proud to be at the birth of the @CSIROnews twitter account and the rollout of CSIRO blogs. This year, she’s officially focussing her efforts on social and video output, including a brand-spanking new platform for video content . She has a varied background in television and digital media, including working on the launch of ABC2 back when digital was a dirty word. She’s interested in communication that is transparent, engaging and inspiring and has a particular soft spot for beautiful design.
Rob has been in Science Communications since 2005, building and promoting education programs for the Australian Science Festival. As Program Manager of the National Enabling Technologies Strategy’s Public Awareness and Community Engagement (NETS-PACE) Program at the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research, and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) he was responsible for the development of the techNyou Science Education Resource and social media outreach, building the techNyou facebook and YouTube channels to be one of the most popular science focused government backed social media channels in Australia.
Dr Tracey Rogers runs the Predators Lab within the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at UNSW.
Tracey is interested in understanding the ecology of marine mammals, particularly Antarctic seals, and has performed research in the Antarctic since the early 1990s. Her time spent in Antarctica has offered enormous challenges and many rewards including wonderful collaborations and friendships.
One of these rewarding collaborations has been with the CSIRO Scientists in Schools program, wherein Tracey so enthralled Castle Cove Primary School students with her seal research, that they wanted to contribute to her work. Through ‘Jobs for Seals’, they raised money towards a satellite tracker for a leopard seal off the Western Antarctic Peninsula. When Tracey’s team returned to Antarctica, they named the tracked seal Milo after the students’ toy seal mascot that accompanied them. Milo’s movements and behaviour were monitored for 12 months giving the researchers and students an insight into how seals live in Antarctica.
On her return home, Tracey amazed a school assembly with Milo’s exploits. Through their partnership with Tracey, Castle Cove students have access to current research and techniques, and the students there still talk about their experience visiting Tracey’s lab.
Dr Jen Skattebol
Dr Jen Skattebol, Dip Ed (EC), B.Ed., PhD, Research Fellow SPRC, conducts policy relevant research related to the lives of children, young people and their families. She has expertise in the design of methodologies which are sensitive to the politics of marginalisation, and in incorporating educational and capacity building elements in research design. Dr Skattebol has experience teaching in early childhood and primary settings and spent 10 years as a teaching academic in the School of Education at the University of Western Sydney. In 2008, she was awarded a Creswick Foundation Scholarship to investigate the leadership challenges in integrated service provision. She has recently completed a major project Making a Difference: Young people’s experiences of economic adversity.
Oona Nielssen heads up CSIRO’s corporate communication strategy. With over 25 years experience in communication she has worked in-house and as a strategic consultant for major companies as well as the public sector. Previous roles include senior strategist with Impact Employee Communications, Head Of Communication Lend Lease Asia Pacific, and National Manager Television Training, ABC. She has expertise in implementing cultural change, in stakeholder engagement and in creative campaigns. Oona’s work focuses on identifying the business drivers and needs of an organisation and working with people internally and externally to achieve goals.
@oonaplays on Twitter
Anna-Maria Arabia is General Manager at Questacon – the National Science & Technology Centre, responsible for Strategy and Partnerships. She practised as a research scientist in the field of neuroscience for a number of years working in Australia and abroad before turning to policy development in the Department of Health and Ageing. Following this she held senior political and policy advisory roles in both social and economic portfolios working for both the Hon Kim Beazley and the Hon Anthony Albanese. As CEO of Science & Technology Australia between 2009 and 2012 she advocated on behalf of scientists to parliamentarians, business leaders, the media and the wider community. Anna-Maria has a strong commitment to science, education and social justice.
@ayyemm on Twitter
Dr Bruce Walker AM FTSE FACE
Dr Bruce Walker AM has lived and worked in central Australia over 31 years. As founding CEO of the Centre for Appropriate Technology Inc, a national Indigenous Science and Technology organisation, he has pioneered the development, application and delivery of technology to improve the livelihood of Australia’s remote Indigenous population.
His experience in engineering and development projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Burma and Vanuatu with AusAid and United nations agencies together with two commissioned reports for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission provides a unique perspective on challenges of technical service delivery across Australia’s outback.
He is a driver of the Desert Knowledge movement, a constellation of organisations (Desert Knowledge Australia, Desert Knowledge CRC and the Desert Peoples centre) seeking to develop sustainable solutions for desert living in a thriving desert economy. He is currently the project director of remoteFOCUS a national project to significantly improve the way governments engage with remote citizens.
Dr Bruce Walker is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; Fellow of the Australian College of Educators; was awarded the 1999 ATSE Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Medal; is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to remote area education and health in 2003.
He serves on a number of organisations; Chair of the NT Research and Innovation Board: a Director of the Desert Knowledge Australia Statutory Authority; a Director of the Board of the National Australia Day Council and a Dirctor of the Centrecorp Foundation. In his spare time he is President of Northern Territory and Alice Springs Cricket and was recently awarded the International Cricket Council Centenary Medal for services to the game.
Dr Paul Willis
Dr Paul Willis is a respected leader in the science community, and takes up his appointment at RiAus as the next step in an impressive career in science. In his role as Director of RiAus, he is instrumental in determining the direction of the national science hub as it continues its mission of bringing science to people and people to science. “I’ve always had a passion for science communication,” Dr Willis said. ”I look forward to working with RiAus to share the latest in science with new audiences.”
@Fossilcrox on Twitter
Sally-Ann Williams is the Engineering Community and Outreach Manager in Google’s Sydney offices responsible for Google’s relationships with startups and universities across Australia & New Zealand. She oversees Google’s efforts in entrepreneurship and startup engagement, CS and STEM outreach and research collaborations with computer science, engineering, and related departments.
@sallyannw on Twitter
Craig Reucassel is a television and radio comedian from Sydney. He is best known for being a member of satirical team The Chaser. He currently hosts the Australian version of Balls of Steel, which premiered in April 2011. In 2013 Craig Reucassel and fellow Chaser Julian Morrow return to turn consumer TV on its head with The Check Out.
@craigreucassel on Twitter
Professor Lincoln Wood
Lincoln Wood was instrumental in the formation of NAMIG (Northern Advanced Manufacturing Industry Group) Inc and in turn the highly successful Concept2Creation (C2C) program for schools. As one of a small group of representatives from local industry, he identified the need to assist schools and local communities in meeting the emerging workforce development needs of industries in northern Adelaide.
Leo Hyde has been with DuPont for 37 years. An Engineer, he started as Technical Rep in Elastomers. He spent a year in the US working in the Akron Customer Service laboratory. On return to Australia he transferred to Explosives as a Plant Manager. Leo subsequently worked in Marketing and Technical Service in Explosives and R&D in Explosives.
Seventeen years ago he transferred to R&D and has been R&D Manager for the company in Australia for the past 19 years. In 1997/98, Leo was president at the Australian Industrial Research Group whose members comprised approx. 75% of the BIRD spent in Australia. He is also a member of various other committees related to the field.
Leo is responsible for the operation and management of the Technical Centre, regulatory affairs and is currently involved in the growth efforts of Dupont in Australia and academic liaison field. He handed over the reigns of the Technical Centre late in 2005 to take on greater responsibility for R&D in the region and is now R&D Director for Australia/New Zealand and ASEAN.
Professor Aidan Byrne
Professor Aidan Byrne is CEO of the Australian Research Council. He was appointed in July 2012. Professor Byrne is a welcomed force at the ARC to help deliver its key priorities and deliverables.
Previously the Dean of Science and the Director of the ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Byrne brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise particularly in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering.
Michelle Cooper works with the Wildlife Conservation & Science team at Zoos Victoria where amongst other things, she is charged with communicating the plight of threatened species and assisting with research and sustainability projects. Michelle has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Melbourne and a Certificate III in Captive Care. She has worked in interpretation and education across zoos and aquaria for the past decade, as well as holding various Zoo Keeping positions across a range of threatened species. In 2009, Michelle was awarded a fellowship to work in situ with the Tenkile Conservation Alliance in Papua New Guinea where she worked with the local community and conducted a protein assessment review to provide recommendations to improve food security whilst reducing hunting pressures on local species. More recently, Michelle has been appointed to the business and communications sub group of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team is working on community engagement projects for this species.
Carly Siebentritt is the Inspiring Australia project officer for Victoria. She is based at CSIRO in Melbourne, and creates and supports science events and experiences for adults through re-science, an initiative of the National Science Week Victorian Coordinating Committee.
Alvin Stone worked as an editor with Fairfax Community News and then News Local for over a decade before moving across to media communications. As a media communicator he has worked for WWF-Australia and most recently Primary Communication, a boutique agency specialising in corporate clients in the energy, transport, IT and not-for-profit sectors.
Catriona Jackson has a 25-year background in politics at the senior level in the federal arena, in Government and Opposition; in tertiary education; and in print and radio journalism. Most recently she led the Communication and External Liaison Office at The Australian National University, and prior to that was a senior staff member for former science and research minister Senator Kim Carr.
Amy Reichelt is a postdoctoral researcher at UNSW, having completed her PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience at Cardiff University, UK. Amy then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Birmingham. She is particularly interested in memory, addiction, behavioural control and habit formation, and these themes are reflected in her research. When not in the laboratory or thinking about matters of the brain, Amy writes for The Conversation and involves herself in science public engagement activities.
@TheAmyR on Twitter
Nicole Kearney works with museums around Australia to create field guide apps for Apple and Android devices. She has a passion for wildlife and loves that her job involves sharing this passion in such an innovative and engaging way.
@nicolekearney on Twitter
Vera Gin manages science engagement, communication and partnership programs – onsite, offsite and online – at Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum, Museum Victoria. She is also Executive Officer at ASTEN – a network of science centres and museums throughout Australia and New Zealand, providing professional development and support.
@vera_gin16 on Twitter
Dustin Welbourne is currently undertaking a Masters in Science Communication with the ANU and a PhD, with the UNSW in Canberra, looking at ways to optimise biological research methods with non-invasive techniques.
Dustin was the owner and director of the Canberra Reptile Sanctuary, a public not-for-profit exhibit of non-venomous and venomous reptiles, until very recently. The goal was to make biology, and specifically information about reptiles accessible.
@DustinWelbourne on Twitter