Favourite Thing: Learn something new! Everyday I learn something new about the universe… that place will never cease to amaze me. I am a science communicator (former environmental researcher), so I am no longer working on my own scientific discoveries. Instead, I get to read a lot about other people’s discoveries, interpret them and then share them with the public! I especially love doing science photography and making films about science.
Tecoma Primary School (1991-1997); Upwey High School (1998-2003) (VICTORIA)
The University of Melbourne – Bachelors degree with honours in Zoology/Environmental Science (2004-2009); The Australian National University – Masters degree in Science Communication (2012)
The University of Melbourne; Parks Victoria; Melbourne Museum; Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre; Freelance science writer; Camp Counsellor (U.S.A.); Ecological volunteer in Ecuador
Communications and Outreach Officer
Me and my work
I travel around Australia, talking to people about emerging technologies (e.g. genetically modified foods, nanotechnology, etc…) and getting them to think critically about the consequences of that technology.
There are many ethical questions that need to be considered when we are developing new technologies; health impacts, environmental impacts, whether it is available to everyone. Even if you aren’t going to be a scientist, we are all affected by the consequences of new technologies. We should therefore all be educated about this emerging science, so that we can make informed decisions about how we want to interact with the technology.
My job is to inform and educate people about these emerging technologies, so that they can make up their own mind about them. Things like stem cell research, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, cloning etc… See our website https://www.technyou.edu.au/ for more information!
To do this job I need to do a lot of reading in the office, but I also get to do a lot of travelling!
I don’t have any photos of me this year, but here is a photo of me and my colleague Josh from last year. We were teaching kids in Oak Valley (a community in the far northwest of South Australia) about the science of rockets!
My Typical Day
On a plane, then in a car driving out to a high school, and then meeting a bunch of really great students who ask me a bunch of interesting and thought-provoking questions.
Not everyday is spent travelling. I do have to get some work done in the office, but just to show you some of the wonderful places I have been to in the past…
Last year I went across the Great Australian Bight and got to do some whale watching! Here I am with my friend and colleague Gemma, watching whales.
Here I am in Innisfail in Far North Queensland with my friend and colleague Sarah.
I also went to Broome and the Kimberley region. Here I am with my friend and colleague Aimee, visiting the Prison Baobab tree in Derby.
What I'd do with the money
I’m very passionate about promoting science and technology in the developing world, so I’d like to donate $750 to a Eureka fund project. The choice of which project is to be determined by you, the students! See https://eurekafund.org/projects/category to see the different projects available. With the remaining $250, I would like to use it as a prize in the science film-making competition, 60-second science. I love film-making as it is a great way to teach people science and also learn some for yourself along the way. By using the money as a prize in this competition, you (the students) have a chance to win something!!! (Only if you make a really great science film). See https://www.60secondscience.net for more details about the competition.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Fascinated, caring and skeptical.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Bieber… nah just kidding. I love so many different types of music, but I adore old soul music (e.g. Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Watched a lion almost catch a zebra on safari in Africa! Skydiving was equally as fun :)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. To go into outer space (that would be insane). 2. To be able to talk to the animals, just like Dr. Doolittle, but for real. 3. I wish I could be invisible whenever I felt like it (think of all the movies you could see for free).
What did you want to be after you left school?
Everything and anything. As well as science I loved art, music and sport, so it was really hard to choose. When I was a kid I loved dinosaurs so I wanted to be a Paleontologist. At one point I wanted to be an Entomologist (person who studies bugs), but now I’m working on becoming a science documentary-maker. I’ve always cared about environmental issues, so I want to help communicate these ideas through film.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Only for breaking the unwritten law that you can be a nerd and also be cool. I was a proper nerd too! I did specialist maths and I was in the school band, but I just owned it and I think people respected that.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Travelled around Australia! I love meeting people and experiencing new places and natural environments. Last year I got to travel to Far North Queensland (see picture of me with Hibiscus flowers in my hair). I went to Broome and the Kimberley region (see picture of me visiting the Prison Baobab tree in Derby). I also went across the Great Australian Bight, to Adelaide and to the central coast of NSW (see picture of me watching whales on the Great Australian Bight).
Tell us a joke.
Q: What is pink, flamboyant and wears feathers? A: Lady Galahga! (Note: this is an original joke, made up by my best friend. Any good?)
AFL, Volleyball (when it is actually on TV)
Essendon – I especially love their sports science program ;)