Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, UNSW

My key interest is in the use of space exploration as the inspirational context for engaging primary to postgraduate students in science, technology, and mathematics, and the measure of the effectiveness of this strategy. I was the grant winner and project manager of the highly success "Pathways to Space" project, which established the 140 square metre Mars Yard and robotics lab at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. I held two more grants. One was the Broadband Enabled Education and Skills Services Mars Lab, which allows schools across Australia and internationally to access the Mars Yard remotely in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum and the University of Sydney. The second was the Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program in which four 'intelligent tutor' modules were constructed, including one in astrobiology, for use in Australian high schools. The latter grant was partnered with Smart Sparrow, Flinders University, the University of Western Australia and Arizona State University. Both projects are aimed at increasing Year 11 and 12 enrolments in science and maths.

I have also made Virtual Field Trips with the NASA Astrobiology Teams at Arizona State University and MIT . I am currently in an education-focused role at UNSW, concentrating on technology-enabled online education in astrobiology and science communication. I am primary supervisor for four PhD students, two space-related history and policy, and two in science communication. I am secondary supervisor for a fifth student in geology and education.

I hold a PhD and research Masters, both in science communication.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Astrobiology , UNSW
  • –present
    Associate Director, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, UNSW