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Research Scientist, The University of Queensland

Originally from Boston, from 2007-2017 Dr Maggie Hardy was a Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Australia. She is internationally recognized for her work in biosecurity and insecticide toxicology. Dr Hardy earned her MSc in Entomology from the University of Hawaii in 2007, where her work focused on the toxicity of boron compounds in subterranean termites. Dr Hardy earned her PhD in Chemistry and Structural Biology from The University of Queensland in 2011, where her research program centered on discovering novel, environmentally friendly, orally active insecticides from the venom of native Australian spiders. In addition to her research, Dr Hardy is a wife and mother.

Dr Hardy has actively published at the intersection of insecticides and biological control; invasive species and the conservation of biodiversity; and, sustainability and insecticide discovery. Dr Hardy has received funding from the Australian Government, the Australian Research Council, and UniQuest Pty Ltd, and has co-authored patents protecting her work. Dr Hardy has served on the Governing Board of the International Branch of the Entomological Society of America, the world's largest professional organisation serving entomologists, and on the Executive Board of the Australian Early- and Mid-Career Researchers Network, an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science.

In addition to her research interests, bringing science to the public is another of Dr Hardy's goals. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she was involved with programs designed to help traditionally underrepresented and disadvantaged students succeed in higher education and careers in science. While a PhD student at the IMB, she founded the IMB Science Ambassador Program to train early career researchers in speaking to the public, to the media, and to funders. In 2008, she was selected as one of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s Young Science Ambassadors, where she spoke to high school students and stakeholders in Outback Queensland, and as one of the Queensland Government’s Talking Scientists, for which she appeared at community groups and stakeholder meetings statewide. Because of her work communicating science, Dr Hardy was an invited speaker at the 2009 Queensland Parliament’s Science in Parliament.


  • 2012–present
    Affiliated Academic, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland
  • 2014–present
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland
  • 2011–2013
    Postdoctoral Research Officer, Insecticide Discovery, University of Queensland
  • 2005–2007
    Research Assistant, Entomology Program Termite Laboratory, University of Hawaii
  • 2004–2005
    Teaching Assistant, Entomology Program, University of Hawaii


  • 2011 
    The University of Queensland, PhD, Chemistry and Structural Biology
  • 2007 
    The University of Hawaii at Manoa, MSc, Entomology
  • 2004 
    Connecticut College, BSc (Hons), Biology


  • 2013
    Spider-venom peptides for control of insect pests, Annual Review of Entomology
  • 2010
    Tandem use of selective insecticides and natural enemies for effective, reduced-risk pest management, Biological Control
  • 2008
    A rational nomenclature for naming peptide toxins from spiders and other venomous animals, Toxicon
  • 2007
    Educational programs in Hawai'i for high-risk students to stimulate interest in higher education in science and careers in entomology, American Entomologist

Research Areas

  • Animal Protection (Pests And Pathogens) (070205)
  • Crop And Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases And Weeds) (070308)
  • Fertilisers And Agrochemicals (Incl. Application) (079902)
  • Biologically Active Molecules (030401)


Member of The Analytical Scientist's "Top 40 Under 40" (2014); Member of the Executive Board for the Australian Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum (2013); JH Comstock Award from the Entomological Society of America (2010); Young Science Ambassador, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2008)