Skip to main content
Molecule Abstract

AUM2019 Invited Speakers

Plenary Speakers


Prof Silvia Frisia - University of Newcastle

A/Prof Silvia Frisia

The University of Newcastle's  Associate Professor Silvia Frisia refers to herself as a storyteller rather than a  scientist and expresses a great admiration for scientific minds such as Leonardo da Vinci whom she describes as 'my favourite genius'.

"He was good at everything. He could write very well, he was an excellent painter, he was an engineer and architect, he was a geologist and a botanist! I think what made him so good was actually quite simple – he was an observer."

Associate Professor Frisia joined the University of Newcastle in 2007 after many years working internationally and brings with her a strong reputation for collaboration, something she is keen to ensure her students embrace.

With increasing climate and environmental challenges, Associate Professor Frisia's work within Earth Sciences employs cutting edge technologies to attempt to reveal more about the history of the earth and also the history of humans. More recently, this work has taken her deep within a cave in Italy to help extract the oldest Neanderthal DNA yet recorded.

"This man lived over 130,000 years ago and is an incredible find, however, radiocarbon dating is only useful to within the last 50,000 years and other techniques we could have employed were too destructive. Thus, we had to use the calcite crust encasing the body to get the age"

Using our Australian Synchrotron and others located all over the world, Silvia's expertise involves the examination of crystal structures and their elemental composition to dig deep into the past and find information about how the environment changed across cold and warm periods.

"Understanding the earth's physical past helps us understand the human story. Changing climate is just one part of a series of complex, interlocking processes."

Future areas of research for Associate Professor Frisia include possible investigation of climate information from Australian cave formations, ongoing work in the Cook Islands with a particular focus on how governments may devise adaptation strategies from information in relation to past events when there were serious climate changes.

Increasingly she is encouraging her students to strive to be competitive within the international environment and to enjoy the process."We're building up a team with collaborations not just in Australia but internationally, so I want to provide students with a way of thinking logically and independently and ultimately be able to write a great story."

Dr Drew Marquardt - University of Windsor

Dr Drew Marquardt

Drew Marquardt is an assistant professor at the University of Windsor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He received his PhD from Brock University (Ontario, Canada) in 2014 and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Graz, Institute of Molecular Biosciences (Graz, Austria). Following Graz Drew was a postdoctoral research associate in the Biology and Soft Matter Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (TN, USA). Dr. Marquardt's research focuses on biological membrane mimetic systems, including membrane structure and dynamics, and lipid/small molecule interactions.


Invited Speakers

Dr Khay Fong - University of Newcastle

Biomedical Imaging & Health

Bio: The research of Dr Khay Fong centres upon the self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules into nanostructures and nanoparticles. The overarching aim of her research is to develop platform nanotechnology that can be used in the creation of better medicines and diagnostic tools.

On-demand drug delivery

Dr Fong’s research adds an extra element of control where she has created nanomaterials that can be selectively turned on – by heat, laser light, a change in pH and digestion – on demand.

Understanding fundamental interactions

Another major focus of Dr Fong’s research is the effect of the physiological environment on the properties on the drug delivery material itself. Understanding both the effect of native biomolecules on the drug delivery system as well as the effect of drug delivery system on physiological systems is essential for their application.

At the University of Newcastle (UoN)

Dr Fong is a Lecturer in Chemistry in the Faculty of Science in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at UoN. Her teaching focuses on analytical, physical and colloidal chemistry. Her research projects utilise synchrotron science, light scattering and synthesis of nanoparticles as well as novel amphiphiles.

Dr Fong is an active member of the Australasian Colloid and Interface Science Society.

Before UoN

Dr Fong completed her PhD at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2013). She subsequently was awarded a highly competitive Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship which took her to ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2014-15) and back to Monash (2016). She was the first recipient of the National Center of Competence in Research in Bio-Inspired Materials Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Women at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland (2017-18).

Prof Enzo Lombi - University of South Australia

Life Science and Structural Biology

Bio: Enzo Lombi is Dean: Research and Innovation in the ITEE Division at the University of South Australia. His major research interests relate to the biogeochemistry of trace elements and nutrients in the environment. Large part of his work focuses on synchrotron-based techniques to explore the accumulation and speciation of both nutrients and pollutants in plants and animal systems. His research area also covers the implication and applications of nanotechnologies in the environment and agriculture. Enzo received his PhD in environmental chemistry from the Catholic University (Italy) and held positions at Rothamsted Research (UK), CSIRO and the University of Copenhagen before starting at the University of South Australia in 2009. He has published over 200 papers and his work has been cited over 13,000 times. He was a Villum Funden Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen and is Past President of the International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry. He serves as Associate Editor of Environmental Chemistry and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Australian Synchrotron and of the ARC College of Experts.

Dr Paula Dredge - Art Gallery of New South Wales

Cultural Heritage

Bio:  Paula Dredge studied conservation of cultural materials at the University of Canberra and art history at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD from the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne. She is the head of paintings conservation at the Art Gallery of NSW, where she has worked since 1990. In 2017 she was awarded the Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural Materials award for outstanding research in the field of conservation and in 2018 she was part of the team awarded the Museum & Galleries National Award (MAGNA) for interpretation, learning and audience engagement (level 1) for the Sidney Nolan unmasked exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art, an augmented reality experience using the synchrotron XRF mapping of Ned Kelly: “Nobody knows anything about my case but myself”. Her more recent research is the XRF mapping of the painting by Agnolo Bronzino Cosimo I de’Medici, c1544-45 and the relationship of these paintings to a larger group of similar portraits by the artist.

Prof. David Paganin - Monash University

Technique Development: X-ray Neutron and Ion Beams

Bio:  David received his PhD in optics from Melbourne University in 1999, and has been with Monash University since 2002. He is a theoretical physicist with a range of research interests in x-ray optics, visible-light optics, electron diffraction, neutron optics and non-linear quantum fields. He has published in coherent optics, phase retrieval, ghost imaging, Bose-Einstein condensation, tomography, medical imaging, electron microscopy, topological defects, microscopy and quantum turbulence. He always strives for original (and preferably simple) solutions to highly interesting problems of either fundamental or practical significance (preferably both!). He enjoys working closely with others, especially experimentalists, with a view to seeing the theory "made real" via tangible applications to the physical world.

Dr Mark Edmonds - Monash University

Advanced Materials 

Bio: Dr Mark Edmonds is a lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University, and an associate investigator of ARC Centre of Excellence Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET). He received his PhD from La Trobe University in 2014 and then went to Monash University as a postdoctoral fellow, wherein 2016 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award and became a lecturer in 2018.

His research group focuses on the growth of novel electronic materials such as topological insulators and two-dimensional materials via molecular beam epitaxy for the development of next-generation electronic devices.  They study these materials using spectroscopic tools such as photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES and XPS) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) to probe the electronic bandstructure.

Prof Richard Haverkamp - Massey University

Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 

Professor Richard Haverkamp holds a Personal Chair in Nanotechnology at Massey University in New Zealand. His research covers nanostructure and mechanical relationships in collagen materials, nanomaterials for electrochemical processes, and materials from mineral resources. He makes extensive of synchrotron techniques, at the Australian Synchrotron and elsewhere. He graduated with a PhD from the University of Auckland, and he recently has held visiting research positions at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway and MIT, Cambridge, USA. He has published over 100 journal papers and received a number of awards including the President’s Medal from the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ. He has received research funding from government and industry sources from New Zealand, US, Norway, Australia, France, Canada, Taiwan and Japan.

Prof Anatoly Rozenfeld - University of Wollongong

Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 

Anatoly Rozenfeld is a Distinguished Professor of Medical Physics and the Director of Centre for Medical Radiation Physics at the University of Wollongong.  He has been at UOW for over 25 years.  Anatoly is world renowned for his research work on semiconductor radiation detectors and their application for mini- and micro- dosimetry in radiation therapy, radiation protection, nuclear medicine and space sciences.

Dr Peter Lynch - Deakin University

Engineering Manufacturing, Industry & Defence

Prof Andreas Magerl - University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Chemistry, Catalysis & Soft Matter 

Earth, Planetary, Atmosphere, Environment & Agriculture - To be confirmed