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Meet an expert

Meet an expert

In this two-lesson plus homework program, students will gather, process and present information about a practicing Australian scientist.

Our staff are experienced science communicators and can discuss ANSTO's research with primary or secondary classes at an appropriate level of detail.

This learning program is designed to address:

  • Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills content descriptors for Stages 3-5 (Years 5-10).
  • Skill outcomes for Stage 6 science subjects.

Please note that we have booked our scientists for a 2.5-hour time slot. To book one of these sessions, please call us on 9717 3090 or book online with the name of the expert and your preferred time slot and date (we ask that you select a 30-minute period within the time slot for your students to talk with our expert).

If there is a particular expert that you would like to talk to who does not have a date that suits your needs, please contact us and we will endeavour to provide you with additional options.

Upcoming Sessions


karina meredith

Karina Meredith - Senior Research Scientist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Thursday 2 April.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 27 May.

Karina is a hydrochemist who uses radioisotopes to investigate groundwater resource sustainability and the suitability of aquifer systems as potential low resolution climate archives.

daniel oldfield

Daniel Oldfield - Transmission Electron Microscope Specialist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 6 April.

Daniel is a microscope scientist. He uses his microscopes to look at the atoms in materials used in nuclear reactors, and to examine the cellar structure of cancerous cells. He is passionate about science communication and share his microscope images on Instagram @the_microscopist.

Madhura Manohar

Madhura Manohar - Accelerator Scientist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 7 April.

Madhura uses accelerator science for research that is directly implicated in climate and health. She has used accelerator science to analyse samples related to air pollution, seafood provenance, material modification for the next generation of solar cells and many other areas of research.


                          Maggie Aulsebrook  

Maggie Aulsebrook - Radiochemist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 8 April.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 13 May.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 3 June.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Thursday 2 July.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 19 August.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 9 September.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 19 October.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 4 November.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 1 December.

Maggie is a radiochemist at ANSTO who drives research in the development of radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment and diagnosis of human diseases.

Brett Rowling - Meet an expert

Brett Rowling - Environmental Research Chemist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 19 May.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 18 August.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 18 November.

Brett is an environment research chemist. He analyses a variety of water, soil, air and biota samples from both local and international sources to understand both natural and anthropogenic processes down to trace levels. Brett uses inductively coupled plasma (basically a flame) and mass spectrometry (basically a detector of ions).

Kirrily Rule

Kirrily Rule - Principle Instrument Scientist at ACNS

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 17 June.

Kirrily uses neutron scattering to investigate the atomic structure and dynamics of materials.  In particular Kirrily's research focuses on understanding and manipulating exotic magnetic materials with a goal to develop new spintronic materials. 

Ben Fraser - Meet an expert

Ben Fraser - Nuclear Technologies for Health Program Manager

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 11 May.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 29 June.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 10 August.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 14 September.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 2 November.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 14 December.

Ben is involved in the discovery of new nuclear medicines to diagnose and treat diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and depression and related mental disorders.

Robert Blackley


Robert Blackley - Senior Health Physicist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Flexible dates

Robert works in radiation protection to make sure people working in labs, in hospitals, with X-ray machines and on mine sites are working safely with radiation.

Alan Xu

Alan Xu - Materials Engineer Radiation Damage

2.00 - 4.30pm, Flexible dates.

Alan is a scientist who studies materials for nuclear fusion and fission reactors. Alan uses the electron microscopy facilities at ANSTO to probe the mechanical performance of materials before and after irradiation.

Scott Chambers

Scott Chambers - Atmospheric Physicist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Flexible dates

Scott interprets measurements of atmospheric radon concentrations to gain insights to pollution mixing and transport from local (urban) to global scales.

Jessica Veliscek Carolan

Jessica Veliscek Carolan - Nuclear Chemist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 4 May.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 26 October.

Jessica is a chemistry researcher who is investigating new ways to separate elements from waste that could then be re-used. For example, many nuclear wastes contain uranium that could be re-used as nuclear fuel. The same kinds of materials that can be used to treat nuclear wastes could be useful to treat other kinds of waste too, such as wastes from mining or e-waste.

Michael Druce

Michael Druce - Technical Consultant

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 12 May.

Michael is a radiochemist who develops processes for medical radioisotope manufacture and distribution. Michael has played a pivotal role in Australia's development and advanced manufacturing of Molybdenum-99, the precursor to the Technetium-99m, which is used to diagnose cancers and heart disease world wide in SPECT scans. 

Cath Hughes

Cath Hughes - Senior Research Scientist Radiotracing and Isotope Hydrology

2.00 - 4.30pm, Friday 22 May.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Thursday 24 September.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Tuesday 10 November.

Cath uses isotopes in water to understand the water cycle, particularly during extreme events like floods and droughts in the Murray-Darling Basin. She has done some interesting work using stable (non-radioactive) and radioactive isotopes to trace water, sediment and pollutants in dams, catchments, groundwater and coastal waters. She has also been involved in monitoring radioactivity from disposal of waste in groundwater and sewage.

Anwen Krause-Heuer

Anwen Krause-Heuer - Organic Chemist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Monday 25 May.

Anwen is an organic chemist who makes small molecules that contain the isotope deuterium instead of hydrogen. Anwen designs these molecules and then does chemical reactions to make the molecule from smaller parts.

Tom Cresswell

Tom Cresswell - Environmental scientist

2.00 - 4.30pm, Thursday 25 June.

2.00 - 4.30pm, Wednesday 26 August.

Tom is an environmental scientist and uses radioactive isotopes as tracers of pollution in the aquatic environment. He works on a range of different projects, including studying the impact of mining on aquatic ecosystems, finding out where metals bioaccumulate within aquatic invertebrates, and researching microplastics as vectors of contaminant bioaccumulation by marine organisms.

Suggested Learning Sequence

Lesson 1 (in-class) or pre-work at homeLesson 2 (videoconference)Post-work or homework

As a class, students:

  • Gather information about the scientist and their research from secondary sources.
  • Prepare interview questions for the scientist during the videoconference.

As a class, students:

  • Interview the scientist and gather first-hand information about their research.


  • Present information about the scientist in a research task selected by the teacher.

Book a time

Contact the Education team at ANSTO's discovery centre for any questions relating to tours, learning resources, incursions or nuclear science.