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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 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 3-hour time slot. When you book one of these sessions, we will contact you by email and ask you to select a 30-minute period within this time slot for your students to talk with our expert.

Upcoming Sessions

Michael Druce

Meet Michael Druce

1.30-4pm, Monday 20 May. Book now

1.30-4pm, Tuesday 18 June. Book now

1.30-4pm, Monday 1 July. Book now

1.30-4pm, Tuesday 10 September. Book now

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.

Ben Fraser - Meet an expert

Meet Ben Fraser

1.30-4pm, Wednesday 22 May. Book now.

1.30-4pm, Wednesday 4 September. Book now

Ben is a research chemist at ANSTO and specialises in developing new and improved radiopharmaceuticals. He also lectures at several universities to teach the next generation of scientists and medical professionals about nuclear medicines.

Ben works together with scientists across the world in large collaborative projects, and supervises his own research students.

Patricia Gadd

Meet Patricia Gadd

1.30-4pm, Thursday 23 May. Book now

Patricia is an environmental chemist at ANSTO and she operates the ITRAX core scanner. This instrument identifies elements in sediment cores, wood, coral, speleothems, feathers, clams, and whale baleen samples to answer important environmental questions. Patricia is also an active science communicator and regularly explains her research to school students and the general public.

Lidia Matestic - Meet an expert

Meet Lidia Matesic

1.30-4pm, Thursday May 30. Book now

1.30-4pm, Monday 9 September. Book now

Lidia is a radiochemist at ANSTO’s Camperdown campus and researches new radiopharmaceuticals for diagnosing and treating diseases. Lidia works with a cyclotron to produce nuclear medicines, particularly those using Fluorine-18. Lidia also talks regularly with school teachers and students about her research.

Brett Rowling - Meet an expert

Meet Brett Rowling

1.30-4pm, Monday 3 June. Book now

Brett is an analytical chemist at ANSTO, where he prepares and analyses samples for internal and external clients. His job involves working in the field to collect samples, and then analysing them in the laboratory using techniques such as ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICPAES). His work includes monitoring groundwater quality, and pollution and radiation levels in contaminated sites.

Kirrily Rule - Meet an expert

Meet Kirrily Rule

1.30-4pm, Thursday 13 June. Book now

Kirrily is an instrument scientist in the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering at ANSTO. Kirrily uses neutron diffraction to study magnetism at very small scales (quantum magnetism) on the thermal triple-axis spectrometer, TAIPAN. Kirrily also investigates the properties of superconducting materials, which in the future may be used for the next generation of electronics, data storage and transport.

Tom Cresswell

Meet Tom Cresswell

1.30-4pm, Thursday June 20. Book now

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. Tom is also an active science communicator and talks often about his research to school students and the general public at events.

Micheal Corry - Meet an Expert

Meet Michael Corry

1.30-4pm, Wednesday 26 June. Book now

Michael and the Environmental Monitoring team use nuclear science to monitor human impacts on the environment, in the soil, water systems, the atmosphere and in living systems. Michael takes samples from the environment and analyses them back in the laboratory.

Scott Chambers - Meet an expert

Meet Scott Chambers

1.30-4pm, Thursday 4 July. Book now

Scott is an atmospheric scientist at ANSTO. He measures a naturally occurring radioactive gas, called Radon-222, to find out more about our atmosphere and environment. Because Radon-222 comes from land, not water, and does not react with other things in the atmosphere, it makes a very good “tracer” of what air has been doing and where air has been. Scott uses Radon-222 to help find out where air pollution might have come from and how atmospheric processes can dilute pollution. Scott’s research has taken him to some very interesting places, including Antarctica, Italy, Poland, Romania, Germany, Japan, Korea and volcanoes in Hawaii.

Jitendra Mata

Meet Jitendra Mata

1.30-4pm, Wednesday 11 September. Book now

Jitendra helps manage two of ANSTO’s state-of-the-art neutron scattering instruments (QUOKKA and Kookaburra). He works together with international scientists who come to use the instrument on many research projects, including the structure of starch and food proteins for the food industry, and science related problems with mineral extraction for the mining industry.

Katy Wood

Meet Katy Wood

1.30-4pm, Tuesday 17 September. Book now

Katy Wood is a scientist working at ANSTO.  She is responsible for an instrument that looks at the structure of materials on the nanoscale.   The materials she investigates range from nanoparticles for medical diagnostics to aluminium for aircraft industry.  Her favourite thing about the job is working with the many different scientists who come to use the instrument.

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.