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Dr Chris Garvey

Instrument Scientist

Role at ANSTO

Dr Garvey is a research scientist who applies advanced physical characterisations at the interface between biology and materials science. As well as his role as an instrument scientist on the small-angle neutron scattering instrument QUOKKA, Chris’ research explores an underlying theme which is the difference between the behavior of molecules singly, and as ensembles, or in more complicated mixtures such as cells and their components (e.g. organelles, walls, membranes).The differences are due to the interactions between molecules and the host matrix. 

Small-angle scattering and contrast variation are important tools for his research.  Chris develops novel measurement environments and methods which further extend the utility of the small-angle-scattering technique to applied and industrial problems.


Scattering techniques, polymer physics, biomacromolecules, diffusion, soft-condensed-matter physics, soil science, science education.


Qualifications & Achievements

Current grants Australian Research Council:

  • Discovery Project award "Synthesis and assembly of Polymeric 2D materials", Partner Investigator with Prof Martina Stenzel and Prof Stephan Foerster (2019-2022)
  • Linkage Award, "Advanced cryobanking for recalcitrant-seeded Australian rainforest plants", Partner Investigator with Prof R Mancera (2018-2022)

Past grants Australian Research Council:

  • Discovery Project award, "Origami with triblock copolymers”, partner investigator with Professor Martina Stenzeland Dr Andreas Walther

Industrial research:

  • CRC of Polymers: Team won CRC Association Excellence in Innovation Award for "Microclimates for high-value crops"
  • Australian Research Council Training Center for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites and Omni Tank, advanced polyethylene composites for hazardous chemical transport

DAAD fellowships: September - October 2015, to Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin; and Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (August/September 2018, jointly hosted by Technical University Munich & Jülich Centre for Neutron Science)

Co-supervisor of 5 PhD students

11 successful co-supervisions of Ph.D. students

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Monash University 

M.Sc. In Physical Chemistry, University of Sydney.

Committees, Affiliations & Memberships

  • Visiting Professor Malmö University/Lund Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science (2019-2020)
  • Visiting Professor, Centre national de la recherche scientifique/Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud (2017, 2019)
  • Associate Professor Applied Physics RMIT University
  • Instrument advisory team for the SANS instrument, BILBY, and the new low-q neutron instrument, KOOKABURRA, at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering
  • Membership of: Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Society for Biophysics, Australian and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance; Royal Australian Chemical Institute; Neutron Scattering Society of America, Australasian Colloid and Interface Society, Australasian Neutron Beam Users Group
  • Reviewer for: Nature Communications; Journal of Physical Chemistry B; Advanced Materials; Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers; Journal of Molecular Liquids; International Journal of Thermophysics; Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Langmuir; Biochemistry; Biomacromolecules; Journal of Biological Chemistry; Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects; Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces; Journal of Colloid and Interfacial Science; Biophysical Journal; European Biophysics Journal; Physica B; International Journal of Biological Macromolecules; Cryptogamie Algologie; Polymer Stability and Degradation; Carbohydrate Polymers; Journal of Applied Crystallography; and Minerals