Welcome on behalf of MQU

Professor Magnus Nydén

Prof Nydén, took office in 2020 as Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University.
Prof Nydén is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.  More recently he was Chief Technology Officer and Public Policy Director at alternative fuel company Liquid Wind and the Global Chief Scientist at multinational specialty chemicals company Nouryon, based in Sweden.  Prior to that, Professor Nydén held roles working for the University of South Australia, initially as Director of the Ian Wark Research Institute, a Centre of Excellence for research into chemistry and physics linking higher education and industry. Latterly he was a Head of Department as part of a joint venture between the University of South Australia and University College London. Before working in Australia, he was a professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Importance of sustainability and what that means in Australia

Professor Alison Rodger, Head Of Department, Department of Molecular Sciences

Prof Rodger, moved to Macquarie in 2017 after over 20 years at the University of Warwick. Her research focuses on understanding the structure and function of biomacromolecules and their assemblies. Her particular expertise is with spectroscopic biophysical methods particularly circular dichroism and linear dichroism in the UV, visible and infra red regions of the spectrum for use with nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. She designs and applies new techniques to understand how biomolecules interact. She is currently working to understanding molecular aspects of bacterial cell-division and to develop and apply Raman Linear Difference Spectroscopy which she invented and various forms of infra-red spectroscopy. At Macquarie she is establishing an open access biophysical spectroscopy laboratory for collaborators and commercial users.

Dr Kerstin Petroll, Macquarie University, Department of Molecular Sciences

Keynote 1: Synthetic Biology and renewable biohydrogen production for a sustainable future

When: Monday 14 September 2020

Kerstin Petroll has a PhD in Synthetic Biology and over 5 years of experience in the development of sustainable bioprocesses. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Macquarie University and part of HydGene Renewables working on the biohydrogen-production and the commercialisation of this new technology. Kerstin is the sustainability representative of the Molecular Science Department at Macquarie University working with a small team of academics and students on integrating SDGs into the Department. Kerstin is also leader of the Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA) Sydney node which aims to foster synergies within the Sydney Synthetic Biology research community and promote industry collaborations. The SBA-Sydney hosts bimonthly seminars and networking events. Kerstin’s ultimate goal is to facilitate sustainable economies in synergy with the environment through innovative research solutions

Jocelyn Johns, Macquarie University, Department of Molecular Sciences

Keynote 1: Synthetic Biology and renewable biohydrogen production for a sustainable future

When: Monday 14 September 2020

Currently embarking on a PhD in Molecular Science, Jocelyn Johns’ research focuses on improving the yields of engineered bio-hydrogen bacteria. Jocelyn had a previous career in diverse industries including fashion, natural therapies, and banking prior to completing a BAdvSc Biomolecular at Macquarie University (MQ) in 2017. Her eyes were opened to the diverse applications of Synthetic Biology while representing MQ at the Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition in Boston, USA, 2017. Synthetic Biology techniques enabled the creation of the engineered bio-hydrogen bacteria and are an important part of Jocelyn’s current research focus. Jocelyn Johns is striving to impact global carbon emissions, saving the world from the current climate crisis, by increasing renewable bio-hydrogen production to reach commercially viable yields.

Dr Sasha Tetu,  Macquarie University, Department of Molecular Sciences

Keynote 2: How does plastic pollution impact the world's most abundant photosynthetic organisms

When: Monday, 14 September 2020

Dr Sasha Tetu  is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Sciences with 10 years of experience in the field of Molecular Microbiology. Their research utilises a variety of modern microbiology and ‘omics’ techniques to investigate important microorganisms and microbial communities in marine, soil and host-associated environments. The main research focus is on understanding the genetic basis for microbial adaptation to environmental pressures. They are particularly interested in how microorganisms respond to anthropogenic pressures. They are currently working to combine microbial ecology and toxicogenomics techniques to determine how common chemical pollutants affect key marine photosynthetic bacteria that underpin marine food webs.

Leeta Caiger, Brigidine College, St Ives

Presenting: Perfecting Titrations - Indicators, Meters and Curves

When: Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Leeta worked for 15 years as an analytical chemist with some of Australia's best known private laboratories and environmental engineering companies. During this time she was involved with numerous monitoring programs including the Environmental Impact Statements for Badgery's Creek Airport and Sydney Water's Sewage Overflows. Leeta moved into Education in 2001 teaching Biology, Chemistry and Junior Science. The obligatory HSC marking followed as well as being Head of Science at Northholm Grammar School. She is currently teaching at Bridigine College, St Ives

Dr Christine Preston, The University of Sydney

Presenting: (K-6) Chemistry learning progression

When: Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Dr Christine Preston is a lecturer in primary science education at the University of Sydney and teaches kindergarten science at Abbotsleigh Junior School. She is co-editor and author in the prominent text Teaching Primary Science Constructively.  Her research interests are toys for teaching and learning in science, representation construction approach and science learning at Taronga Zoo.

Jason Borg, Georges River Grammar School

Presenting: A holistic approach to HSC Chem Syllabus

When: Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Jason is Head Science Teacher at Georges River Grammar School, Bankstown. He is a passionate and enthusiastic educator with a demonstrated history of delivering Stage 4 and 5 Science and Stage 6 Biology, Chemistry and Extension Science syllabuses.

George Harb, University of Technology, Sydney

Presenting: Undertaking Mandatory Chemistry Experiments

When: Wednesday, 16 September 2020

I am a lecturer in the School of Education and International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In my current role I am the subject coordinator of the 'secondary science' and 'Professional Experience & Classroom Management' subjects for our secondary education program. In addition to lecturing, I am a research assistant, presently working on projects in Science Education and Teacher Performance Assessments (TPAs). Prior to UTS I was a secondary science teacher, with considerable experience in teaching senior Chemistry. In relation to Chemistry, I also have strong industry experience, having worked as a Chemist for Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW).

Dr Jenny Jones,  University of Technology, Sydney


Models, Patterns and simple Experiments – a way through Module 7 - Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Helping students move from ST5 to ST6 - Thursday, 17 September 2020

Born, raised and educated in the UK, Jenny Jones obtained a BSc(Chem) from the University of Leicester and armed with this and a teaching qualification, taught the highly practical Nuffield Chemistry course for 9 years in grammar schools.  Moving to Australia she worked for a further 12 years as Head of Science in two schools teaching senior chemistry and junior science and doing a MEd from the University of Sydney.  Leaving school teaching Jenny gained a PhD (USyd) subsequently working as a lecturer in Science Method courses at both USyd and UTS.  Her unshakable belief is that for science teaching/learning to be effective and engaging it must be student-centred, driven by practical work and with the students doing the thinking work.  Nurtured during her early teaching years, these ideas have continued to develop through her own teaching and research and through working with experienced science teachers while organising and presenting many in-service workshops including ‘Captivating Chemistry!’  In 2004 she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to chemistry education and the advancement of science education.

A/Prof Joanne Jamie , Department of Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University


Bush Medicines to Pharmaceuticals - connections to curriculum (sustainability) K-12 - Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Organic Chemistry for Beginners - Monday, 21 September 2020

Associate Professor Joanne Jamie is a bioorganic, natural products and medicinal chemistry academic in the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University.  She has over 25 years of experience in teaching organic chemistry at tertiary level.  She also has a wealth of experience of working with teachers and school students to increase engagement in STEM.  Her approach to chemistry teaching has led to various awards, including a Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Centenary of Federation Teaching Award in Chemistry, Tertiary, and the RACI NSW Branch President’s Award for “Contribution in Chemical Education and the Broader Chemical Community” In 2019,  Joanne was recipient of the  inaugural Australian Museum Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion, including with Yaegl Elders. For her broader work with Australian Aboriginal people, including with the Yaegl Elders, in which they have co-authored five journal articles, developed a bush medicine handbook for use in education and cultural tourism, and facilitated a national award winning River of Learning cultural immersion program.  Joanne received the 2019 Macquarie University Reconciliation Award, and a 2019 Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Citation Award.

Dr Ian Wright, Western Sydney University

Presenting: Water Pollution of Nepean River

When: Thursday, 17 September 2020

Dr Ian Wright is a lecturer at Western Sydney University School of Science. He is an active water scientist that publishes research on a range of water science and water management topics. Formerly Ian worked as a scientist at Sydney Water, both in the science laboratories and also as a Catchment Officer in the drinking water catchments.


David Bugden, St Aloysius Primary School Cronulla, Sydney Catholic Schools

Presenting: (K-6) STEM Opportunities through industry connections

When: Thursday, 17 September 2020

I am a specialist STEM teacher working at St Aloysius Primary School in Cronulla. Over the last three years, I have worked to develop a full school curricular approach to STEM from kindergarten to year 6. This has involved developing our school Design Engineering process, programming units to integrate with curricular areas, supporting classroom teachers in developing their understanding of STEM and digital technology resources, and making industry connections to provide our students with real-world authentic problems that they can work collaboratively to solve. Over the past two years, I have worked closely with representatives from Sydney Water, Sutherland Shire Council, local Golf courses and sporting facilities to develop a STEM Extension program that has immersed our students into solving a real-world water recycling problem that is happening within our Cronulla community.

Sydney Water Making a Splash with Free Green Science Resources

When: Friday 18 September 2020


Louise Roberts is an Education and Community Partnerships Advisor, managing the school excursions and education programs for Sydney Water. With a teaching background and a supporting team of teaching and industry trained Education Officers, Louise offers syllabus linked education support for all science teachers.

Caroline Cheung is an Education Officer with Sydney Water. She is passionate in broadening public engagement with science and conservation. With a BSc(Hons) and BCom, she has worked in bush regeneration, was a tutor and lab demonstrator at University of Sydney and stick insect wrangler (visitor experience officer) at the Australian Museum.


Carlos Fung is an Education Officer with Sydney Water. He is an advocate for motivating students to the motivation and skills to make informed choices and responsible decisions. Carlos is a NESA Proficient (Science, Chemistry & Physics) Teacher, Experienced Educator, and Analytical Chemist.



Nuclear medicines: Production, Properties and Uses

When: Friday 18 September 2020


Julie Mulholland has a wealth of experience in science education, with a career teaching high school chemistry, physics and maths for over 20 years. Julie is now an Education Officer at the ANSTO Discovery Centre and is instrumental in developing our data set resources for high school students.


Bridget Murphy has experience as a science researcher and science educator and is the Education Manager at the ANSTO Discovery Centre.


An industrial chemist by trade, Robin Davis has been explaining nuclear science to teachers, students,government and business stakeholders for 20 years as an Education Officer at the ANSTO Discovery Centre.

Dr Shannan Maisey with Dr Stephen George-Williams, Dr Reyne Pullen, Ms Katherine Barbeler

RACI - Incorporating green chemistry across all Modules - Monday, 21 September 2020

The RACI NSW Chemical education group is comprised of high school and tertiary educators dedicated to improving how students learn and engage with chemistry across NSW. The presenters of this workshop bring with them research and industry know-how from Sydney's top universities and decades of tertiary and high school chemistry teaching experience.

Jacqueline McCarthy, Abbotsleigh

Presenting: (K-6 ) STANSW Primary Teachers TeachMeet Session

When: Monday, 21 September 2020

Jacqueline is currently primary school science specialist at Abbotsleigh, having transferred there from Sydney Grammar. She is a qualified primary and secondary teacher specialising in agriculture. Prior to specialising in Primary Teaching Jac was engaged by the Royal Agricultural Society as their Education manager. She is passionate about nurturing the curiosity of primary aged students.

Dr Andrew Eaton, Wollondilly Anglican College


Identifying and Mitigating Misconceptions in Equilibrium - Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Systems Thinking to enhance a Year 12 Depth Study- Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Dr Andrew Eaton BSc PhD GradDipEd. Andrew has over 20 years experience as a Chemistry teacher and is currently the Science Coordinator at Wollondilly Anglican College, Tahmoor. He has been a writer for the Catholic Trial Chemistry paper and has started a Masters of Philosophy at the University of Sydney in Chemistry Education this year.

Dr Andrew Piggott, Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie University

Presenting: MQU - Structure Determination of Organic Compounds

When: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Dr Andrew Piggott is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University. Research in his group spans the exciting and challenging interface between chemistry and biology. He is particularly interested in exploring the extraordinary chemical and structural diversity of natural products and developing these molecules as next-generation antibiotics. Andrew is an expert in the application of advanced spectroscopic techniques to elucidate the structures of complex organic molecules.

Dr Sophie Goodchild, Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie University

Presenting: MQU - Structure Determination of Organic Compounds

When: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Dr Sophie Goodchild is a Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University. Sophie is currently based in the Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory where she is an expert in the application of advanced optical spectroscopy techniques to examine a range of different biomolecules. Sophie is particularly interested in characterising the dynamic structure of aggregating proteins, including disease causing amyloid proteins, to understand how these proteins operate on a molecular level and explore potential therapeutic avenues

Leearna Borg,  Horsley Park Public School

Presenting: (K-6) Learning with the Makey Makey

When: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

I am a support teacher currently working on technology integration across Horsley Park Public School– in both mainstream and the support unit. My role is to demonstrate how technology can be integrated into the various KLAs and to equip teachers with the skills to do this themselves.

A/Prof Alice Motion, chemist and science communicator, The University of Sydney


(7-12) Introducing Citizen Science - Wednesday, 23 September 2020

(K-6) Through the Nano Lens - Thursday, 24 September 2020

Alice Motion is a chemist and science communicator based at The University of Sydney. Her research focuses on open science and she leads the Science Communication, Outreach, Participation and Education (SCOPE) Research Group in the School of Chemistry. Finding ways to connect people with science and to make research more accessible is the overarching theme of Alice’s interdisciplinary research.

Alice is the co-chair of the Citizen Science Node at the University of Sydney and Deputy Director (outreach) of the Sydney Nano Institute.

Alice is the founder of the Breaking Good project – a citizen science project that aims to empower high school and undergraduate students to be active researchers in projects that will improve human health. In 2016, students working as part of the Breaking Good pilot project recreated the price-hiked medicine Daraprim for just a few dollars, sparking an international conversation about access to medicine and demonstrating the impact that students can have when they are involved in real research.

Roslyn Mahrous, Sydney Catholic Schools

Presenting: (K-6) Developing the Kitchen Chemist - A Stage 3 Approach to Material World

When: Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Roslyn Mahrous is an experienced educator with over 23 years of teaching and leadership experience in schools and within Secondary Science with a major in Chemistry, and Technology. Among her previous leadership roles was that as NSW Co-director of Tournament of Minds where collaboration, creative and critical thinking were at the heart of the skills and dispositions students demonstrated.

Her passion for all things Science and Technology have led to her most recent role as STEM Coordinator with Sydney Catholic Schools where she leads a dynamic team delivering a vision for STEM education in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

A/Prof. Deanna M. D'Alessandro, ARC Future Fellow, School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney

Presenting: Capturing Carbon Dioxide

When: Thursday, 24 September 2020

Deanna D’Alessandro FRACI CChem obtained her BSc in chemistry, physics and mathematics (1999) at James Cook University, followed by Honours (2000) and PhD (2006) research in chemistry. She received the 2006 RACI Cornforth Medal and a 2007 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists. Deanna undertook postdoctoral research in carbon capture technologies at the University of California, Berkeley (2007-9) as the Dow Chemical Company Fellow of the American-Australian Association and a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow. She returned to Australia in 2010 as a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellow and L’Oréal Australia for Women in Science Fellow. In 2011, she received an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship, which allowed her to start building her own research group exploring energy-related applications of nanoporous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). A common theme of her research has been a desire to tackle significant scientific challenges by probing fundamental chemical questions. She has also been the recipient of a 2011 Tall Poppy award, a 2012 Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Chemical Society of Japan, the 2014 RACI Rennie Medal, a 2015 ChemCommEmerging Investigator Lectureship from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 2017 Alan Sargeson Lectureship from the RACI and the 2017 LeFèvre Medal from the Australian Academy of Science.

Dr. Dennys Angove, Environmental Humanities Group Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney

Keynote 1: Accessible evidence for human involvement in modern climate change

When: Friday 25 September 2020

Dr. Dennys Angove is an atmospheric scientist who retired from the CSIRO Energy Flagship in August 2014 where, as a Principal Research Scientist he studied the effect of fossil fuel emissions on air quality in the urban atmosphere.  Dennys lectured in the Environmental Chemistry course at the University of Technology (Sydney) from 2005 until 2015.  He joined the UNSW Sydney in 2017 as a casual academic and teaches in the intensive summer course, Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, with A/Prof Mark Diesendorf.
Dennys has a BSc (Hons), a Graduate Dip.Ed. and a PhD in physical chemistry from Macquarie University.   He is a member of the RACI and CASANZ as well as a volunteer for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Australia. Dennys was recently appointed to the Hornsby Council, Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) and is actively involved providing science outreach talks for the WEA as well as the community on air quality and climate change.

Lesley Hughes, Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University

Keynote 2: Climate change: challenges & opportunities

When: Friday 25 September 2020

Lesley Hughes is Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University whose main research interest is the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. She is a former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report, a former federal Climate Commissioner and now a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia. She is also a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and a Director of WWF-Australia.

Danny Slee, National Measurement Institute (NMI, North Ryde)

Keynote 3: Testing for trace level volatiles in air samples

When: Friday 25 September 2020

Danny Slee (BSc, hons) is the manager of the Organics laboratory at the National Measurement Institute (NMI, North Ryde).  The NMI is the federal government’s peak body for maintaining and regulating Australia’s measurement system.  The Organics laboratory at NMI has 18 scientific and technical staff focussing on the testing of trace organic pollutants in air, water and soil samples for regulatory purposes.  A key capability is the analysis of volatile organics using canister sampling followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.  The air testing facility receives samples from consultants involved in environmental projects such as assessing vapour intrusion into houses, landfill gas site monitoring and contamination incidents.  Danny Slee has over 20 years’ experience in chemical analysis of environmental samples using a range of instrumental techniques.