After taking a Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide, I became infected by microbiology and the complexity of unseen life. While fascinated by the intricacies of life that is smaller than a grain of rice, I was most motivated to continue studying microbiology because of its impact on human health and began an honours project looking at erythrocyte invasion by malaria parasites; which I have continued on into my PhD. Looking forward I would love to continue with post-doctoral research, further understanding the human-microbe interplay, particularly of neglected tropical diseases.
Dr Celeste Donato completed an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science and PhD in Virology at La Trobe University. Celeste completed her first postdoc at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore where she researched emerging viruses in Southeast Asia. Celeste was awarded an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship and returned to Melbourne, joining the Department of Microbiology at Monash University. Her current research focuses on the evolution of viruses that pose a significant threat to human health; in particular influenza, enteroviruses and rotavirus. Celeste has a passion for science communication and education, in particular encouraging young women to pursue careers in science.
Chris completed a Bachelor of Science at Monash University majoring in Chemistry and Microbiology. He received first-class Honours in Microbiology for his work in Professor Julian Rood’s laboratory, where he characterised conjugative plasmid regulatory genes from Clostridium perfringens. In 2016 he was honoured as the top completing PhD student in the Department of Microbiology. Under the supervision of Professor Trevor Lithgow, his PhD focused on determining the mechanistic details surrounding insertion of complex outer membrane proteins in Escherichia coli. Chris works as a Postdoc at Monash University extending his PhD work, where he publishes in leading Microbiology journals, including Nature Microbiology, mBio, and Molecular Microbiology.
Ella Johnston is a PhD student in the School of Life Sciences at La Trobe University. Her research focuses on host-pathogen interactions, where she aims to understand the interactions between bacterial membrane vesicles and innate immune receptors. She is also interested in the role bacterial membrane vesicles play in transferring antibiotic resistance determinants between bacteria. Ella is actively involved the La Trobe Microbiology Society, as well as the Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology Postgraduate Committee where she works with other undergraduate and postgraduate students to work towards a nurturing and collaborative environment for researchers in Microbiology at La Trobe University.
Katharina is an enthusiastic biomedical scientist, dedicated to improve therapies against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Joining the war on superbugs she develops novel treatments and translates them from bench to bedside. She has global work and research stints in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand and Australia. With a background in pharmaceutical sciences and a PhD in medicine/applied microbiology, Katharina collaborates with scientists, clinicians and industry partners to ensure a real life impact of her work. Katharina’s excellence has been recognised by peers, the public and the media as evidenced by 30 awards/prizes, numerous public outreach activities and media engagements around the world.
Laura is a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow working at the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney in collaboration with the University of Oxford, UK. Laura’s main research questions are ‘How do bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, and how can we identify novel approaches to antibiotic development to overcome this problem?’. Laura is a passionate advocate for public engagement, writing articles and giving public lectures and interviews on the topics of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. She is also a strong advocate for promoting diversity and inclusion for female researchers in STEMM fields.
Laurence Luu is a postdoctoral research associate in Prof Ruiting Lan’s group at the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales. His research interests include genomics, proteomics and bacterial evolution. He is currently investigating how Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria responsible for whooping cough, is adapting against current vaccines and re-emerging to cause disease.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Lucy completed a BSc with first Class Honours before undertaking her PhD project at the University of Western Australia in the research field of perinatal microbiology. During these postgraduate studies she engaged in professional and public endeavours including committees and science outreach events for the public. Lucy is a passionate science communicator, with a strong focus on translational research and community health impact.
I am an ECR veterinary molecular microbiologist, with keen interests in phylogenomics and diagnostics, and proud Chlamydian of the USC Chlamydia group, from University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. My research is focused on chlamydial infections in animals, with special interest in zoonoses. I aim to understand dynamics of (where, when and how) chlamydial infection spill-over occurs between different hosts, in particular infections caused by the infamous koala C. pecorum, and the emerging zoonotic C. psittaci.
Fascinated by the microbial world, I consider myself to be an enthusiastic Microbiology communicator. I am also avid languages, badminton and shoes enthusiast.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Ecogenomics
Melinda was awarded her PhD in February 2019. Prior to her PhD, she obtained a Master of Biotechnology (High Distinction) from The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2013. Mid-way through her Masters, Melinda realised that it was possible to combine her two passions, computers and biology. This progressed into a Masters project on Melanoma genomics. In 2014 Melinda decided to continue working in Bioinformatics and joined the Beatson Lab to undertake her PhD. Here, her work focused on the accessory genome in Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC).
Melinda is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Computational Microbiologist at the Australian Centre of Ecogenomics at the University of Queensland. Her work focuses on antimicrobial resistant lineages, DNA methylation and mobile genetic elements. Melinda has previous tutor experience in bioinformatics, microbiology and genetics and was a lecturer in Genomics and Bioinformatics at UQ in 2019. As an ASM communications ambassador from 2017-2019, Melinda's interests also include blogging and science communication.
I am a first year PhD candidate investigating microbial comparative genomics at The University of Queensland. I focus on antimicrobial resistance and mobile genetic elements that facilitate the carriage of virulence and resistance genes in Gram-negative human uropathogens. Previously, I graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc (hons). I am passionate about photography/videography (I am a drone pilot) and graphic/infographic design.
Senior lecturer, School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences
Rebecca is the Vice President (communications) for ASM and responsible for the ambassador program. She completed her PhD at the University of Sydney on mechanisms for maintaining multi-drug resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus. Following this, she worked on projects investigating plasmid DNA inheritance in Archaea, microbial molecular markers to trace sources of water pollution, and microbiological production of secondary metabolites. Most recently, she completed a MEd (higher education) and holds an education-focused role teaching undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Science and the medical program. Rebecca was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, and a citation for contributions to student learning in the Australian University Teaching Awards, 2016.