Who’s taking part in March 2013?

The countdown is on! It’s less than two weeks before I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! in Australia starts again in March. So it’s time to announce the scientists and schools taking part.

The event is supported by our major partner TechNyou and will be running from 11th – 22nd March. It features three themed zones – Agriculture, Disease, and Wet & Wild. We have scientists from across the country in disciplines including health, medical research, agricultural science, aquatic ecology, nanotechnology and marine biology.

Our Agriculture zone is supported by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations. Students will have an opportunity to see a couple of their questions answered at the Outlook Conference on Tuesday 5th March with a panel involving our scientists Kim Ritman (the Chief Scientist at ABARES), Dominique Cotterill and Rebecca Doyle, as well as Roslyn Prinsley, the new advisor to Australia’s Chief Scientist.


We have almost 25 regional and metropolitan schools taking part, from states and territories across Australia. We know energy levels will be high and classes at these schools will have a great experience. Twelve of these schools are participating for a second, third or fourth time, and we look forward to welcoming many more new ones!


Competition for scientists was again tough and we were thrilled that the demand has enabled us to field three themed zones. Scientists have thoroughly enjoyed previous events and found the experience useful. One of our Scientists from a previous season of I’m a Scientist said this:

I learnt how to better explain my work and other scientific concepts to non-experts. I also learnt a little about how the public perceive what I do, and found that renewed my own enthusiasm for my work.”

So here are the zones for March!

Agriculture Zone


Kim Ritman Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ACT) Leads and manages provision of science-based policy advice for DAFF in areas covering fisheries, forestry, land use, feral animals and weeds, climate, water availability, salinity, agricultural biotechnology, spatial information and social sciences.
Harjeet Khanna @harjeetkhanna09 Queensland University of Technology (QLD) I develop transgenic crop technologies, strengthening the scientific base on which GM crop technology is evolving. In the past 7 years I have been mainly working on Bill and Melinda Gates’ funded program on developing nutritionally enriched transgenic bananas to combat malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Brent Kaiser @kaiser_brent Waite Institute, University of Adelaide (SA) I conduct research into the molecular regulation of nitrogen acquisition and use in plants.
Rebecca Doyle            @becdoyle104 Charles Sturt University (NSW) Area of expertise is animal physiology and welfare. Day to day roles include research collaborations with partners in France, Bristol and the CSIRO, working overseas in Indonesia and the Middle East, and teaching physiology and welfare to animal science, agriculture and veterinary students.
Dominique Cottrell


University of Tasmania (TAS) Just commenced her first year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science after working a gap year as a technical field assistant for contract agricultural research companies.



  • Brigidine College, St Ives, NSW, Year 7
  • Moriah College, NSW, Years 9, 10
  • Toongabbie East Public School, NSW, Years 5, 6
  • Kelvin Grove State College, QLD, Years 10, 11, 12
  • Australian Science & Mathematics School, SA, Years 10, 11, 12
  • Mitcham Girls High School, SA, Year 9
  • Murray Bridge High School, SA, Years 8, 9, 10
  • Footscray City College, VIC, Years 8, 9, 10
  • St Bedes, VIC, Years 7, 8, 9
  • Murray Bridge High School, SA, Year 8
  • Cooryong College, VIC, Year 7
  • The Hutchins School, TAS, Year 6


Disease Zone


Yagiz Alp Aksoy @drbiohacker Macquarie University (NSW) I am working to shedding “light” onto the blackbox of the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory diseases by taking synthetic biology and optogenetics approach.
Kate Skulte  @KateSkulte University of Western Sydney (NSW) I’m working on a project that looks at the on and off switches for our genes in our DNA and their role in complex diseases like cancer and allergy.
Cindy Lin                     @cyxlin Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Monash University (VIC) My research is on Multiple Myeloma, particularly focussed on investigating factors that make the disease worse in some patients than in others.
Miranda Ween   @Ivalaine Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, University of Adelaide (SA) How do bacteria recognise vital elements in their environment, and how can we use this against them?
Katelin Haynes  @KatelinHaynes Diamantina Institute, University of Queensland  (QLD) I’m trying to understand what causes ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis where the bones in your spine fuse together.



  • East Hills Girls Technology High School, NSW, Years 7, 8, 10
  • Marist College Kogarah, NSW, Year 9
  • Graceville State School, QLD, Years 6, 7
  • Annesley Junior School, SA, Years 5, 6
  • Murray Bridge High School, SA, Years 8, 9, 10
  • Pedare Christian College, SA, Year 8
  • Diamond Valley College, VIC, Year 8
  • Kilbreda College, VIC, Years 7, 8, 9
  • St Catherine’s School Toorak, VIC, Year 8
  • Kapinara Primary School, WA, Years 6, 7


Wet & Wild Zone


Simon Allen @KommandorKeen CSIRO (TAS) I explore questions on how we can work, play and live around Australia’s coasts and still have an environment within which we still want to live.
Blaire Dobecki @BlaireDobiecki TechNyou (VIC) I studied Zoology/Environmental science and my honours year was about predicting invasive species distributions using computer models. My current role as a Communications and Outreach Officer requires me to communicate on the topics of enabling technologies including GM foods and nanotechnology.
Shona Marks        @Shona_Marks Benthic Australia Pty Ltd (QLD) I’m an Aquatic Ecologist, specialising in Marine and Freshwater ecology of Invertebrate fauna. I have personal passion for Taxonomy, and my favourite animals are worms.  I am the Director of Benthic Australia, but I also work part time at the Queensland Museum in the Discovery Centre, which aims to engage the public and students in discovering natural history.
Jennifer Shaw @jennifershaw1986 University of Adelaide (SA) My research involves sequencing the DNA found in freshwater systems such a rivers, lakes, streams and stormwater in order to identify species which may indicate pollution in the ecosystem. The new methods developed will eventually be used in monitoring freshwater health and quality.
Elizabeth Stark @elizabethMstark Symbolix Pty Ltd (VIC) I use statistics to help people make decisions and to understand how things interact in the environment.



  • Moriah College, NSW, Year 10
  • Katherine High School, NT, Years 7, 8, 9
  • Broadbeach State School, QLD, Years 5, 6, 7
  • Browns Plains State School, QLD, Years 5, 6, 7
  • Clover Hill State School, QLD, Years 5, 6, 7
  • Baden Powell College, VIC, Year 8
  • St Joseph’s Primary School, VIC, Years 4, 5, 6
  • Cooryong College, VIC, Year 8


Posted on February 26, 2013 moddervise in News | Leave a comment

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