STEM education

2023-2024 Superstars of STEM cohort

Currently I am working with a number of partners to develop a comprehensive outreach program to be implemented in rural and remote Australian communities. The program includes workshops and lectures on topics varying from ecology and biodiversity to computer literacy and coding. Dependent on the pandemic, incursions are planned but virtual alternatives are available. If you are interested in an incursion to your school or local library or community centre, please get in touch at

Since 2014 I have supervised numerous honours, masters, and PhD students, with varying projects including agricultural pests, invertebrate biodiversity, and senescence in acellular slime molds. I have also mentored a number of interns in the Invertebrate Behaviour and Ecology Lab from competitive national and international programs including the CAPA program and Denison Research Scholars.


Winga Mura – Bunga Barrabugu – In 2016 I presented an interactive lecture on insects to a bunch of motivated and talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The aim is to give these high school students an idea of what an entomologist does, what we can learn from insects and where entomology can be applied. It was an incredibly fun event, with lots of squealing when playing with some pet insects, but everyone tried the edible insects!

Mega Maths Day – For the second year in a row, I’ve been involved in Mega Maths Day. This is a day to engage with students deciding which stream of maths they would like to take for their final high school years. It isn’t a day to challenge students, but to encourage and delight them with maths and the various ways maths is used throughout scientific fields!

This has always been a great day, and as part of the Insect Behaviour and Ecology Lab, we run a workshop on invertebrate diversity and abundance. As part of the workshop, kids examine leaf litter and collect all the invertebrates they can find. We then help them identify them and teach them the cool facts about them (because, why not!), and tally our findings. We can then determine the diversity and abundance of insects and teach students how information like that can help in our research.

High School Student Mentorship – In 2016 I mentored a student from Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood, in her final year major work for Society and Culture. She wrote an in-depth research thesis on social insects and their role and influence in human societies, titled “Workers of the world unite”.


Refugee Language Program – Presenting an insight into the entomological research conducted at the University of Sydney and engaging with language students from different backgrounds. Ongoing in 2016.