Meet our people

Academic meet people

A life of the mind is not a solitary pursuit

As members of an intellectual community, our people believe that if everyone is thinking the same thing, someone’s not thinking. They are sharp, original, sometimes confronting, and always engaged. We believe we are all accountable to the public good, and embrace collaboration in order to honour that commitment. Our life stories, academic passions and career trajectories are diverse, but we all have one thing in common – we want to make a difference.

Professor Bryan Gaensler
Brian Gaensler

Bryan wanted to be an astronomer since the age of three. So passionate is he about all things space, he is fully prepared to do whatever it takes to share his love of the subject, whether it’s delivering a keynote speech dressed up in a Star Trek costume, or jumping from a ten metre platform to demonstrate the effects of gravity. "My overarching purpose since coming back to the University is to understand why the universe is magnetic. Over the last few years, I have developed new, innovative techniques for studying magnetism in space, which has allowed me to make the first clear maps of magnetism in the Milky Way's spiral arms, in nearby galaxies, and around distant black holes."

Professor Jennie Brand-Miller
Jennie Brand-Miller

Jennie has been at the University of Sydney for 31 years, and attributes her longevity with the connection she has with the up-and-coming research students. An acclaimed pioneer in glycaemic index research, she is very proud to have been part of a team which ‘took the research out of the ivory tower and translated it into something that the average person on the street could understand and use. "We co-authored bestselling popular books (3.5 million copies in print in 12 languages) about the GI, developed a commercial GI testing and research service for the food industry and set up a not-for-profit spin-off company to run the GI Food Symbol program."

Professor Rick Shine
Rick Shine

Rick's research concerns the interface between evolution and ecology, particularly in reptiles (snakes and lizards). In recent years, his work has increasingly shifted to focus on major issues in conservation – especially the biology, impact and control of invasive species such as the cane toad. Rick has worked extensively on evolutionary transitions in life-history traits and on sexually-selected traits. He is also interested in the interplay between different aspects of organismal biology, and how we can translate the results of (academic) research into effective conservation.

Associate Professor Kathy Belov
Kathy Belov

From wanting to become a famous music manager to running a charity gig to raise money for the endangered Tasmanian devil, Kathy Belov has come a very long way.

"I work on the genetics of the immune response. I primarily focus on our native wildlife – particularly the Tasmanian devil, platypus, tammar wallaby and koala. My research team’s biggest achievement to date was the discovery that a contagious cancer (devil facial tumour disease) is spread due to a lack of genetic diversity in the Tasmanian devils. This discovery has far-reaching implications and I am working closely with wildlife managers and zoos to try to save this iconic species from extinction."

Angele Taggart

Executive Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer
Beyond being the editor for the 'gossip column', the thing Angele enjoys most about her role at the University is the fact that it is such a community environment. "The opportunities for professional diversity is a key feature I enjoy, as is the training that is offered. There is a constant buzz going on that is very stimulating."

In 2009, Angele developed a network group which started out as a group of five. It now numbers 120 and is continuing to grow.

Robyn Turner

Manager of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Robyn’s claim to fame before joining the University was broadcasting the longest weather report to the largest physical radio network in the world. But because such feats were not stimulating her intellectually, she decided to change careers. "I had the opportunity to join a faculty producing world-changing research and working on some of the most important issues today – carbon, water, food security and quality. It was my chance to take on a newly created role and make it my own."

Jeremy Heathcote

Manager Indigenous Employment and Cultural Diversity, Human Resources
"Jeremy has been involved in Indigenous employment for over 15 years and jumped at the opportunity to continue the efforts of increasing the Indigenous numbers here at the University. He is currently working on an updated “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy” with a strong focus on working on staff retention. Jeremy is also heavily involved in the local community where he has received a number of awards for service to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the 2013 Pauline McLeod Award for Reconciliation and 2011 Volunteer of the Year (Northern Sydney Region)."