Our People

Professor Mike Thompson

Welcome to the Faculty of Science research pages. At The University of Sydney we are fortunate to have an extraordinarily talented group of students and researchers, working with dedicated academic staff most of whom are world leaders in their research fields. This creates an environment that is stimulating and fun, and equips research students with the skills and confidence to engage in research anywhere in the world. The Faculty is also proud to currently act as host to several ARC funded fellows.

Research in the Faculty covers almost all areas of science and varies from the most fundamental to strongly industry linked. In these research pages you will find information on research areas, scholarship opportunities, be able to find a research supervisor, and view examples of the wide ranging career paths followed by our graduates. The Faculty has an exceptional range and quality of research infrastructure and there are very few research challenges that we will not take on. Please consider joining us!

Professor Mike Thompson
Associate Dean (Research)


Meet some of our leading researchers

Associate Professor Min Chen
2011 Life Scientist of the Year

Associate Professor Min Chen

Associate Professor Min Chen sent shockwaves throughout the science community when, in 2010, she discovered the first new chlorophyll in 67 years. Her groundbreaking discovery found that this new chlorophyll is able to utilise lower light energy than any other known chlorophyll, with its ability to absorb far-red light. The discovery excited industries where capturing light energy is key.

In 2011, Min won the coveted Science Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. She says, "My science career in Australia has been an amazing journey – from volunteering in a lab at the University of Sydney to completing my PhD here and now running my own lab here. Winning the Science Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year is truly exciting and an incredible honour."


Professor Thomas Maschmeyer
Crusading for green chemistry

Thomas Maschmeyer

Thomas Maschmeyer is on a mission to create a more sustainable world through advanced catalytic technology. With rising energy prices and the growing need to produce renewable alternatives, Thomas and his team are leading the race to develop new biofuels that will enable us to continue living at our current rates of resource usage.

Both a pure chemist and chemical engineer, Thomas has made major breakthroughs in the design of catalytically active sites, and has been instrumental in transforming many laboratory projects into real-world applications.

In 2007, Thomas won the Australian Academy of Science prize for being Australia’s leading chemist under 40.


Professor Bryan Gaensler
Revealing the evolving universe

Bryan Gaensler

Bryan Gaensler and his team are researching cosmic magnetism. Their groundbreaking measurements are helping to reveal the role that cosmic magnets played in the evolution of the universe.

As Bryan will tell you, the entire universe is magnetic. He made surprising discoveries here as an undergraduate before launching from Sydney to share his celestial observations to global acclaim. But when he wanted to deliver his world-beating ideas in his down-to-earth style, he returned to Sydney, his intellectual home.


Dr Jennie Brand-Miller
Improving our diet

Jennie Brand-Miller

We think that the best education is sustained not only on curiosity and insight, but also on a steady diet of integrity and courage.

GI Jennie, as she is known among her peers, and her rigorous research on the glycemic index has changed the way we think about food. Her successful publications have provoked intellectual skirmishes and furious debates on the topic of nutrition.


Professor Chris Dickman
Exploring Australia's arid regions

Professor Chris Dickman

To most, the desert can seem like an empty, dead place. But Professor Chris Dickman will tell you that it’s teeming with life. For 20 years, Professor Chris Dickman has been visiting the Simpson desert and researching the extraordinary biodiversity that exists there. He has found exceptionally rich communities of small mammals and lizards in this arid region of Australia, and the primary focus of his work has been to elucidate the factors that regulate diversity in these small vertebrates.

In 2010 he was named the NSW Scientist of the Year in Plant and Animal Sciences.