Outreach is something that is really close to my heart, and I'm really passionate about it!  Below, you'll find a description of some of my past and present outreach activities.


What I do in 60 seconds (plus some bloopers!)

Here is a short video of me explaining what I do in 60 seconds.  At the end are some bloopers that occurred during filming - mostly just for fun, but also because this science thing is full of advances, learning, and mistakes!  I thank Jess and Christiana for helping me with filming, and I do hope you enjoy it.

 The 2018 Curious Minds group. Picture Ann Rolfe.

The 2018 Curious Minds group. Picture Ann Rolfe.

Curious Minds

Since 2017, I have been part of the Curious Minds initiative - a program that aims to foster experience and enjoyment in STEM subjects of gifted high school girls with limited opportunities.

In 2018, I was mentor to high school student, Olivia.  Olivia's from Perth, and we worked on a project that ties together:

  1. Invasive species

  2. Antarctica

  3. Mars

  4. Adaptation

How, you ask???

Well, we brainstormed biological invasions in Antarctica, and linked that to the potential for biological invasions to happen on other planets, such as Mars.  We were particularly thinking about whether or not species from Earth could adapt to survive on Mars!  Olivia did a great job presenting the project at the Curious Minds winter camp in Sydney in July 2018.

RSB HDR Mentoring

CSIRO Work Placement

As part of the CSIRO Work Experience Program, I hosted Lyneham high school student, Nada, for a week at ANU. 

While here, Nada helped out with a fish experiment, she saw live moths as well as pinned museum specimens, she completed a small population genomics computer project with me, she came to lab meeting, and she met and chatted with lots of interesting researchers to find out what it's like to be a scientist!

At ANU, we have a Higher Degree Research (HDR) Mentoring program in the Research School of Biology

In 2018, I mentored PhD student, Upul, as part of the program, over the course of a ~7 month period.  Upul and I met regularly to discuss his project, his life (including as a very new Dad!), and what it's like to be a PhD student in RSB!

National Science Week 2018

As part of CSIRO's STEM in Schools Program, I visited Forrest Primary School in Canberra as a representative STEM professional on 10th August in the build-up to National Science Week 2018.  I talked to the Y5 students (~ ten year olds) about my adventures with fieldwork in Antarctica, preparing some special slides with gorgeous photos like the one on my home page. The students were so curious and had so many great questions - their enthusiasm was contagious and very rewarding!

Tutoring for Y9 students

In 2018, Telopea Park School in Canberra organised a science challenge for their Y9 students (~15 year olds).  The winners earned a trip to Hobart to visit the French scientific boat, L'Astrolabe.  

To participate, students needed to complete a science project on a subject that is linked with the Astrolabe in some way.  

I worked as a tutor (August to December) with a group of students on their projects, guiding them and facilitating their learning about how the scientific process works in practice.  The students designed an experiment focusing specifically on the Antarctic terrestrial ecosystem, testing the resistance of certain plants (algae, lichen, bryophytes) in cold, near Antarctic conditions.