CSIRO scientists come together to talk health and biosecurity

November 13th, 2023

Early-mid career researchers from CSIRO's Health and Biosecurity research programs connected, collaborated, and enjoyed copious cups of coffee.

The event, organised by the Health and Biosecurity (H&B) Early-Mid Career Researcher Committee, brought together over 60 scientists from across the country.

Researchers from the AEHRC joined researchers from the Human Health and Biosecurity research programs to present their work, grow their networks, and hear from special guests including members of the Health and Biosecurity leadership team.

3, 2, 1… Time’s up!

The highlight of the event was the three-minute research presentation competition. In the time it takes to make a cup of noddles, participants wowed the audience with their research.

Competition was fierce. Frances Zewe came away with first place for her talk on reducing Australia’s wild rabbit population using genetic manipulation.

The runner-up award went to AEHRC scientist Deepa Prabhu for her presentation on using environmental sensor data to screen for depression in older adults, and third place to Himali Ratnayke for her speech on preventing food spoilage by incapacitating fruit flies.

Lessons in the lab (and life)

The event also welcomed some special guests.

Brett Sutton, director of the Health and Biosecurity unit, gave the keynote address. He spoke on leadership, the pursuit of knowledge, and the need for conversations around science and health.

Liz Minchin, Executive Editor of The Conversation, and Ofa Fitzgibbons of CSIRO’s Strategic Delivery team offered their tips and tricks on successfully communicating research.

To round out the day, industry representatives Ben Kraal and Andrew Gatenby joined CSIRO’s Alison Rice for a panel on engaging with industry. The panellists also opened up about their career journeys and provided advice on balancing work and life, making the most of every opportunity, and pushing past failure.