Well, today is my last day at the helm of the ASM’s blog and Twitter (@AUSSOCMIC) accounts. It has been a great learning experience for me, and at times quite entertaining. I hope that I managed to entertain and inform you along the way, while growing our social media presence (assuming they aren’t ALL spambots that ‘followed’ the Twitter account!). On reflection there were a few key points I wanted to share:
I was recently fortunate enough to sit down and chat with two ASM members who were pivotal in developing my passion for microbiology: University of New England Associate Professor Lily Pereg (previous blog) and former Head of Microbiology at Southern IML Pathology, Ms. Anda Clayton. I was honoured to have worked under the guidance of Anda who always promoted my interest in learning and impressed me with her extensive knowledge. Now I have the opportunity to share some of her experiences in the field of clinical microbiology. I am sure Anda’s experiences will add to those of Lily, revealing just two of the many possible careers in Microbiology. It’s important to point out that both Anda and Lily work in regional areas, demonstrating that you don’t need to live in the big cities to build your career.
I was recently fortunate enough to sit down and chat with two ASM members who were pivotal in developing my passion for microbiology: University of New England Associate Professor Lily Pereg and former Head of Microbiology at Southern IML Pathology, Ms. Anda Clayton. This first blog will focus on the career of A/Prof. Pereg who has established herself as a well-respected research scientist in the field of microbiology and lectures in both Biochemistry and Microbiology (and I must add, she has been one of my all-time favourite educators!). I’m sure her experiences along with those of Anda Clayton (in the next blog) will demonstrate the diversity of careers that exist in microbiology, encourage more people to join this exciting field, and overall, I hope they inspire you as much they have me!
Hi everyone! My name’s Dane and I get to be your Communication Ambassador for the next few weeks (*cue cheers and/or boos*). To kick off I apparently have to write a bit about myself, so here I go… I recently commenced a PhD project at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, NSW, where I am looking at phytochemicals and their derivatives in the hope of finding new antimicrobial compounds with potential clinical applications. My honour’s thesis was related to the same topic, looking specifically at Aboriginal plant medicines as topical antimicrobials. Before moving to rural NSW for my research, I worked for a pair of years in the micro department of a regional (Wollongong) path lab as an Aide while I undertook my undergraduate studies. So, as you can probably guess, I’m not much of a city boy and I hope that my regional experiences can benefit those of you not in the big cities (I’ll make sure I throw in some tweets about microbiology in the bush!).
My time in the United States has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible scientists. Here, I sit down with Justin McDonough, an associate research scientist in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University, to get the low down on his career and to find out what excites him about microbiology.
So the jet-lag has worn off, and it’s time to get to work. I’ve spent the last week here at the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University learning new techniques and making lots of new friends. That’s what networking is, right? I’ve also been introduced to several American craft beers, which I have sampled in the name of science. Fermentation is microbiology after all.
Entering into the workforce in Australia as a young scientist can appear to be an incredibly daunting task. There is an ever increasing competition for resources & grants, there is no Science Minister and a lot of very experienced individuals have moved from the public sector to the private. The speed of innovation is growing at an exponential rate & it is our job to not only keep up, but to gain all the experience necessary to compete for that first job.
Andrew Cameron is a science communicator & microbiologist working within the food and beverage industry. He completed his degree in Technology Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology graduating with first class honours before co-founding a consulting & events company, Macaron Creative. He has presented on microbial terroir & sustainable cuisine at the International Food Studies Conference and The Australian Gastronomy Symposium, presented at the Queensland Museum & Museum of Tropical Queensland & has helped organise events for Inspiring Australia & National Science Week over the last four years. He has also worked with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, attended the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen & contributed to a segment on ABC’s Catalyst.
Recently basing himself in Adelaide, Andrew has been able to attain a more hands-on working knowledge of the microbiology of wine-making, cheese production, soil health & food safety. He is particularly interested in looking at the complexities of wild fermentation, the gut microbiome, future foods & strategies for commercialising sustainable technologies. In his spare time he makes wine, vinegars, koji, kombucha & lacto-ferments in a small laboratory he hast put together under a restaurant he assists.