Favourite Thing: Learning things that nobody knows.
Assumption Primary School (1987-1988), St. Monica’s Primary School (1989-1993), Wodonga High School (1994-1999)
I studied Science and Engineering at Monash University and I did a PhD at the University of New South Wales.
Hollywoods Pizza, Masterfoods, Monash University and Neuroscience Research Australia
Neuroscience Research Australia
I do research to try and learn how our brain controls our muscles and how our muscles control our brain.
Me and my work
Designing and performing experiments on humans to look at how the brain, nerves and muscle work when we move around.
Every movement we make with our bodies requires our brain to control our muscles to make those movements. It also requires information to come back from the muscles, joint and skin to tell the brain what is going on. This information forms a sense called ‘proprioception’. Proprioception is why you still know where your arms and legs are when you close your eyes and it is why you can touch you nose with your eyes closed. A lot is known about proprioception, but much more is not known and this is where my work comes in. Learning more about proprioception will lead to new ways to help people with movement disorders, such as stroke patients. It could also help us prevent some types of sports injuries.
My Typical Day
Designing or doing experiments on myself and other people and communicating the results to the rest of the world.
I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day, every day is different. Everyday I will spend some time with experiments. Not just designing and doing experiments, also designing and building the equipment needed to do them. Because my experiments are done on people I also spend quite a bit of time recruiting people to participate in my experiments and in turn I participate as a subject in experiments for other scientists that I work with. I would spend some time everyday teaching more junior scientists. Then there is reading and writing. I spend a large part of my day reading to keep up with what other scientists around the world have found and writing up my own work for publication so that other people can read about what I’ve discovered.
What I'd do with the money
I will use the money to help students at schools in country Australia learn about science and scientists.
I grew up and went to school in the country. It was difficult to learn about science and engineering at school, apart from something like “you need to go to uni.” In the country there are not as many large companies that employ scientists or engineers, there are no large research hospitals and there are no large research universities. I would use the money to make it easier for school students in country Australia who are interested in studying science or engineering to meet practising scientists and engineers. This could be by helping schools fund visits by scientists, by funding students to visit scientists or even helping students interested in science and engineering to travel to do a work experience placement.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
learner, father, artisan
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Learning how to fence with a sabre.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I had an ice rink in my backyard. I wish my motorbike had better brakes. I wish that my sink had a tap for ice cream.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A vet or electrical engineer.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
I didn’t get into trouble very often, but when I did it was serious trouble.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Tell us a joke.
Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshiper? He sold his soul to santa.