The Team

Headshot of Deborah Lau, Ending Plastic Waste Mission Lead

Mission Lead

  • With over 14 years of senior research management experience at CSIRO, Deborah has delivered impact across a diverse portfolio of projects developing materials and processes for energy and the environment. Deborah has been nationally awarded and internationally recognized for contribution to the field of cultural heritage and conservation science in Australia and has recently led the first global commercialisation of a novel polymer coating called MS3, now being used to protect the world’s most valuable paintings. She has long-standing expertise in developing hyperspectral and chemometric approaches to data analysis for an extensive range of complex material structures in order to accelerate materials discovery. She is now leading the Ending Plastic Waste Mission which is Australia’s catalyst for systematic change to tackle plastic pollution.

Mission Executive Officer

  • Jo Myers is an experienced Project Manager (PRINCE 2 Certified) and Marine Scientist with over 20 years experience working across a range of environmental sectors, from a scientist embedded in a policy team to a marine advisor for industry operations. Jo has a strong track record in the delivery of science outputs and the successful management of large research portfolios in the marine science fields. As the EO, Jo provides support across a range of functions to the EPW Mission Lead.
Headshot of Albert Ardevol Grau

Plastic Packaging Lead

  • Albert Ardevol is a computational biochemist with expertise in molecular modelling and protein engineering. He uses structural biology, computational modelling and biochemistry to rationally design and test new proteins for biotechnological applications and biomedicine. In his role in the CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission, he is focused on accelerating technology to enable a circular economy for plastic packaging and textiles. By studying the plastic cycle, creating new biomaterials, and designing bioprocesses to degrade, recycle and give value to the waste, we can abate the plastic pollution hazard while developing the Australian science and manufacturing industry.
Headshot of Andrea Walton, Social Enablers Work Package Lead

Social and Behavioural Enablers Lead

  • Andrea is a senior research social scientist and co-author of the National Roadmap for the Circular Economy. As Work Package Lead for Social and Behavioural Enablers she is leading research into circular procurement decision making to enable increased government procurement of goods with recycled content. Andrea’s recent work also includes social license in the waste and resource recovery (WRR) sector investigating social acceptance of WRR infrastructure including energy from waste facilities. Her team also investigates industry transitions at the regional scale to further regional prosperity in Australia’s regions. In combination, this research contributes to the responsible development of innovative approaches as Australia transitions to a circular economy.

Waste Innovation Lead

  • Melissa is a senior research scientist with over 20 years research experience. Melissa combines her expertise in polymer chemistry, synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry, polymer analysis and characterisation to redesign, reuse and recycle plastics. As work package lead for Waste Innovation Melissa leads research into new polymer development- “recyclable-by-design”, recycling pathways for problem plastics and works across the Ending Plastic Waste Mission to promote circular economy principles and turn plastic waste into a resource. Melissa co-authored CSIRO “The recycled plastics market: global analysis and trends” report.

Best Practice and Standards Lead

  • Naomi is a research scientist with more than 15 years’ experience in mining, waste treatment and resource recovery from strategic urban, industrial, and problematic wastes. Currently, she is researching innovation for emerging waste streams, practical application of circular economy principles in Australia, and the impact of hazardous chemicals on safe waste reuse. Naomi’s focus in the Ending Plastic Waste Mission is leveraging standards and best practices to reduce plastic waste.

Information for Decision Making Lead

  • A senior principal research scientist in the Environment Business Unit. Denise has been leading a portfolio of plastics related work for more than 14 years. As the Information for Decision Making lead, she brings a depth of knowledge and experience on data collection, analysis and interpretation for impact. For the last decade plus Denise has been working with local, state, and federal government leaders to identify solutions to reduce waste leakage to the environment. She has worked closely alongside government and industry bodies around the world including the Australian Packaging Covenant, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations.

Senior Communication Advisor

  • Natalie Kikken has over 15 years’ experience working in communications across the government, industry and not for profit sectors. She has expertise in the development and delivery of communications campaigns, storytelling and writing, media and issues management, content and digital assets including video and social media, stakeholder engagement, collateral, training and employee engagement.

Business Development Lead

  • Angus has worked in Business Development (BD) with CSIRO since 2017, mainly within the former Oceans & Atmosphere BU (now Environment) and specifically with the Climate Science Centre. Angus was the BD lead for the Navigating Climate Change mission which was established in 2019, and worked across BU’s on climate-related opportunities. Before joining CSIRO, Angus worked in international development for over 20 years including with AusAID, the former Federal Government aid agency, and in BD roles with an engineering firm and a not-for-profit. Through this work he travelled extensively through Asia & the Pacific and lived in the Philippines and PNG.


Headshot of Gavin Walker, Managed Waste System Work Package Lead

Managed Waste System Lead

  • Gavin is an experimental scientist with over 30 years experience in information systems, helping data be effective in solving real world problems. He has worked in infrastructure planning, hydrological data sharing, transport simulation, sensor systems, virtual education, government data sharing, market design, and more recently waste. Gavin is examining the managed waste system, looking for new information flows and analytics, for consumers and businesses, with confidentiality. Information can help secure recycled material, from different sources, at low risk of poor quality and disruption, establish product stock requirements, recycled content, durability and recyclability and help consumers identify the condition and substance of products to choose the highest value disposal pathway at the least socio-economic cost.