Biosecurity & Forensics

Invited speakers

Dr Rebecca Johnson (Keynote)

Director, Australia Museum Research Institute

Rebecca is a Wildlife Forensic Scientist, conservation geneticist and Chief Scientist of the Australian Museum. Rebecca became Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute in April 2015 and was the first female to hold this position in the AM’s 190 year history.

Rebecca is a member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences represents the Museum on more than 14 government and industry committees, including as Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society NSW Branch president, and Director of Membership & Outreach for the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science.

Dr Ryan Farr

Postdoctoral Fellow – Science, Pathology & Pathogen Biology

Ryan is a postdoctoral research fellow funded through the Probing Biosystems Future Science Platform.

His current project is focusing on identifying and characterising microRNA biomarkers of viral encephalitis. Pre-clinical detection of highly pathogenic viral infections, such as Rabies Virus, will enable clinicians to implement early, effective treatment. This molecular signature will also feed into the development of next-generation diagnostics.

Ryan developed a keen interest in microRNAs, and other non-coding RNAs, during his PhD, where he characterised a circulating microRNA signature of beta cell death in the progression to Type 1 diabetes. Additionally, he has trained in multiple areas of molecular biology (including next generation sequencing), animal experimentation, cell culture, imaging, bioinformatics, and biostatistics.

Dr Nico Voelcker

Scientific Director, Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication.

Professor Nico Voelcker was appointed as the Scientific Director of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication and Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility’s Victorian Node (ANFF-VIC) in February 2017. He is also currently a Professor at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) at Monash University and Science Leader at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Nico’s key research interest lies in the fabrication and surface modification of porous semiconductor materials for applications in biosensors, biochips, biomaterials and drug delivery.

Dr Adrian Dinsdale

Assistant Director at Australian Government Department of Agriculture

I currently lead a team of scientists and manage the national, high-risk plant pathology biosecurity laboratory.

My responsibilities include providing specialist, scientific risk-mitigation advice; leading and participating in regional and national strategic and operational reviews; developing, validating and optimising molecular assays; identifying and responding to biosecurity risks including developing and implementing innovative solutions; developing and delivering technical training internally and externally.