2020 CERC Postdoc event – Career advice for researchers

June 22nd, 2021

Online, Sept 2020

Due to Covid-19 restrictions this event was held online. However, this gave us the opportunity to hear from a panel of CSIRO Alumni across Australia, talking about their career journeys after working at CSIRO.

Dr Jenny Stauber opened the event and spoke about her own career and experiences.

Our panellists talked about their time at CSIRO and how they had moved onto other organisations. There was a general Q&A session, followed by breakout rooms (online) where the conversations continued in smaller groups.


We really appreciate the panellists taking the time to share their knowledge and experience and would like to thank them:


Madeline Mitchell

Research program manager, Constellation for Natural Capital, Food Agility and Research Fellow at RMIT Centre for Urban Research.

Collaboratively designing and facilitating research projects to develop farm-scale solutions that help farmers better manage their natural capital and the effects of climate for sustainability and disaster resilience.


Calum Kinnear

Research Scientist, CSL

Calum has a demonstrated history of working both in the higher education sector and industry. Skilled in Nanomedicine, Materials Science, Data Analysis, Nanomaterials, Spectroscopy, Team Building, Presenting, and Teaching. Research professional with a PhD focused in BioNanomaterials from the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Switzerland


Alexie Papanicolaou

Senior Lecturer, Western Sydney University and Deputy Chair, EMCR Forum Executive

Dr Alexie Papanicolaou blends the frontiers of molecular biology and computer science to secure Australia’s agricultural and natural ecosystems in the face of a changing climate.
He is a genome bioinformatician working on ecological and economically important species, such as the Heliconius butterflies, Helicoverpa armigera the cotton bollworm moth, invasive Tephritid fruit flies and eucalyptus trees.
Dr Alexie Papanicolaou’s main interest is developing bioinformatics capability to address evolutionary questions such as how organisms adapt to a changing or novel environment and therefore works on the crux of biosecurity, climate adaptation and evolutionary biology.


Dr Maria de la Paz Vilas

Senior Scientist at Queensland Government

Maria is interested in increasing sustainability in agricultural catchments. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia where she studied the impact of invasive submerged plants on water quality. As a postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO, she worked on optimising fertiliser management to protect the health of the Great Barrier Reef. In her current role, she uses mathematical modelling to evaluate how agricultural practices affect the loads of pollutants in the Great Barrier Reef catchments with the ultimate goal of assessing progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets. She works across the disciplinary divide with collaborators from engineering, ecology, mathematics, and social science. In 2019, she was awarded the “Best Young Research Award” by the International Society for Ecological Modelling.