CAMBIA Alumni

We list here some names you will recognise as authors of CAMBIA publications.

Neil Bacon

personimageSenior Software Engineer

Neil is from Hamilton, New Zealand, where he caught a B.Sc (Phys) at Waikato Uni.  He did a short stint of seismic surveying in the Bass Strait with Esso and enjoyed a few stormy days of seas rougher than he imagined possible. He worked at the CSIRO Division of Fossil Fuels and did a part-time M.Sc. (Phys) at the UNSW. Since then he's been doing IT work, initially embedded engineering applications and telecommunications and finally more general IT, in the UK, NZ, Belgium and Australia. Neil moved back to Australia from Belgium to be warm and live near a nice surf beach, but something went wrong with the plan and he ended up in Canberra - oh well, it's great for cycling. Neil has worked extensively on Cambia Sequence Software

Brett Baillie

personimageResearch Scientist and Patent Researcher

Brett obtained his PhD in biochemistry at James Cook University, Australia, in 1997. His PhD research, and subsequent research in the Philippines and Japan, involved the study of various aspects of the evolution and biology of marine symbioses with the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium. After returning to Australia in 2000, he took up a position at the Research School of Biological Sciences at ANU where he searched for signaling partners for the disease resistance gene Cf9 from tomato.    Following an interval at CAMBIA during which he worked on the Transbacter project and contributed to the Arabidopsis and rice genome landscapes and a technology landscape on Gateway vectors, Brett returned to the same ANU project. 

Wim Broothaerts

Research Scientist

Wim was first author of the Nature paper on Transbacter, an Agrobacterium-independent work-around for plant transformation, together with Dr Brian Weir and Dr. Heidi Mitchell, now at OGTR;  other authors on the paper included Carolina de la Roa-Rodrigues and Leon Smith, mentioned above. 

Wim is now with the European Commission at its Joint Research Centre (JRC) where he works in the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM)  He joined CAMBIA from the Fruitteeltcentrum, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, where he worked on self-incompatibility loci and self-incompatibility related RNAses.

Paul Brunckhorst

personimageSenior Software Engineer

Paul is an experienced Java developer having spent nine years in the industry in Australia and The Netherlands. He has a strong focus on sustainable software development through agile methodologies and continuous tool refinement without losing sight of project goals. Located in Brisbane, Paul works on open source projects in the stolen moments he calls "spare time" and has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Peter Chappell

personimageUser Interface Design & Development

Peter joined Cambia as a graphic and website designer after spending several years living and working in the UK. Peter has a strong focus on website usability and interaction design with 10 years experience as a website designer. He graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Multimedia and also completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland.

Rachel Cobcroft

personimageCommunications Officer
Email: rachel.cobcroft@cambia.org

Rachel has recently moved from the world of open content licensing to open innovation. She is editor of Building an Australasian Commons: Case Studies vol. 1, and helped create the international Creative Commons Case Studies wiki. In 2007, she attended the Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme at the Berkman Center, Harvard Law School. She readily admits an addiction to TED.

Joshua Cole

personimageSenior Software Engineer

Josh is an Adelaide boy with a BSc in Computer Science and an Honours degree in Philosophy, perfectly reflecting his passion for truth, logic, beauty and a damn good argument. He has worked in the IT industry for more than a decade, in both the commercial sector and academia. He joined Cambia in 2006 as a Java Developer. When not debugging code, Josh loves buzzing around the National Capital on his venerable Vespa.    

Marie Connett-Porceddu

personimageDeputy Chief Executive Officer (2005-2007)

Marie was CAMBIA's Deputy Chief Executive Officer 2005-2007.  She led CAMBIA's Patent Lens development team, including the addition of biological sequence search tools, status and family information, and expansion from a life sciences database to all patent categories.  She also coordinated the launch of the BiOS License and BiOS-compatible agreements covering materials transfer and data access, and the BiOS Initiative.  Marie has a PhD from Cornell University where she worked on the molecular genetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying a pollen production deficiency.  Her MBA was earned in the Moore Business School of USC.  She has a BA in Modern Languages and Literatures, is registered with the USPTO bar as a patent agent, has co-owned businesses in two countries and has experience with intellectual property business rules in an array of different countries.  She went on to become the CEO of A Rocha International.

Nick dos Remedios

personimageInformatics Specialist

Dr. dos Remedios is originally from Sydney, Australia, where he completed a B.Sc (Hons) in biochemistry & genetics and a Ph.D. in molecular immunology. Rather than predictably commencing a post-doc in his academic field, he instead commenced working for a local software company, specialising in expert systems for the airline industry. He joined the Informatics Team in early 2001. Some of his roles include programming web applications in Perl and Java, and managing the continual influx of patent data that requires processing for the searchable patent database. Dr. dos Remedios now works for the CSIRO Entomology as a programmer. 

Kerry Fluhr

personimagePatent Analyst

Kerry obtained a B.A. in Biochemistry from Ithaca College, followed by a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan, where her research focus was in the area of mechanistic enzymology. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, where she studied Type III-secreted exotoxins in gram-negative bacteria. Kerry is also a USPTO-registered Patent Agent, and prior to joining CAMBIA, she worked for several years at a Seattle-based law firm. Her work involved the preparation, prosecution, and analysis of patents and patent applications relating to biotechnology and medical devices. As a patent analyst at CAMBIA, Kerry focused on patent landscapes, patent tutorials, and other IP-related projects.  Kerry has now joined the CSIRO as an Intellectual Property analyst, in their ICT activities.

Paul Gilding

personimageFormer Executive Director, Greenpeace International, and Founder and Former CEO, Ecos Corporation

(Term expired)

Paul Gilding is an independent writer, advisor and advocate for action on climate change and sustainability. He has been an activist and social entrepreneur for 35 years, and is widely recognized as a global authority on sustainability and business. He has worked with CEOs and executives on many leading companies, including ANZ and IAG in Australia, and DuPont, Diageo, Anglo American, and Ford internationally.

Paul has served as CEO of a range of innovative NGOs and companies, including Greenpeace International, Ecos Corporation and Easy Being Green. He has also helped to establish and has served on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, including Inspire Foundation, the Australian Business Community Network and Climate Coolers. His speaking engagements and work have taken him to over 30 countries, including the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the USA and Mexico.

Paul is currently a member of the Core Faculty at Cambridge University's Program for Sustainability Leadership. His recently published book, The Great Disruption, has been making waves and achieving great reviews internationally (e.g. NY Times).

John Harpour

personimageSenior Software Engineer, Acting Team Lead

John has a background in large scale Enterprise Software Engineering with a strong mix of hands on technical skills and in-depth Management experience across large business units at the Director level through to small agile geographically distributed development teams. With a career focus on delivering innovation through the application of software engineering ethics and methodologies, John has managed multiple highly complex projects throughout the end-to-end SDLC always with a strong focus on direct stakeholder engagement to successfully deliver critical business outcomes.

Nik Hatta

personimageWeb Developer/Designer

Nik has a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the Australian National University and great interest in graphic arts. After completing her degree in 2001 she returned to Malaysia, her home country, and is now back in Australia. Prior to joining CAMBIA in 2006, she has been working as a web and multimedia developer at The Canberra Hospital, with experience as Team Lead of Creative Works - working on a variety of intranet and internet development projects for PETRONAS, the national oil & gas company of Malaysia.   Nik has now moved to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) where she is a lead in web design and development.

Kasia Heller-Uszynska

Research Scientist

While at CAMBIA carrying out research on plant telomerase Kasia completed her Ph.D.from the the University of Warsaw, Poland, revealing the complex splicing pattern of rice telomerase reverse transcriptase, and developed a microarray based high throughput assay to quantitate telomerase activity

Kasia went on to validate CAMBIA's Diversity Arrays Technology for sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), a demanding molecular analysis project due to the complex aneupolyploid genomefrom which a component was pulled out by subtraction. Several hundred polymorphic loci were identified for the most effective complexity reduction method, which was successfully used for sugarcane diversity analysis of cultivated materials and ancestral lines as well as for generating mapping data in the PJ2 cross (Q165 x IJ76-514A). Kasia is continuing with the sugarcane project in the spinoff company DArT Pty. Ltd. with Andrzej Kilian. 

Kasia has a Master's Degree in biology from University of Silesia, Poland, specialising in plant genetics and estimating impact of industrial pollutants upon genes and genotype frequencies in barley populations.  She also studied Applied Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Greenwich, Great Britain and molecular biology at Washington State University, USA, where she first became involved in the plant telomere and telomerase research continued at CAMBIA.

Amanda Helliwell

personimageSoftware Developer

Amanda has completed a BSc in Computer Science and a Master of Legal Studies at the University of NSW; as well as a Master of Industrial Property at the University of Technology, Sydney. Work with CAMBIA gave her an unusual opportunity to use her IP and IT knowledge for public good. During her productive time at CAMBIA, Amanda took a lead in developing patent family visualization tools. Prior to CAMBIA, Amanda worked in a variety of roles including programming electronic forms, graphic design, web design and web publishing. Aside from study and work, Amanda's favourite things are her cat, her car, lifting heavy weights, all sorts of music, great movies and bad tv. Amanda now works with the IP Australia, the Australian national IP registration authority.

Owen Hughes

personimageSenior Counsel

Owen Hughes, a Canadian / US dual citizen holds a J.D. from Yale Law School as well as an M.A. from Oxford University. Owen has practiced law for over thirty years.  For the past 17 years, Owen worked in the legal division of Pfizer Inc., where he specialized in contract and licensing matters as Senior Corporate Counsel to the company's worldwide research and development group.  His legal team oversaw thousands of different R&D transactions every year, using contractual instruments and policy and training materials that he created or helped to develop, covering research collaboration, technology licensing, contract negotiation, software and information technology issues, legal compliance programs and effective communication skills.  Among his project responsibilities at Pfizer were its vaccines initiative, its support for publicly-accessible gene sequence information and its participation in FDA Critical Path Initiatives for electronic health infrastructure and pharmacogenetic research into serious adverse events.  Owen was also Global Policy Head for Pfizer's legal division supporting research and development, with expertise in public-private partnerships, Bayh-Dole Act issues, clinical trial transparency, informed consent, stem cell research and biodiversity.  At Cambia, Owen will be responsible for creating improved transactional tools to foster an innovation community that is more open and inclusive. This will include taking a lead on refining the BiOS 'open source' licenses and crafting Concords - open, mutual non-assertion instruments.  Owen is active in community development, and serves on non-profit Boards, including that of Pilobolus, a ground breaking modern dance company.

Joi Ito

personimageDirector, MIT Media Labs; Chair, Creative Commons

Joichi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is a Board Member of The Sony Corporation, NYSE: SNE, The New York Times Company, NYSE:NYT, The MacArthur Foundation, The Knight Foundation, Creative Commons and co-founder and board member of Digital Garage JSD:4819. He is a member of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Center of Innovation (COI) STREAM governance committee. He is a Senior Visiting Researcher of Keio Research Institute and the Internet & Society Lab at Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Japan. He is an affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is on board of a number of non-profit organizations including The Mozilla Foundation and WITNESS. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Technorati, Flickr, Dopplr, Last.fm, Fotonauts/Fotopedia, Kickstarter, Path, Formlabs and other companies. He maintains a weblog (http://joi.ito.com/) where he regularly shares his thoughts with the online community. He is the Guild Custodian of the World of Warcraft guild, We Know. He is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, an Emergency First Responder Instructor and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor Trainer.

Ito was listed by Time Magazine as a member of the "Cyber-Elite" in 1997. Ito was listed as one of the 50 "Stars of Asia" by BusinessWeek and commended by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in 2000. He was selected by the World Economic Forum in 2001 as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow", chosen by Newsweek as a member of the "Leaders of The Pack" in 2005, and listed by Vanity Fair as a member of "The Next Establishment" in 2007. Ito was named by Businessweek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011 he was chosen by Foreign Poicy Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers". In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world's leading advocates of Internet freedom. In 2011 and 2012, Ito was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan. Ito received the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from The New School in 2013.

Paul Keese

Research Scientist

Paul joined CAMBIA after working on viruses and pigmentation genes at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry in Canberra, and also worked at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria.  He is now at the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, part of the Therapeutic Goods Administration within the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, along with two other former CAMBIAns, Dr Brian Weir and Dr Heidi Mitchell, both co-authors of the Nature paper on Transbacter.  Paul is still a Member of CAMBIA.

Andrzej Kilian

personimageDArT Pty. Ltd.

Andrzej joined CAMBIA in 1996 and led the Genomics program. In 1997 Andrzej invented Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT), and spent several years developing this technology within CAMBIA, until the establishment of the spinoff company DArT Pty. Ltd.  in 2001, with Andrzej as the Director, to commercialise it by providing a for-profit Diversity Arrays service and training under a commercial license from CAMBIA.  Other CAMBIA alumni now with this company include Dr. Eric Huttner, Dr. Kasia Heller-Uszynska, Dr. Peter Wenzl, Grzegorz Uszynski, and Gosia Aschenbrenner-Kilian.

Andrzej completed his PhD on population genetics of Arabidopsis thaliana at the Silesian University, Poland, and spent a year (1988) as a Postdoctoral Fellow funded by the FAO/IAEA at the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) in Cambridge, England with Dr. Mike Gale on comparative RFLP mapping of barley and wheat, contributing to the first indication of extensive RFLP map colinearity among cereals (synteny). While at PBI, he also collaborated with Dr. Richard Jefferson.  After two years (1989-1990) as an Assistant Professor of Genetics at Silesian University, Andrzej spent several years as a visiting professor at Washington State University (Andy Kleinhof's lab) in the North American Barley Genome Mapping Program.

Andrzej is still a Member of CAMBIA and continues as adjunct university faculty supervising the Ph.D. work of some students that were funded through CAMBIA:  Sujin Patarapuwadol, Shiying Yang, Damien Jaccoud and Thach Tranh.

Michael Lavarch

personimageExecutive Dean of Law, Queensland University of Technology, and Former Attorney-General of Australia

(Term expired)

Professor The Honorable Michael Lavarch is Professor of Law and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology, a position he has held since 2004. A QUT graduate, Michael commenced his legal career as a Solicitor practicing in Brisbane. In 1987, aged 26, he was elected to the Australian Federal Parliament by the Queensland electorate of Fisher, where he served three terms. This culminated in his appointment as Attorney-General of Australia in 1993.

Following the 1996 Australian federal election, Michael returned to his legal career, as Special Counsel to Dunhill Madden Butler and Deacons, where he specialized in land access issues, particularly native title and cultural heritage clearances. From 2001 to 2004, he was the Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia, the peak industry body for the Australian legal profession.

Michael holds a number of directorships on national companies and organizations, including Chair, Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman Limited (BFSO); Director, National Electricity Marketing Management Company Limited (NEMMCO); Director, Australian Stock Exchange Supervisory Review (ASXSR); and Director, Audit Quality Review Board (AQRB). He has also undertaken a number of significant community service and education roles in Australia.

Jorge Mayer

Principal Scientist, Operations Manager

Jorge was a Principal Scientist, Operations Manager, and trained as an IP analyst during five years at CAMBIA.  He is a co-inventor of the GUSPlus gene patents, and authored reports and review articles on a variety of topics. While at CAMBIA he also completed Master of Industrial Property Law studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.  Jorge went on to become the Project Manager for the Golden Rice project of Harvest Plus

Jorge was born and grew up in Peru, and did his studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry leading to a Ph.D. at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.  He did postdoctoral work at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne-Germany and was an Assistant Professor in the Botany Department at the Technical University of Aachen, Germany before joining the staff of the Biotechnology Research Unit in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT, in Cali, Colombia.  His work as Project manager for Golden Rice was based at the University of Freiburg in Germany.  Jorge has recently returned to Australia to assume the post of Manager of Germplasm Enhancement for the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) the principle funding and research commissioning body for the Australian grains industry.

Shona McDiarmid

personimageChief Patent Counsel

Shona McDiarmid is a Canadian &UK dual citizen, and has been practicing as a scientist, patent attorney and patent and trademark agent for almost two decades.  Shona holds an MSc in veterinary parasitology and a PhD in Biology and conducted postdoctoral research on tropical disease at Harvard Medical School.  Shona also holds an LLB from the University of Ottawa and was Vice President responsible for intellectual property in several biopharmaceutical companies, including Bellus Health Inc. (formerly Neurochem Inc.), Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc. and BioChem Pharma Inc.   In these roles, Shona had responsibility for worldwide activities including patent portfolio management, litigation, patent prosecution,  licensing, interferences, oppositions in many jurisdictions, due diligence and freedom to operate analysis. Her principal areas of activity were in human antiviral pharmaceuticals, vaccines and diagnostics.  Shona has served on non-profit boards and has advised Universities and hospitals on intellectual property matters.    Shona’s first passion is infectious and tropical diseases, and was responsible at Cambia for overall management of patent activities and patent landscaping.  Shona also has a black belt in Taekwondo.  Useful in negotiations.

Aparna Modak

personimageLab Assistant

Aparna earned her MSc in Microbiology from Shivaji University, a region of India just south of Mumbai. After coming to Australia, Aparna worked for five years in various areas of pathology at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, including specimen processing, biochemistry and hemotology. Having always enjoyed working in a lab, she is looking forward to working in a research environment and learning more about tissue cultures. Outside of work, Aparna enjoys gardening and Indian classical music.

Andrae Muys

personimageSenior Software Engineer

Andrae is an experienced Software Engineer with an extensive background in the engineering aspects of Information Management. He has worked on metadata management for such diverse fields as Oil and Gas Exploration, Telecommunications Network Management, Records Management, and The Semantic Web. He has been an active member of the Open-Source community for the past 14 years, with a corresponding interest in the development of modern intellectual property law. An unapologetic geek — a spare moment is enjoyed, reading old books, studying the semantics of programming languages, and playing board games.

Shoko Okada

personimageIP Analyst

Shoko is originally from Japan, where she completed a Bachelor of veterinary science degree at Hokkaido University. She came to Australia in 1998, and since completed a Grad. Dip., M. Phil. and PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics at the Australian National University, specialising in microbial population genetics. 

Shoko worked with Dr Marie Connett Porceddu on the BioIndicators technology landscape after updating portions of the Agrobacterium technology landscape.  She has now taken up a postdoc at CSIRO. 

Nina Prasolova

personimageInformation Systems Analyst and Researcher

Nina joined the Cambia team in 2009 as an Information Systems specialist, advising on patent and non-patent search strategies and bibliographic management. Nina holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from Moscow State University, and post-graduate degrees in Earth Sciences and Information Management. She was a Plant Scientist in the academic world for many years, but following JL Borges, she ‘always thought of Paradise not as a garden but as a Library,’ and now works as a Science Librarian.

Christine Pratt

personimageCompany Secretary/Finance Officer

Chris has been with Cambia since 1999 and has held numerous roles throughout her time here, sometimes more than one at the same time.  She continues currently as the Secretary to the Board of Directors and part-time as Finance Officer.  She also assists with Cambia's intellectual property legal work through Cougar Patent Law firm.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) and is trained as a patent paralegal.

Adrienne Pryor

personimageExecutive Officer

Adrienne has recently joined Cambia, having held similar senior management roles in not-for-profit research entities both in New Zealand and Australia.  Her career includes working in entities which address the needs of indigenous and marginalised peoples. Adrienne's role at Cambia includes providing operations oversight and management.

Adrienne graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health.

Greg Quinn

personimageInformatics Consultant

Greg is the original architect of the CAMBIA IP patent database system, and the Dekko search engine is his creation. He learned about algorithms at his father's knee and has been doing them with computers for over 30 years. He can also be found in the garden, because "I think that I shall never see, an algorithm lovely as a tree".

Carolina Roa-Rodriguez

personimageIP Analyst

Carolina joined the CAMBIA IP Team as an IP Analyst in 1999 and contributed to it with the technological landscape analysis of several key biotechnologies, including Agrobacterium transformation, antibiotic resistance selection genes, and promoters, and some of the tutorials found in the Patent Lens.

Carolina has recently completed a PhD in Law at the Centre for the Governance of Knowledge and Development at the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, working under the supervision of Prof. Peter Drahos. Her interests lie mainly in the area of IP and access regulations and policies related to plant resources as well as alternative ways to fuel the exchange and use of crop resources that are the core of food security and plant-based industries.

Carolina has a BSc. in Microbiology and Plant Biology as well as an MSc in Plant Biology. She worked for several years in the area of plant genetic diversity of tropical crops (cassava, a tuber crop and Brachiaria, a forage grass) at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), a CGIAR centre located in Cali, Colombia. She earned a Masters in International Law in 2002 at the Australian National University.

Carolina has recently moved to Mexico, where she is Intellectual Property Manager for CIMMYT, the International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center of the CGIAR.

Andrea Roberts

personimageAdministration and Materials Distribution

Andrea works part time (Monday and Thursday) at CAMBIA coordinating the distribution of CAMBIA's materials. She has lived in Tanzania, Ghana, the UK and Brisbane (Australia) before settling in Canberra six years ago. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Biotechnology at the Australian National University, and intends return to Europe and Africa once she graduates for an extended holiday. 

Jade Sharples

IP Analyst

Jade co-authored the technology landscape analyses of phosphinothricin resistance and "junk DNA" with Carol Nottenburg, who continues working with CAMBIA.  Since 2004 Jade has been the Science and Research Adviser for the Hon. Brendan Nelson, Australian Government Minister for Science, Education and Training. 

Jade studied Biological Sciences at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) before going on to complete her PhD in Biology at UWS and the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology at Monkswood, United Kingdom.  She also completed a law degree and was the Science and Technology Officer for the British High Commission, providing her with broad exposure to international science and innovation policies.

Matt Shaw

personimageSenior Software Engineer

I am currently engaged as a Senior Developer with Cambia to launch the Malaria Landscape. I am skilled in enterprise integration and have worked on large scale to small distributed environments. I have been working with Agile based development for the past 4 years and I am an avid promoter of the ideas and philosophies. I enjoy contributing to open source Java frameworks and in general designing solutions with light-weight frameworks to deliver the best outcomes for the client. My focus is on RESTFul services with rich clients and I am currently studying for my TOGAF certification.

Leon Smith

personimageLab Technician

Leon Smith graduated from Macquarie University (NSW, Australia) in 1994 with first class honours in the Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology degree programme. He then worked at Murdoch University (WA, Aust.) as a research assistant in two different groups, one working on resistance of Solanaceous plants to root knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) infection, the other group studying Phytophthora cinnamomi infection of Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata). This pathogen causes a dieback disease damaging large tracts of native forest in the southwest of Western Australia.

Leon worked with CAMBIA researchers during his undergraduate degree and returned in 1997 with an Australian Postgraduate Award to study for a PhD as an externally located student at the Australian National University.  Leon's Ph.D. project was to study genes that, like the GusA gene, could be useful in a variety of industrial processes. More recently he assisted with the development of a novel non-destructive reporter gene intended mainly for use in the study of plant transgene expression, and is a co-author on the Nature paper on alternative transformation methods, with Wim Broothaerts, Brian Weir, Heidi Mitchell.  Like some other co-authors, Sarah Kaines and Carolina Roa-Rodriguez, he is now at ANU.

Nat Torkington

personimageAdvisor, Information Systems and Strategy

Nat has been involved in the web since its very early days, when he ran the first web site in New Zealand.  He chaired conferences for O'Reilly Media on topics as diverse as Open Source software, Bioinformatics, and Internet GPS and mapping.

Photo by James Duncan Davidson

Matt Vanderstok

personimageIT Operations Support

Matt is the quietest member of the IT team and is kept busy behind the scenes working on the patent data. When not falling off his motorcycle, he enjoys getting reacquainted with Australia after several years abroad in Geneva, Switzerland.

Peter Wenzl

personimageResearch Scientist

Peter's publication record with CAMBIA describes the cloning of a number of glucuronidase genes from bacteria and even the discovery that there are active glucuronidase genes in some fungi, which are eucaryotes.  He is a co-inventor of the fungal glucuronidase gene that works extremely well in plants, PenGUS.  His primary reasearch work at CAMBIA was attempting to develop a method for positive selection, using a glucuronidase gene from a thermophilic bacterium.  He also worked on the development of a method for preparing a substrate for use in positive selection (cellobiouronic acid), and contributed greatly to the development of Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT).  He is now the Principal Scientist at the spinoff company DArT Pty. Ltd.  He's pictured here in the office at CAMBIA that housed DArT Pty. Ltd. for the first years of its existence, with stacks and stacks of CAMBIA lab notebooks, computer printouts and disks containing his research output.

Peter earned his Ph.D. at Vienna University (Austria) through a research project at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia under a research grant from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He discovered physiologically unique, effective aluminum resistance mechanisms in the tropical forage grass Brachiaria decumbens (signalgrass) and developed a method to screen brachiariagrasses for edaphic adaptation, which has been implemented in CIAT's breeding program.  While at CAMBIA he continued contributing to ongoing research on aluminium resistance at CIAT.  He speaks fluent Spanish and is married to Carolina de la Roa-Rodrigues, mentioned above. 

Kate Wilson

Co-founder of CAMBIA

Kate was co-founder of CAMBIA in 1992, and authored many papers in molecular microbial ecology, continuing work she had begun in a consultant role at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), establishing a laboratory and research program in molecular microbial ecology at the agency’s research laboratories outside Vienna and carrying out research for the IAEA in Asia.  Following her work at CAMBIA she joined the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in 1996 as research team leader for tropical aquaculture. Kate then joined CSIR as Science Coordinator of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship, and subsequently became Director of this Flagship project.   Recently Kate has accepted a senior position for the NSW Government, Executive Director, Scientific Services at Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW).

Kate has a BA (Hons, First Class) from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, and was awarded a PhD from Harvard University.  While completing her PhD, she spent 18 months working at an international agricultural research centre in India where she applied molecular tools to studying bacteria of local agricultural importance.  She undertook similar research in her subsequent postdoctoral work at the University of London’s Agricultural College.

Wei Yang

personimageIP Analyst

Wei is originally from China, where he obtained his B.Sc degree in biochemistry from Wuhan University. He worked at China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI) as a research scientist before joining CAMBIA in 1996 and obtained a PhD in plant molecular biology from the Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University. Wei's PhD work on apomixis is shown in the BioForge apomixis project and is available to use under a BiOS license.  He then worked as a Research Scientist at CAMBIA on Arabidopsis transgenomics.  Wei has now shifted focus from scientific research to intellectual property and is working with the IP group in biotechnology-related patent analysis and assisting in  Chinese-related IP issues.

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