Board member profiles

Erica Wanless

University of Newcastle


I completed my PhD in surface science at the Australian National University (1995) working with both the surface forces apparatus and the first atomic force microscope in Australia. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Otago using soft contact AFM to image adsorbed surfactant aggregates. I joined the University of Newcastle in December 1996 and am now a Professor of Colloid & Interface Chemistry. My research focusses on both polymers and colloidal particles at interfaces using a variety of physical chemistry surface techniques for characterisation. I have a long history of service to our Colloid community including as a past chair of the RACI Colloids Division. I am currently on the Editorial Board of Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, and the Advisory Board of the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. I was elected to the ACIS Board in 2020.

Tamar Greaves

RMIT University


I am an Associate Professor within Physics at RMIT University and have been at RMIT since 2014. I completed my Ph.D. in Experimental Physics in 2004 at Monash University, Australia. In 2005 I joined CSIRO as a Postdoctoral Fellow and worked there for nearly 10 years. I am a frequent user of the Australian Synchrotron, particularly the SAXS/WAXS beamline, and a former chair of the SAXS/WAXS Program Advisory Committee. I am currently a member of the advisory committee for the BioSAXS beamline which is being built. My research is based around understanding the fundamental physicochemical and thermal properties of ionic liquids, their mixtures, liquid nanostructure, and solvation properties. I am currently developing ionic liquid solvents for use with biological molecules in a broad range of applications, including protein solubility, stability and crystallization. A key focus of my research is the development of high throughput methodologies for experimental design, sample synthesis, characterisation and data analysis.

Frank Sainsbury
Griffith University

Equity and Diversity


I am a Group Leader at the Griffith Institute for Drug Delivery and Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University. I completed a PhD in Plant and Microbial Science at the John Innes Centre in the UK (2009) where I first started working with nature’s nanotechnology; viruses. After a postdoc at Laval University in Quebec City where I worked with company making virus-like particle vaccines, I moved to a chemical engineering lab at the University of Queensland. During an ARC DECRA at UQ I became fascinated with the biophysics of virus capsids and started a research stream on using peptide surfactants to stabilised liquid-liquid interfaces. I joined Griffith University in 2019 where I hold a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Fellowship. I chair the ACIS Equity and Diversity Committee, which is committed to recognising, supporting, and promoting diversity amongst ACIS members at large, and at the ACIS and student conferences.


Joe Berry
The University of Melbourne

Awards and Prizes

I completed my PhD at Monash University in 2010 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I then worked as a research fellow modelling multiphase flows in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, before a three-year stint at CSIRO developing models of flows within small- and large-scale stem-cell bioreactors. In 2015 I returned to the University of Melbourne where I am now working as a lecturer in Chemical Engineering. My research focusses on the development and application of numerical models to solve complex, multi-disciplinary engineering problems, spanning areas such as microfluidics, soft matter, colloid science, and biological flows. A particular focus of my research is the translation of complex numerical models to easily applicable tools to enable impact and discovery in a range of relevant fields.


Michael Higgins
University of Wollongong



I am a Professor in the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials at the University of Wollongong, NSW. I am currently an ARC Future Fellow (FT3) and former ARC Australian Research Fellow. I completed my PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2003 and postdoctoral research positons at Trinity College Dublin and Dublin College University in Ireland from 2003-2007. My research focuses on developing modified surfaces and materials for biomedical and environmental applications, with an underlying theme of understanding the biological-material interface. I am particularly interested in measuring interactions and forces in biology, especially the molecular mechanisms by which cells recognize and adhere to artificial surfaces. To this end, I have had a long-standing interest in the application of force measurement techniques to probe single molecule and living cell interactions with the materials under development. 


Christine Browne

Monash University



I am a Research Fellow at BioPRIA in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University. I completed my PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2016 investigating the interactions between bubbles using both AFM and microfluidic-based techniques. I then completed a Post Doctoral role at the Université Grenoble Alpes, France in collaboration with BASF, Germany. We investigated the impact of chemical additives on the plaster board manufacturing process. I joined BioPRIA in 2018 and I am currently developing various materials and products from cellulose-based sources. I am particularly interested in the interactions and properties of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibres.

Deborah Wakeham


Honorary Treasurer


I am an instrument scientist on the Quokka small angle neutron scattering instrument at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering (ACNS) at ANSTO. I completed my PhD at the University of Newcastle (2012) examining ionic liquid and surfactant structure at the air-liquid and solid-liquid interface using x-ray and neutron reflectivity, and atomic force microscopy. I then spent 5 ½ years at KTH - Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden collaborating with L’Oreal Paris, developing novel AFM techniques to evaluate adhesive and tribological interactions between irregular particles and surfaces such as hair, skin and pollution, and products to predictably control those interactions. I am also a member of the Australian Cosmetic Society. I am interested in academia, industry and research facilities such as ANSTO working together.

Geoff Willmott

The University of Auckland

General Member


I am an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Department of Physics and the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland, where I have been since 2013. My research mainly involves nano- and microfluidics, an interest that was kindled during a postdoc with the Nano and Micro Fluidics team at Industrial Research Limited (now Callaghan Innovation) in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, following a PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK). Since 2018 I have been Deputy Director for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement in the MacDiarmid Institute, and in 2021 I was appointed co-Deputy Head of Department (Research) in Physics.

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