Science communicators boost the visibility of Uni of Adelaide research

Natalia Caliani drinking wine in the Clare Valley
Why are dogs scared of the vet? poster

As part of the program, Petra Edwards created a poster for veterinary clinics to use as a tool for pet owners to learn why their dog is scared of the vet and what they can do to help.

Six University of Adelaide scientists have each won the inaugural Science Communication Prize for increasing the visibility of the University’s scientific research and capabilities, while boosting the profile and accessibility of their own work. 

Science Communication Bootcamp was held over two days in September in which 28 early career researchers and staff gained key insights and knowledge from industry experts across the media, science communication, marketing and social media landscape.

This equipped them with new skills to create and champion their own content over the following months, working along key stakeholders across the University.

From the workshops and follow-up activities, six participants were selected as winners of the prize and recognised for their commitment and output from the program.

  • Erica Boyle wanted to increase the awareness and understanding of the Waite Arboretum’s Bee, Butterfly and Bird Garden. Erica collaborated with Sam Le Gallou and Rowena Garcia from the Sciences marketing team to revamp the BB&B website with the inclusion of a short video and an interactive map of the garden.
  • Dog behaviour expert Petra Edwards wrote two epic blog articles on ‘beach safety’ and ‘why dogs are scared of the vet’, and worked alongside the sciences marketing team and University of Adelaide media team to share these stories across several mediums. A poster summarising ‘tips for a vet visit’ was also created for veterinary clinics to use as a tool for pet owners to learn why their dog is scared of the vet and what they can do to help.
  • Wine scientist Natalia Caliani took to social media to regularly document her PhD project; and then worked with Lieke van der Hulst from the Waite Research Institute to craft blog articles about fungicides and wild yeast.
  • Biomedical scientist Hannah Agnew got her summer research scholarship students involved in a project that document how effective hand sanitiser was at killing germs. She also ‘took over’ the University of Adelaide Instagram account with a ‘day in a bacteria lab’, showing prospective and currents students and other scientists, in insight into the University’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases.
  • Animal and veterinary scientists Alexandra Whittaker and Rochelle Morton teamed up with the Sciences marketing team to create a video that explained how all animals aren’t protected by law in Australia. They are also in the process of recording a podcast episode about animal law, and have pitched some soon to be released research to ABC TV’s Behind the News. Alex also created a blog article that highlighted her research in how one in three breast cancer survivors suffer from cognitive impairment.

Other notable content to be achieved from the program include:

  • Claire Armstrong from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine is recording a podcast episode with the Australian Society for Viticulture and Oenology.
  • Alana Delaine from the School of Biological Sciences crafted a blog post about the Unexpected regeneration after fire at Secret Rocks on the Eyre Peninsula.
  • Earth scientists Jessica Walsh, Lucinda Duxbury and Samantha March have started a project that documents ‘Humans in Science’.
  • Matt Bowie from the School of Biological Sciences is part of a team of University of Adelaide alumni who are pioneering a new sustainable coffee cup to eliminate single-use packaging from cafes and businesses.
  • Wine microbiologist Scott Oliphant has begun documenting his research on social media, called 100 days of microbiology.

Science Communication Prize winners

Erica Boyle

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine


Dog beach patrol

Petra Edwards

School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences


Natalia Caliani drinking wine in the Clare Valley

Natalia Caliani

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine


Hannah Agnew

Hannah Agnew

School of Biological Sciences

Alex Whittaker & Rochelle Morton

School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

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