Adelaide scientist shines new light on Europe
Thursday, 26 May 2011
As part of an Australian Academy of Science Speaker Series, the University of Adelaide's Professor Tanya Monro is visiting Europe to spread the word about new Australian science that will allow humans to probe our world in ways that have never before been possible.
The research has implications for applications in medicine, defence, the environment, agriculture and many other areas of science and engineering.
"A lot of the challenges we come up against in solving pressing problems in these critical areas simply cannot be solved using existing sensing technologies," Professor Monro said.
"We have pioneered new approaches to interacting light with liquids, and for controlling light on the nano-scale. These new platform technologies are allowing us to detect chemicals or biomolecules of interest within just a few nanolitres of fluid or in difficult to access areas.
"For example, at the moment there is no way to measure an embryo's response to its environment as it develops. This emerging technology will allow us, for the first time, to 'listen' to the embryo and assess how it responds to its environment. This will ultimately lead to improved agricultural practices, increase the success rate of IVF treatment and improve our knowledge of fundamental reproductive biology.
"We are also working with Australia's defence scientists to develop smart optical fibres that can be embedded within aircraft or buildings to detect corrosion as it happens."
In other work, Professor Monro's team is developing novel probes for use in agriculture, wine monitoring, and early screening for cancer, and developing new classes of advanced materials and lasers.
The Speaker Series is a joint initiative of the Australian Academy of Science and the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). Professor Monro is one of three Australian scientists who will visit Asia, Europe and North America in 2011 to share Australian research and innovation with their international counterparts.
Professor Monro is Director of both the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and the Centre of Expertise in Photonics (CoEP) at the University of Adelaide, and an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow.
She will speak next week at Ireland's National Centre for Sensor Research, the Spanish Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, the Technical University of Denmark, The Institute of Photonic Technology at Jena in Germany, and Italy's University of Trento.
"I'm thrilled to be able to visit so many great centres in Europe and share the great work that's going on in Australia and enhance our linkages with some of the world's leading groups," Professor Monro said.
"It's so important in science to collaborate across traditional discipline boundaries and across international boundaries, and I think there's real potential in photonics to make a big impact globally by engaging with scientists all over the world."
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics
Director, Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing; ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow, FAA, FTSE, FAIP
School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3955
Mobile: 0400 649 369
Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762