Physical Sciences Staff

Across our research and teaching, we have a wide range of expertise. Our researchers, your lecturers, are listed here with various networking and contact options available.

Head of Academic Group

Professor Ron White


Ron White's group is focused on non-equilibrium charged particle transport in matter with applications in atomic/molecular/plasma physics, medical imaging, radiation damage & organic optoelectronics. He leads the Rapid Assessment Unit - a JCU/QDAFF joint venture focused on rapid non-destructive NIR spectroscopy assessment in primary industries.

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Academic Staff


Dr. Mark C. Barnes

I am a chemist by trade with a specialty in physical chemistry, particularly in examining chemical reactions/processes. As 1st Year Chemistry Coordinator, I administer the 1st year subjects in chemistry (CH1001, CH1002, PC1005, and TV1003) and am the first point of contact for all 1st year chemistry students.

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Dr Murray Davies

Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry. Course Coordinator for Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics

I am an inorganic chemist focused on modelling the properties of metalloproteins and enzymes, medicinal inorganic chemistry and catalysis.

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Professor Peter Junk

Nevitt Professor of Chemistry

My research and professional interests involve many aspects of inorganic and organometallic chemistry of the main group and lanthanoid elements, in particular organometallic and amido complexes. These complexes have relevance to such areas as catalysis, new materials and organic syntheses.

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Associate Professor Mike Liddell

Environmental Chemist

Trained in synthetic, physical and theoretical chemistry. Current research interests are broadly in environmental science.  I run the TERN Australian SuperSite Network and the FNQ Rainforest SuperSite.  A specific focus in the rainforest is on atmospheric fluxes.  In addition I work on dental composite materials and peptide toxins.

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Dr Yang Liu

Lecturer in Chemistry

Dr Liu’s research interests are primarily in the exploration of innovative analytical technologies based on electrochemical reactions, including application of nanomaterials for label-free sensor devices and study of biomedical molecules at liquid-liquid (or oil-water) interfaces. The current research activity is at the boundary of analytical chemistry and electrochemistry, with a focus on exploration of sensing technologies for water and air quality analysis.

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Associate Professor Michael Oelgemöller

Organic and Medicinal Chemist

Michael is a leading expert in applied photochemistry. His research include the synthesis of bioactive compounds, the solar production of commodity chemicals from biomass, the development of new photochemical synthesis tools ('lab & light on a chip'), light-driven water treatment and the stability of polymers, cosmetics and drugs to light.

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Dr Mark Payne


Mark received his PhD in Chemistry in 2000 and holds a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Chemical Physics.  He is currently teaching both these subjects at the University.  His particular interests and expertise lie with laser spectroscopy, molecular dynamics, molecular kinetics and photonics.

Dr Mark Robertson

Dr Robertson is a synthetic chemist  with experience in working on medicinal chemistry projects including antibiotics, chemotherapeutics and treatments for epilepsy. His research interests include the use of flow chemistry and harnessing solar power as the thermal source to drive chemical reactions.

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Associate Professor Shaun Belward

I am a mathematician who is interested in the role of mathematics and mathematicians in interdisciplinary pursuits in education such as collaboration in learning and teaching for science and engineering students and in preservice teacher education in mathematics. I also have an interest in mathematical modelling.

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Prof. Ricardo J. G. B. Campello

Applied Mathematics

I have worked in the fields of engineering, computer science, and applied mathematics. Currently, I am focused on the development of algorithms and mathematical techniques for data analysis. In particular, my current interests fall primarily within the areas of data science, data mining, machine learning, and computational intelligence.

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Carolyn Diedricks

I am a Chemical Engineer qualified in Tertiary Teaching who lectures Mathematics to First Year students on Cairns Campus. My focus areas are Maths, Stats, Transition Pedagogy, FYE, Reflective Practice, and motivating students to succeed in Maths subjects as a foundation for Engineering and STEM careers. Contact me to start your Maths journey at JCU

Associate Professor Yvette Everingham

Yvette is a statistician dedicated to identifying strategies that will deliver better learning and teaching outcomes in interdisciplinary science education and using Big Data Analytics to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems to benefit the environment, industries and societies in the Tropics

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Dr Neil Fraser

Lecturer in Data Science

Neil has worked widely in business intelligence, data engineering, statistics, data science, strategy and information management in industry. Since 2016 he has been teaching Applied Data Science at postgraduate level. His interests are in open data, behavioural modelling, natural language processing, visualisation, geospatial intelligence  and machine learning for innovation in IoT.

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Patrick Higgins

Patrick’s research extends to the Flow Over Topography and numerical solutions to partial differential equations, seepage through pourous media, teaching technologies and learning strategies for mathematics education. He is also the First Year Coordinator for Engineering and Physical Sciences.

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Dr Jiangang (Mike) Ma

Lecturer in Data Science

I am a lecturer in data science and statistics. Currently, I have worked on developing subjects in data science by using mathematical statistics approaches, algorithm design and machine learning. My research interests lay in computer science, with specific topics including data science, Internet of Things, statistical machine learning, algorithm design and services & cloud computing.

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Dr D'Arcy Mullamphy

D'Arcy Mullamphy has lectured mathematics at JCU since 1985. He completed a science degree at JCU majoring in mathematics and physics in 1982.  D'Arcy obtained his Masters in theoretical physics in 1992 and completed his PhD in the same field in 2002. He has recented moved his research focus from physics to mathematics education. D'Arcy has a keen interest in teaching and has received two ALTC citations as well as a JCU excellence in teaching award.

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Dr Sara Brice


My expertise is in the field of Human Biomechanics, specifically Sports Biomechanics. My research focuses on performance enhancement in elite sport, injury prevention, and wearable technology. I also undertake research in the area of pedagogical practices where my focus is on assisting students with numeracy.

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John Daicopoulos

John coordinates multiple physics subjects at JCU, with a particular focus on physics for first year students across a diverse range of degree programs.

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Associate Professor Daniel Kosov

Daniel Kosov's group works on a broad spectrum of fundamental and applied problems in chemistry, physics and engineering of molecular nanoelectronic devices. The group develops new conceptual theoretical methods for quantum transport as well as large-scale computer programs for simulations of nanoelectronic devices.

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Professor Peter Ridd

Peter Ridd is a geophysicist with interests in coastal oceanography, image recognition, instrument development, geophysical sensing of the earth, atmospheric modelling. He also works on applications to agriculture and weed control including an automated weed killing robotics and non-invasive sensing defects in fruit.

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Research Staff

Dr James Whinney

Senior Research Officer

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Adjunct Staff

Dr Daniel Cocks

Adjunct Physicist

I am a JCU graduate currently on an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award at the Australian National University, working with the group of Prof. Ron White to develop models for electrons, positrons and positronium propagating through liquids for use in medical diagnostics and therapy.

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Dr Rosalind Gummow

Casual lecturer and researcher

Rosalind’s research interests lie in the understanding of the structure-property relationships of transition metal oxides, sulphides and silicates, with particular emphasis on energy storage materials.  This work has applications in the development of insertion electrodes for Li-ion and multivalent-ion batteries, sensors and catalysis.

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Professor Shaik Hakeem


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Adjunct Emeritus Professor Richard Keene

Adjunct Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Over the last two decades, the laboratory of F Richard Keene has been an international pioneer in the development of techniques to control the stereochemistry of the component metal centres in mononuclear and oligonuclear metal complexes. The methodologies – using a combination of stereoselective synthesis and chromatography – have allowed the routine separation of diastereoisomers, the resolution of enantiomers, the separation of geometric isomers, and the separation of chiral helical forms.

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Professor Robert Robson

Physicist and Meteorologist

Robson, who began as a student of JCU in 1964, has lectured in physics, engineering and meteorology at institutions in Australia and overseas. His research on gases, plasmas, condensed matter and boundary-layer meteorology  has been supported by the ARC, the Humboldt Foundation, the Hitachi Corporation, and the Academy of Science.

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Professor Ian Whittingham


My theoretical physics research interests cover elementary particles (unified gauge theories, hadronic B decays, quantum field theory), astroparticle physics and cosmology (dark matter abundances in novel cosmologies), atomic physics (neutral atom spectral line broadening, ultracold collisions ) and astronomy (search for stellar oscillations)

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