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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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

Lecturer Physical Sciences

Mark received his PhD in Chemistry in 2000 and holds Bachelor (Hons) degrees in both Chemistry and 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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Dr Greg Boyle


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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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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 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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Dr Daniel Cocks


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.

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

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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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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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Research Staff

Dr James Whinney

Senior Research Officer

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Adjunct Staff

Professor Shaik Hakeem


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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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Research Students

Nathan Garland

I am nearing the end of my PhD in computational physics, where I am programming high accuracy numerical solutions of hyperbolic partial differential equations, and applying these methods to simulating electron dynamics. My thesis focuses on building a framework towards one day modelling electron transfer in plasma medicine applications, by providing a solid theoretical foundation for the transport of electrons across a gas-liquid interface.

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Elius Hossain

PhD Student in Chemistry Discipline with Prof. Peter Junk. Working on synthesising organometallics of rare earth metals and their potential applications in catalysis. Graduated from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Former Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh.

Marites Magno-Canto

Marites earned her MSc degree in Marine Science (Physical Oceanography) and recently started with her PhD (as AIMS@JCU). Her project aims to develop a new satellite algorithm to directly derive benthic irradiance from MODIS imagery for GBR waters.

Padmakana Malakar

I am PhD student in A/Prof. Michael Oelgemöller’s lab. My research area is Natural Products Isolation, synthesizing therapeutically active molecules and pharmacological evaluation. Currently I am  doing research on ‘Continuous-flow route based production of anti-malarial agents’.

Justin Sexton

PhD candidate

Justin has an MSc in mathematics and is currently undertaking his PhD. Justin’s research has included how climate change may affect the sugar industry as well predicting sugarcane yields using computer simulations. His current research investigates the use of statistical techniques to improve NIRS analysis of sugarcane for on-line cane analysis systems.

Clair Stark

I am studying water quality changes during dredging operations in collaboration with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution's Dredging Science Node, including detection of a dredging impact zone and the use of a simple turbidity model to decouple natural and dredged turbidity events. BSc (Hons) in Physics