Meet our teachers
All UQ teachers have a passion for their area of expertise and a drive to pass this onto their students. For our teachers, there's nothing more exciting than teaching students who want to dive into the unknown alongside them.
No matter the discipline or field of study, our passionate, engaging experts are ready to empower curious students with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to face a future of unknowns.
UQ’s teachers are true experts, with extensive industry and research experience. In many cases, they've ‘written the book’ on their subject. They're highly sought-after specialists who continue to provide knowledge leadership for a better world.
They're also future-focused, which means they're committed to ensuring students gain the insights, experience, and practical know-how to tackle any problem. Not just content to give students the skills to get their first job, our teachers prepare students for any path, any future, and any possibility.
Associate Professor Ron Johnstone: Environmental Science
Drawing from his extensive experience nurturing the coastal and marine ecosystems of more than 30 countries, Associate Professor Ron Johnstone knows that what his students learn will have an impact on the future of the planet.
Meet Associate Professor Ron Johnstone
Dr Jiwon Kim: Engineering and Computing
A childhood love of Lego led Dr Jiwon Kim to become an expert in transport engineering.
She loves seeing concepts come to life and is passionate about sharing these with her students.
Jiwon knows being up to date with the latest systems and technologies is incredibly important, so she ensures her students, the engineers of the future, are prepared with this digital literacy.
Professor Ryan Ko: Computer Science and Cyber Security
Professor Ryan Ko is a shining example of how rewarding it is to be curious in your field.
When he studied computer science in his undergraduate degree, Professor Ko never imagined he’d be helping protect the cyber privacy of millions of people.
Ryan’s proudest moments in his teaching career are those where students with no background in computer science graduate with the same burning passion and curiosity as him.
Professor Stuart Carney: Medicine
Professor Stuart Carney is a firm believer in pushing today’s medical boundaries for the future of medicine.
He's passionate about advocating for disadvantaged people, and hopes all of UQ’s medical students take that passion with them when they graduate.
By asking the hard questions and not accepting the status quo, Stuart knows that UQ produces some of the best medical graduates in Australia.
Professor Susan Rowland: Science
Professor Susan Rowland believes that science is not just sitting in a lab, she believes that science is beautiful.
One of Professor Rowland’s favourite things about UQ’s approach to research is that it's collaborative, so students don’t have to face problems alone.
Despite being in a field that drives world-changing research, Susan’s passion for teaching is driven by the emotional and intellectual growth of her students.
Dr Sara Herke: Mathematics
One of the most important things that Dr Sara Herke hopes to teach her students is that mathematics is a fascinating field that can be applied to every single industry in today’s society.
Sara is passionate about empowering students to have the courage to ask questions and the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them. She believes that this curiosity is where the breakthroughs in mathematical research happen.
Dr Joe Gattas: Civil Engineering
Dr Joe Gattas believes user-centred design is the future of civil engineering.
His keen sense of curiosity has seen him discover new ways to design cities with people and the environment in mind.
Joe acknowledges that his own expertise has developed thanks to his students. His students have challenged his thinking, and their questions have resulted in collaborative research.
Professor Alastair Blanshard: Classics and Ancient History
Professor Alastair Blanshard’s career did not start off purely in humanities.
His undergraduate degree was actually in law. His fascinating personal journey lends him the insight that passion should be the main driver in your career.
Alastair focuses on teaching his students to be critical thinkers, as it’s a transferable skillset that transcends industries and jobs.
Meet Professor Alastair Blanshard
Professor Karen Healy: Social Work
Professor Karen Healy has a 'fire in her belly' for preparing her social work students for the situations they will encounter in their careers.
Karen wants to ensure UQ graduates are great practitioners who are empowered to create change and make a positive impact in the world.
Associate Lecturer Paul Treschman: Health, Sport and Education
For Associate Lecturer Paul Treschman, understanding how people flourish in different environments is the key to building safe, supportive settings for students to learn.
Paul understands that everyone learns differently, and he builds this into his teaching so each individual can excel.
Meet Associate Lecturer Paul Treschman
Associate Lecturer Debbie Jeffery: Commerce
Associate Lecturer Debbie Jeffery brings a wealth of international industry experience to her classrooms, but it’s her unique approach to teaching that makes her classes so engaging, enjoyable and educational.
Debbie's interactive style and innovative use of technology prepare her students with both the hard and soft skills for the future workforce.
Meet Associate Lecturer Debbie Jeffery
Associate Professor Simon Reid: Public Health
The term ‘zoonotic’ may not have been widely known before the COVID-19 crisis, but for UQ public health expert Simon Reid, discovering how diseases jump from animals to humans – and what to do to minimise the risk, has been the focus of his research for years.
As a teacher, seeing his students understand the complex relationship between place, person and situation is a satisfying milestone.
Meet Associate Professor Simon Reid
Dr Ammar Abdul Aziz: Agriculture
Dr Ammar Abdul Aziz has been many things in life – farmer, fund manager, researcher and teacher.
But it’s his last role, as a teacher at UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, where he’s found his true calling.
Wide-ranging experiences in multiple industries have equipped Ammar to make a difference to students and the planet.
Dr Simone Smala: Education
Dr Simone Smala has taught in Australian schools for three decades.
Her interest in finding out more about what education means for our world and society led her to a research project focused on uncovering how learners feel at different stages of the learning process.
Simone believes the key to excellent teaching is to connect with individual students and their personal stories.
Professor Lorraine Mazerolle: Criminology and Justice
For criminology expert Professor Lorraine Mazerolle, the most rewarding part of being a teacher is seeing her students have an ‘aha’ moment when they truly understand something new.
Lorraine loves bringing real crime stories to life in the classroom, not just from her 30-year career, but with industry experts from police, corrections and courts.
Meet Professor Lorraine Mazerolle
Associate Professor Karen Whitfield: Pharmacy
An award-winning registered pharmacist, Associate Professor Karen Whitfield’s passion for teaching and wealth of experience are benefiting her students, the pharmacy workforce, and patients.
Professor Tracey Bunda: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
As convener of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies major, Tracey Bunda helps students see how understanding Indigenous knowledges and cultures can complement their other studies, helping them become the thoughtful leaders of tomorrow.
Tracey finds joy in teaching because it’s not just a learning experience for her students but for her as well.
Associate Professor Nicholas Carah: Communication
Nicholas Carah, Deputy Head of School in UQ's School of Communication and Arts, has a highly collaborative teaching approach, which he uses to prepare students for the workplace.
Nic believes communication graduates have the power to help people see each other and their lives as a shared endeavour.
Meet Associate Professor Nicholas Carah
Dr Chris Rinke: Microbiology
Could insects and microbes hold the solution to the world’s plastic waste crisis? They just might – especially with people like Senior Lecturer Dr Chris Rinke researching them.
From bacteria in Brisbane’s ‘Brown Snake’ river to microbial ‘dark matter’, Chris is fascinated by how the smallest organisms play one of the largest roles in Earth’s history.
Dr Sean Peel: Design
When many people think of design, they tend to focus on the end result – impeccably colour-coordinated rooms, shiny new products or detailed illustrations. But according to UQ Lecturer Dr Sean Peel, the most important aspect of design is the process of finding problems.
Sean has dedicated his career as a designer to this pursuit of finding the right problems to solve – the ones that will create meaningful change in the lives of others.
Dr Marnee Shay: Teaching
From youth work to teaching and now research, Dr Marnee Shay knows a thing or two about what makes young people tick – and what doesn’t.
Marnee has dedicated most of her career to helping students feel more engaged and involved in their education and is now using her experiences to inform her research.
Dr Sebastian Kaempf: Peace and Conflict
Growing up in Germany, Dr Sebastian Kaempf found that people didn’t want to speak about war.
When Sebastian first learned about the history of conflict, it completely reshaped his worldview.
Today, he’s dedicated to helping the next generation understand the politics of conflict in order to promote peace.
No matter what path you take at UQ, you'll learn from inspiring and outstanding teachers every step of the way. Discover what else awaits you when you undertake undergraduate study with us.