The world’s best science jobs
Growing up on a large property meant Sarah got to see many native animals and keep a lot of different pets. “I just loved the company of animals. I especially remember, as a child, visiting a local animal sanctuary and seeing a lady doing a demonstration with koalas. She was cuddling a koala and she allowed me to have a pat. I knew then and there that I wanted to one day become a zoo-keeper!”
After school, Sarah volunteered at Australia Zoo to get some experience with animals. She’s worked there for seven years, and is now a Wandering Wildlife Rover. One of the highlights has been hand-rearing three dingo puppies! “I have a very fun job. I get to walk around the zoo with a variety of animals and introduce them to all of our zoo visitors. You may see me around the zoo handling a snake, a baby alligator or perhaps walking a dingo or wombat on a harness.”
You might have seen Ruben Meerman, alias the Surfing Scientist, on ABC’s Rollercoaster, or the science show Catalyst. After studying physics at university, Ruben discovered a course in science communication – telling people about science and demonstrating science using cool tricks. He’s been doing it ever since. “This is my dream job, but I never actually dreamt I’d be doing it. My dream is having more time because there’s so much cool stuff going on in science that it’s impossible to keep track of it all.”
As a kid, Chrissy spent a lot of time at beaches and estuaries (river mouths) in New South Wales. She always wanted a job that looked after the environment, and now works as a geoscientist with the Climate Change Project at Geoscience Australia.
The Climate Change Project will help scientists understand what will happen in Australia in the future because of global climate change – for example, how rising sea levels will affect the coast. “A geoscientist is someone who studies Earth processes and uses this understanding to solve problems,” says Chrissy. “My love of the coast inspired me to pursue a career path focused on understanding the coast, protecting it and planning for the future.”
It may sound too much like play to be work, but what Matt does is toy with light and high-tech equipment in the Quantum Technology Lab while studying at the University of Queensland. He doesn’t just do it for fun, but to try and understand how the universe works at really (really) small scales, and maybe even one day to build a computer that works using light rather than electricity.
“There are so many great aspects about being a researcher. First of all you have the opportunity to see things that no one else has seen before, ever. I design and carry out my own experiments with powerful lasers and expensive gadgets, which is any young boy’s dream!” says Matt.
When he was younger, taking things apart and putting them back together was one of Matt’s favourite pastimes. “I just had a desire to understand the nature of things around me. I knew that people who worked in science found things out, and that perhaps that was what I wanted to be, someone who worked in science.
If you’ve ever stared at the stars and wondered how they got there, you’re not alone. “In school, I was fascinated by stunning cosmic images. I always wanted to be an astronomer and study how those structures are formed,” says Madusha.
Madusha is studying how groups of stars called galaxies are formed and how their shapes change as they collide with each other. “Throughout my school life, learning about astrophysical phenomena and observing the night sky through my 60mm refractor telescope were my hobbies. Now they are both my hobbies and part of my studies,” she says.
This article originally appeared in Scientriffic magazine. To find out more about the Double Helix Science club visit: www.csiro.au/helix
Sarah Keogh: Australia Zoo
Ruben Meerman: Steve Baccon