Our team

Sarah Brooker and Niall Byrne lead a team of science communicators, writers, publicists and event managers based in Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, and London.

  • Niall Byrne is the Creative Director of Science in Public.
  • Sarah Brooker is the Managing Director of Science in Public.
  • Tanya Ha is Science in Public’s Director of Engagement and an award-winning environmental campaigner, television presenter, author, science journalist, speaker and sustainable living advocate.
  • Tom Carruthers is Science in Public’s Media Director, president of the Australian Science Communicators, and adjunct lecturer in science communication at the University of Western Australia.
  • Bill Condie has been a journalist for over 35 years with a wide-ranging career from international affairs, to politics and science.
  • Kieren Topp is a science communicator, environmental scientist, and filmmaker.

We also work with a network of trusted associates.

  • Janine Young is a science writer and editor.
  • Tim Thwaites has 30 years’ experience of science writing, editing, teaching and broadcasting in Australia and overseas.
  • Maddy De Gabriele is journalist and editor, living the Macedon Ranges, with nearly a decade of experience writing about energy, climate change and conservation in Australia.
  • Margie Beilharz is a freelance editor, writer and science communicator with a background in zoology and environmental science and policy.
  • Jerome Pelletier is videographer and director of the production company Stepping Stone films.
  • Andrew Tauber is a Melbourne based freelance photographer, formerly from the Herald Sun.
  • Salt Creative is a design company that have worked with us on a number of projects.

More details on each of us below.

Niall Byrne
Creative Director


Niall is a science writer and publicist based in Melbourne. The focus of his work is helping scientists bring their work into the public space through the media, events and festivals.

He also guides science organisations in the development of communication strategies to reach their stakeholders, customers and the public.

Recent clients include: Nature; Monash University, The Australian Institute of Marine Science and the GAVI Alliance.

Some highlights of his work include:

  • story-telling and publicity for the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes (2004-2018), L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships (2007-2015), the Eureka Prizes (2003-2006; 2013-2015), and the Clunies Ross Foundation (1998-2004)
  • working with CERN on the Australian end of the Higgs boson discovery at the High Energy Physics Conference (2012)
  • conference director, 5th World Conference of Science Journalists in Melbourne in 2007, and the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in 2009
  • development and management of the Fresh Science program (1998-present)
  • a series of supplements for Nature (2003-2014)
  • re-building the public profile of CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (1988-1998)
  • CSIRO’s communication response to disease emergencies such as equine morbillivirus, bat lyssavirus and pilchard deaths
  • CSIRO’s communication response to the escape of rabbit calicivirus from Wardang Island.

Brought up in Hadleigh, Suffolk in the UK, Niall completed a biology degree at Durham University before running away to the Antipodes.

Sarah Brooker
Managing Director


Sarah is the Managing Director of Science in Public. She loves developing communication strategies, managing events, and training scientists in finding their voice and delivering their science stories.

Before settling down into a business and starting Science in Public, she assisted Biotechnology Australia to establish the Gene Technology Information Service, a national enquiry centre on biotechnology and gene technology.

In a previous life as a freelancer, she has been:

  • Chief organiser to get science journalists from around the world to come to Melbourne for the 5th World Conference of Science Journalists;
  • Party planner for the Academy of Science helping them celebrate their 50th anniversary;
  • Coordinator for Science meets Parliament;
  • Exhibition designer and then presenter extracting DNA from bananas in a shopping centre in China for ten days straight.

Her background is biochemistry and genetics until she discovered science communication by running away with the Questacon science circus way back in 1999.

Sarah Brooker

Tanya Ha
Director of Engagement


woman smiling at camera

Tanya Ha is an award-winning environmental campaigner, television presenter, author, science journalist, speaker and sustainable living advocate. She is also a media commentator on environmental issues, was a National Tour Ambassador for National Science Week 2009 and was a delegate to the Australia 2020 Summit.

Tanya is an environmental, science and health communication specialist. She holds a science degree (Chemistry major), a postgraduate certificate in Scientific and Technical Writing, and a Master of Environment. Her work has included reporting for ABC TV’s science show Catalyst, answering viewers’ eco questions as the environment presenter for Can We Help?, radio broadcasting, writing for several magazines and conducting media interviews on environmental issues.

Tanya is also a popular author. Her books include the best-selling eco-guide book Greeniology and the acclaimed Green Stuff for Kids. In 2010 she won the United Nations Association of Australia Media Award for Environmental Reporting. In addition to her media work, Tanya also develops sustainable living and behaviour change programs.

Tanya is a director of Westernport Water, and and serves on the advisory boards/groups of the Marine Energy Research Australia, and Science Gallery Melbourne. She has previously served on the boards of Diversity Council Australia, Sustainability Victoria and Keep Australia Beautiful, and as Vice President of Science & Technology Australia, which represents more than 100,000 Australian scientists and technologists.

Tanya spent many years working on campaign development, media and engagement for the environment group Planet Ark.

Tanya is online: TanyaHa.com and on Twitter: @Ha_Tanya

Tom Carruthers
Media Director


Dr Tom J Carruthers is a science communicator, thinker and creative based in Canberra, Australia. He passionately advocates for diversity and equity, the need for science engagement to go beyond scientific literacy, and to increase the community’s value of specialist expertise across all sectors. He is a thought leader, calling for better recognition of science communication research learnings within the practice, and an appreciation of science communication expertise in government and the broader community.

Tom is the former Strategist and Operations Manager in the communications team at the Australian Academy of Science, where led campaigns and messaging on critical topics such as COVID-19, climate change, and gender equity. He is also the former co-CEO of Pint of Science Australia, where he established a national peer-mentoring and training model that has been supporting the STEM engagement sector in Australia for the past 6 years. More recently, he worked with Ogilvy PR, consulting businesses in strengthening their ESG policies, initiatives and communications.

Tom holds a PhD in biological chemistry (ANU), a master’s in science communication outreach (ANU), and has experience working in the Australian university, government, not-for-profit and private sectors. He is president of the Australian Science Communicators, a member of the preparatory committee for the World Organisation for Science Literacy, and recently appointed adjunct lecturer in science communication at the University of Western Australia. He is the Media Director at Science in Public.

Bill Condie
Science Writer


Bill Condie has been a journalist for more than 35 years, mostly writing and editing for British national newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian, the Observer, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, and the London Evening Standard.

His career has been wide-ranging from international affairs, to politics and science.

Since returning to Australia he has concentrated on science journalism and writing, first working at Australia’s leading science magazine Cosmos, first as an editor and later as Publisher, then as Head of Publishing at the Royal Institution of Australia.

He has also produced written and video content both for traditional media outlets and for researchers, universities and other institutions including Flinders University, Monash University and the University of Adelaide, to help them communicate complex subjects to a wide audience.

Kieren Topp
Science Communicator and Project Officer


Kieren is a science communicator and project officer. Starting at Science in Public in 2021, his projects include working with the Australian Institute of Physics to produce a monthly physics bulletin for an audience of 4000 scientists and stakeholders. He also assists with the management of National Science Week media coverage, and supports the media training of scientists and researchers.

Kieren holds a Master of Environment (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Science (Environment). He began his career working at Melbourne’s science museum Scienceworks and producing environmental documentaries for local not-for-profits, councils, and other community groups.

Our associates

Janine Young

Dr Janine Young is a writer, editor, broadcaster and science communicator, with more than 20 years’ experience across a wide range of science and health-based industries. She works with words to make complex ideas clearer and easier to understand. More importantly, she helps others do the same.

Janine decided on a future in science at the age of 14 and has been talking about it with anyone who would listen ever since. Although trained as an immunologist at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, she chose a career in radio and science communication over bench research.

She was New Scientist Australasian media spokesperson for seven years, covering everything from female orgasm and fullerenes to magnetic soap and evolution.

Although she is a writer and science communicator, Janine works mainly as a specialist editor. She has worked with a wide range of organisations across disciplines as diverse as energy, fisheries management, the internet of things and neuromorphic computing.

As an editor, Janine helps ensure your document is well-structured, clear, appropriately formatted and suits your style guide. She ensures it is fact-checked and references are correct. In short, she helps you look good.

After living in Melbourne for nearly 14 years, she returned home to Canberra in early 2021 but works with clients from across Australia and internationally.

Janine works as Finbracken Words.

Tim Thwaites


Tim is a freelance science writer and broadcaster who specialises in putting science, medicine and engineering into everyday language.

He has 30 years experience of writing, editing, sub-editing, teaching and broadcasting in Australia and overseas.

After a degree and graduate work in zoology, including several years in Canada, he trained and worked as a journalist at The Age.

He has since written and subedited for newspapers, newsletters and magazines both nationally and internationally, and has also worked for universities, government departments, research institutes, private companies and professional organisations producing news stories and features, writing background material and press releases, editing publications, and organising publicity. Tim has been heard regularly on radio.

As a foundation member of Australian Science Communicators, he was national president from December 2007 to December 2009. He was also first editor of its newsletter, acted as co-chair of the program committee for the 5th World Conference of Science Journalists in Melbourne in 2007, was convenor of its National Conference in February 2010, and is a member of the committee which for the past 13 years has organised Fresh Science, the national competition for early career researchers.

Tim has also taught non-fiction writing at La Trobe University.

Maddy De Gabriele


Photo of woman smiling

Maddy De Gabriele is a science writer at Science in Public. Previously she worked as a senior reporter for Zoos Victoria, managing Healesville Sanctuary’s media response during the 2019-2020 black summer fires. Before that, she worked at The Conversation covering energy and the environment, and fact-checked several state elections.

She’ll go toe-to-toe over Australian animal trivia with anyone not named Irwin. You can reach her on twitter @MaddyDeGabriele.

Margie Beilharz


Margie is a freelance editor, writer and science communicator based in Northcote, Melbourne. She worked in-house at Science in Public from 2008 to 2016 and still applies her editing skills to some of our projects.

Earlier, Margie lectured in environmental policy and management at Deakin University after working in wetlands policy with the state government. She has a PhD in zoology and a graduate certificate in technical communication.

Margie regularly writes online health content and book reviews, and she has edited numerous annual and technical reports, textbooks, industry magazines and articles. She has worked on publications for Commonwealth and state governments, universities, publishers, not-for-profit organisations, professional societies, private companies and others.

In 2014, Margie realised that her constant referral to the Style Manual was a clue that she was specialising as an editor. So she joined Editors Victoria (the state branch of IPEd, the Institute of Professional Editors) and was promptly appointed their newsletter editor. She currently volunteers on the Editors Victoria executive committee as communication officer.

Her freelance work gives Margie the pleasure of wrangling text into shape (both the words and formatting) and removing jargon and waffle to present scientific information clearly and directly.

Margie is online at theopendesk.com.

Jerome Pelletier

(Stepping Stone Films)

Jerome was born in the French speaking part of Switzerland. At the age of 14 he discovered his father’s super 8 camera – a small oddly shaped ‘state of the art’ Bolex camera. The gadget intrigued him, as well as the opportunity it was offering. Thus began a life-long passion for creating unique and beautiful images.

In 1990 he started his professional career with the opening of Canal 1 Atelier Video in Bienne, the home of Swiss watches, with his friend and colleague Yvan Kohler. After three successful years learning his craft, he decided to explore the world and came to Australia.

It didn’t take long for Jerome to fall in love with the beautiful Australian landscape, friendly people and relaxed lifestyle. And when, soon after arriving in 1994, he fell in love with his Australian wife Linda, his fate was sealed!

In 1999 he founded Stepping Stone Films and joined the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) as an active member. Since then Stepping Stone Films has grown into a successful boutique production company and his talent as a Director of Photography has been recognised and acknowledged through more than 20 awards from the ACS.

Jerome has worked with Science in Public on many short videos over the years, including videos for the L’Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship program, and the CSL Florey Medal.