Research Staff

MAAS staff are involved in research that covers the breadth of our extraordinary collection, curatorial practice, education and public programming, conservation, and museum practice. Each of these areas may involve research into digital and media related aspects of material culture and the museum context. We actively publish our research in a wide variety of publications, conferences and other forums.

MAAS researchers may be contacted via general enquiries.

Campbell Bickerstaff


Portrait, Campbell Bickerstaff, Curator.Campbell’s research areas and expertise include technology and design as applied to information and communications technologies. He is very interested in the plastic arts and industrial design nexus and how it may help forge a phenomenological interaction with products. Campbell’s research is also focused on the history of audio recording, reproduction and consumption and the links between culture, audio genres, technology and culture. His particular emphasis is on examining the drivers and systems linked to the cultural activities, aesthetics and technology of audio.

Alysha Buss

Assistant Curator

Portrait, Alysha Buss, Assistant Curator.Alysha’s background is in museum studies, heritage studies, archaeology, art history and anthropology. Her areas of research have included photography, toys and childhood, metal craft, ceramics and digital activation of collections and historic spaces. Alysha is interested in interpretation and creating meaningful visitor experiences.

Keinton Butler

Senior Curator 

Portrait, Keinton Butler, Senior Curator.

Keinton is a design curator and industrial designer with international experience delivering socially engaged exhibitions and public programs. Keinton’s research aims to promote understanding and appreciation of design and architecture through communication methods and display techniques outside of the conventional framework, enlisting platforms that encourage interaction and accommodate the changing needs of the museum audience. Working within a broad definition of design, Keinton’s research areas have focused on progressive interpretive methods, including online curating and mobile technology. Keinton is particularly interested in the way digital technology continues to simultaneously reflect and influence contemporary curatorial practice.

See Keinton’s publications on Google Scholar.

Matthew Connell

Principal Curator

Portrait, Matthew Connell, Principal Curator.Matthew’s research and curatorial interests include computing history, mathematics history, media art and design, interaction design, STEM education and learning, and curatorship. He is currently involved in research projects relating to post-disciplinary curatorship, curating art/science collaborations, audience engagement and learning in maker spaces, and the industrial and cultural implications of digital manufacturing technologies.

See Matthew’s publications on Google Scholar.

Eva Czernis-Ryl


Portrait, Eva Czernis-Ryl, CuratorEva is an arts and design historian and curator with extensive experience in research and interpretation of historical and contemporary ideas, themes and objects, and in concept and content development of exhibitions. Revealing connections between the allied fields of fine and applied arts, design, craft and technology is a focus area. Eva’s specialist research interests encompass decorative arts and design from the 18th century to now, history of collecting and display, contemporary collecting and curating and craft theory. She has published in areas ranging from European ceramics and Australian colonial gold and silver to Italian design and Australian contemporary glass, metalwork, textiles and jewellery.

See Eva’s publications on Google Scholar.

Katie Dyer

Senior Curator, Contemporary

Portrait, Katie Dyer, Senior Curator.Katie is a contemporary art curator with extensive experience working with established and emerging artists and historical collections. Her focus has been on working with national and international visual art, moving image, performance and art in the public realm. Her research areas focus on creative practice as a response to our contemporary conditions, interdisciplinary collaboration and the re-imagined museum. Katie is also examining how art–science can generate new modes of transdisciplinary knowledge and unique forms of public engagement.

Nina Earl

Assistant Curator

Portrait, Nina Earle, Assistant Curator.

Nina holds a Master’s of Science Communication and has extensive experience in STEM education and community outreach. Her research background is in geological mapping and communicating scientific research to a broad range of public audiences. She has a strong research interest in new materials and construction techniques, with a focus on sustainable design and development. Nina is interested in how audiences relate to and respond to museum collections in an increasingly digital culture.

Sue Gatenby

Conservation Scientist

Portrait, Sue Gatenby, Conservator.By combining craft, art, technology and applied science principles Sue conserves the Museum’s collection. She has research interests in the identification of unknown materials in the Museum collection. Using analytical tools such as the Fourier Transform Infra-red spectrometer and the X-Ray fluorescence analyzer she identifies unknown materials. Sue is experienced in the conservation of ethnographic materials and preventive conservation issues. She is studying the conservation of plastics and particularly interested in the deterioration of Polyurethane esters found in fabrics and foams.

See Sue’s publications on Google Scholar.

Angelique Hutchison


Portrait, Angelique Hutchison, Curator.Angelique’s research experience at MAAS includes: historical and contemporary innovation in Australian industry; design, innovation and commercialisation processes; and contemporary Australian product design. More broadly her interest is in exploring the connections between science, technology, design and culture, with a strong interest in sustainability. Angelique has qualifications in engineering (materials), science communication and environmental studies.

See Angelique’s publications on Google Scholar.

Dr Andrew Jacob


Portrait, Andrew Jacob, Curator.Andrew’s research interests include everything astronomical and astrophysical and their related histories. He has a particular interest in Australian astronomical history including the role of Sydney Observatory. His PhD project used the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer, resulting in a contribution to the calibration of the cosmological distance scale. Andrew has been involved with research on Sydney Observatory’s role in the Astrographic Catalogue and Carte du Ciel projects for the new East Dome. Future work will focus on the Observatory’s exhibition to incorporate the history of Australian radio astronomy and the contributions of amateur astronomers.

See Andrew’s publications on Google Scholar.

Glynis Jones


Portrait, Glynis Jones, Curator.Glynis’s research interests focus on fashion and dress and include Australian colonial to contemporary designer fashion, subcultural and alternative style, millinery, dress and identity, Australian manufacturers including Berlei and Speedo, the modest fashion industry, fashion and sustainability, performance costume from the Sydney LGBT Mardi Gras and the designer archives of Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson and Collette Dinnigan. Glynis has curated exhibitions, published and lectured on numerous areas relating to dress including the history of Australian Fashion Week, faith and fashion, alternative dress, Australian underwear manufacturers, Australian colonial dress and the work of Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson and Collette Dinnigan.

Lily Katakouzinos

Head of Programs 

Portrait, Lily Katakouzinos, Head of Programs.With a background in fine arts, art education and public programming, Lily’s research interests are informed by her commitment to making museums accessible, dynamic, vibrant and fun learning spaces for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. She is passionate about developing programs with a fresh approach which can inspire and motivate younger audiences whilst maintaining a strong sense of intellectual integrity. Lily’s current research interests centre around how museums can effectively and meaningfully engage with children with a particular focus on children aged 0-5.

Min-Jung Kim


Portrait, Min-Jung Kim, Curator.Min-Jung’s formal education includes Cultural Anthropology, Asian Art History, Museum Studies and Cultural Studies with special interests in material cultures and interdisciplinary interpretation for museum exhibits. Min-Jung has published and lectured widely on Korea’s buncheong ware, textiles and costumes from the Korea’s Joseon dynasty(1392-1910), Korean metal crafts, Chinese toggles, Korean contemporary jewellery, Japanese fashion and Museum Studies.

Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer

Research Manager

Portrait, >Dr Deborah Lawler-Dormer, Research ManagerDeborah’s research expertise is in transdisciplinary art, science and technology projects. Her current research is on curatorial methodologies informed by posthumanist, feminist and new materialist thinking. Through her doctoral research practice, she developed a biomimetic avatar in collaboration with the Centre for Animate Technologies and explored biomimesis through curating an international exhibition, a virtual reality environment and an interactive installation. She has also investigated photographic, media art and film practices. Deborah is interested in deep collaborative research projects between the museum, industry and the tertiary sector.

See Deborah’s publications on Google Scholar.

Roger Leong

Senior Curator

Portrait, Roger Leong, Senior Curator.Roger’s research interests focus on fashion and include Regency dress, Art Deco style, contemporary millinery and footwear including sneakers, Japanese fashion, 1980s power-dressing, men’s dress, prestige dressmakers and ready-to-wear designers in Australia, fashionable black, fashion and dance, and lace in fashion. His curatorial and publication practice have extended his research to include Ballets Russes costumes and designs, the Arts and Crafts movement, English embroidery and contemporary Australian artists including Rick Amor, Peter Churcher, eX de Medici and others. Roger has curated exhibitions, published and lectured on numerous areas relating to fashionable dress from the nineteenth century to the present.

See Roger’s publications on Google Scholar.

Peter Mahony

Manager, Education and Digital Learning

Portrait, Peter Mahony, Education & Digital Learning Manager.Peter’s research focus is on exploring ways that a museum can offer authentic and deep learning experiences, and exploit the Museum’s collection for daily value for school communities. Programs and materials structure and scaffold collection access and object-based research processes and techniques. Specific community of practice partnerships between the Museum and school communities represent platforms for action-research experiments, the results of which inform the Museum’s overall Learning offer.

Damian McDonald


Portrait, Damian McDonald, Curator.Damian’s principal research areas are firearms and edged weapons, and how they are influenced by, and influence culture, as well as their design. He is interested in health and medicine, particularly the history of the material culture of the discipline, and the ways society’s notions around health and medicine change under the continuing advances in this area. His interests also include music and musical instruments, particularly rock music and the Australian underground music scene, subcultures of the 1970s and 80s and their influences on contemporary youth culture, and the material culture of computer technology.

See Damian’s publications on Google Scholar.

Michael Parry

Director, MAAS Parramatta Project 

Portrait, Michael Parry, Director MAAS Parramatta Project.Michael originally trained as a Computer Systems Engineer and Computer Scientist, but quickly found his way into the world of cultural heritage. With a focus on the intersection points between technology, audiences and culture – his research interests include interactive media, digital content delivery, online platforms and services, exhibition and environment interpretation and design, systems architecture and the changing face of cultural organisations and their leadership.

Dr Sarah Reeves

Assistant Curator

Portrait, Sarah Reeves, Assistant Curator.Sarah’s research interests cover all areas of science, but with a particular focus on astronomy. In her PhD Sarah studied the growth and evolution of galaxies, and was part of a project called FLASH which aims to map the evolution of gas in galaxies back to when the Universe was half its current age (8 billion years ago). Sarah is interested in the public perception and understanding of science (and scientists), including issues such as science/pseudoscience, the scientific method, and the role of pure research. She is passionate about inspiring people about science and is interested in learning more about the role that museums play in this process.

Margaret Simpson


Portrait, Margaret Simpson, Curator.Margaret’s major role has been to research and interpret the Museum’s transport collection from camel saddles to monorails. She has also researched the Museum’s Antarctic equipment and farm machinery. Margaret is recognised as Australia’s expert on historic agricultural technology and is currently compiling a comprehensive international database from 1860 to 1960. This will enable museums, collectors and researchers worldwide to identify, research, interpret and conserve their agricultural collections. Margaret has visited numerous rural museums for years to advise on their collections. Other areas of her expertise include the history of engineering, industry and industrial architecture, mining, steam technology and genealogy.

See Margaret’s publications on Google Scholar.

Dr Jacqui Strecker

Head of Curatorial

Portrait, Dr Jacqui Strecker, Head of Curatorial.Jacqui has published and lectured widely across a range of research areas including contemporary culture, early twentieth century design and decorative arts and Australian history. She is regarded internationally for her work as a curator and art historian with a specialised knowledge of modernist avant-gardes in Germany. Jacqui’s current research interests include provenance research in relation to art looted during WWII and the emergence of international exhibitions of science, industry and applied arts in the late nineteenth century.
Image credit: Daniel Boud

See Jacqui’s publications on Google Scholar.

Vanessa Thorne

Assistant Curator

Portrait, Vanessa Thorne, Assistant Curator.Vanessa’s background is in the humanities, education and museum studies. She has wide-ranging interests in the work of Australian applied arts designers, material culture related to social change, Australia’s migration history and fashion and dress. Past historical research has included the history of the Jewish Scout movement in Sydney from 1908 to the present. Vanessa is also interested in the creation of accessible cultural experiences.

Anne-Marie Van de Ven


Portrait, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator.Anne-Marie has extensive practical teaching and curatorial experience. Her investigative approach to research focuses on understanding and revealing the contexts and material motivations of production (ie by artists, designers, photographers, publishers, manufacturers and clients). This grows out of her longstanding interest in visual communication. Marketing and identity, cross-cultural practice, Australian designer and photographer archives, Aboriginal art and design and 20th century ‘Aboriginalia’, all fall within her ambit and continue to form the focus of her applied arts research. Anne-Marie is particularly interested in revealing the work of significant, yet little known, local practitioners.

See Anne-Marie’s publications on Google Scholar. Anne-Marie is on leave until September 2019.