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

Curator

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.


Tilly Boleyn

Curator

Portrait, Tilly Boleyn, Curator.Tilly’s research interests focus mainly on science. She is particularly passionate about researching all aspects of health, medicine, pseudoscience, science education, technology and new knowledge that can develop from art/science collaborations. Her main focus in the next few years is in researching infectious diseases, public perception of risk and public health in historical and contemporary contexts. In addition to these topics she will be investigating the impact of interactive gaming in museum exhibitions. Drawing on her expertise as a previous science broadcaster in radio and TV, Tilly has an interest in expanding understandings of festival management, audience engagement and the impact of these in a museum environment.


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.


Dan Collins

Head of Digital Technology

Portrait, Dan Collins, Head of Digital and Media. Dan’s research interest is in the intersection between digital and physical spaces, the change and disruption associated with new technologies, and the application of technology in improving engagement and learning outcomes.


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.


Peter Cox

Curator

Portrait, Peter Cox, Curator.Peter’s principal research areas of Australian social history, performing arts heritage and popular culture are tied to his interest in their preservation as material culture in museum collections. Among his particular interests are Australian circus history, the life of Annette Kellerman, the impact of concert promoter Lee Gordon and the career of musician Les Welch. Past historical research has included Australian television culture, rock music and the record company Festival Records.


Eva Czernis-Ryl

Curator

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

Curator, Contemporary

Portrait, Katie Dyer, 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.


Janson Hews

Manager Partnerships & Festivals

Portrait, Janson Hews, Manager Partnerships & Festivals.Janson has a broad interest in increasing engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), specifically through maker-centred learning which represents a ‘thinking with your hands’ approach to participation. His research explores the notions of agency – to innovate, affect change and materiality – central to the idea of making. In the museum context he is currently investigating how the structure of makerspaces impact upon families’ sense of agency. As part of his research Janson draws upon his background in Industrial Design, education and public program management roles and his current role in managing large-scale science & design festivals.


Angelique Hutchison

Curator

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

Curator

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

Curator

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

Curator

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.


Isabelle Kingsley

Program Producer

Portrait, Isabelle Kingsley, Program Producer.

Isabelle’s research area is in informal science education and science communication. Her main research focus is on how museums engage Australians with the sciences through informal science education and science communication activities and the effectiveness of these activities with respect to long-term affective behavioural and attitudinal changes—that is, changing or influencing participants’ understanding, attitudes and perceptions of science.


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

Curator

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.


Dolla Merrillees

Director 

Portrait, Dolla Merrillees, Director.Dolla’s research interest is in the development of museum collections and display methodologies, especially in the overlaps between art and other disciplines. Special interests include modern interpretations of Wunderkammers and memorial collections. Current research includes contemporary approaches to exhibition design and display, innovative approaches to interpretation, characteristics of museums and the influence of architecture on presentation, curatorial practice, and cultural leadership.

See Dolla’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.


Melanie Pitkin

Assistant Curator

Portrait, Melanie Pitkin, Assistant Curator.Melanie has wide-ranging research interests in Egyptian history and archaeology (specifically of the First Intermediate Period and in devising dating criteria for monuments), Islamic/cultural fashions and the emerging modest fashion market, the history of footwear, as well as other aspects of contemporary design. She also has a strong interest in museum theory and practice and the role of the museum in promoting social inclusion.

See Melanie’s publications on Google Scholar.


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

Curator

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.

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

Curator

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.