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Personal profile

Research Biography

Sarah received a PhD from the Wark, UniSA in 2003. She then accepted a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario where her research focused on the surface electronic structure of 3d transition metal sulfide and arsenide fracture surfaces using Synchrotron X-ray photoelectron Spectroscopy (SXPS) and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES). Upon returning to Australia in 2005, Sarah worked in the Manufacturing & Infrastructure Technology division of CSIRO. In 2006 she returned to the Wark as a Research Fellow within the Australian Mineral Science Research Institute (AMSRI). In 2012 she took up an ARC Future Fellowship at Flinders University to study the interaction between bacteria and mineral surfaces using advanced synchrotron nanospectroscopic techniques.

Research Interests

The application and development of spectroscopic techniques for minerals processing and the interface between bacteria and mineral surfaces.Techniques include: Synchrotron X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (SXPS); X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES); Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM); Scanning Photoelectron Microscopy (SPEM); Scanning Transmision X-ray Microscopy (STXM); Conventional XPS; Time of Flight Secondary IonMass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS); NanoSIMS.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Jun 2019 Belinda Bleeze - Best Poster Flinders Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology Annual Conference
  • Jun 2018 Belinda Bleeze - Best Poster Flinders Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology Annual Conference
  • Jul 2015 Connor Retallick - Cheiron School Travel Award
  • Nov 2014 Belinda Bleeze - Best Poster CaPS Honours
  • Feb 2014 Sian La Vars - Poster Prize ICONN conference 2014
  • Aug 2013 Sian La Vars - 3 Minute Thesis University Finalist

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Bioleaching (1)
  • Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (UniSA) (1)
  • Bioflotation
Associate Supervisions:
  • Synchrotron nanospectroscopic imaging of sulfides (UniSA) (1)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD Minerals and Materials, 2003, University of South Australia

Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Physics with Honours (H1), 1999, University of South Australia

Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Physics, 1998, University of South Australia

External positions

Australian Synchrotron Stakeholders Committee, Australian Synchrotron

2021 → …

Beamline Advisory Committee, Nanoprobe beamline, Australian Synchrotron

2021 → …

Chair, Australian Institute of Physics, SA Branch


Premier Science and Innovation Council


Founder and Chair, Soft X-ray Microscopy Working Group

2019 → …

Vice-Chair, AIP - SA Branch


Invited to write a Science Case for a Scanning Transmission X-ray Microsopy Facility at the Australian Synchrotron by Dr Michael James, Australian Synchrotron

2016 → …

Committee member, AIP SA


Senior Research Fellow. Industrial proprietary research, Ian Wark Research Institute


Publicly electred to the Australian Synchrotron Users Committee Member


Research Fellow, Ian Wark Research Institute


Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology. Proprietary research., Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)


Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Western Ontario


Microscopy Australia Node Leader. Director 2019, Deputy Director 2018, Flinders University, SARF

Organiser 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, SA branch of the WIP tour

Decadal Plan for Physics, 2018

Publicly elected to the Australian Synchrotron International Program Advisory Committe (IPAC) Member, 2010-2012; and 2018-2020

Scientists in Schools Programs; Mawson Lakes Primary School (2011); Unley High School (2013)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Chemistry

Supervisory Interests

  • Surface science
  • Inorganic electronic structure and spectroscopy
  • Biomining
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Geochemistry


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