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From Antarctica to Space via Bologna, Italy: a public lecture by Dr Meganne Christian

From Antartica to Space via Bologna. Italy

Speaker: Meganne Christian (CNR-IMM and ESA)

Date: Friday 11.08.2023

Location: The Shine dome – Australian Academy of Science



5:40          Welcome from Australian Academy of Science (AAS President, prof. Chennupati Jagadish or AAS CEO, Mrs. Anna-Maria Arabia)

5:45           Welcome from the Italian Ambassador in Canberra (H.E. Paolo Crudele)

5:50          Scientific excellence and research opportunities in Italy (Dr.  Marco Lazzarino, scientific attaché at the Italian Embassy in Canberra)

6:00          From Antartica to Space via Bologna, Italy (Dr, Meganne Christian)

6:45          Refreshments and networking

Please note: this event will not be livestreamed, but its recording will be made available on Friday 25 August on the AAS website.



Meganne Christian will recount the experiences that led her to be selected as a member of the European Space Agency astronaut reserve, from materials science studies in microgravity to a year working at Concordia Station in Antarctica, one of the most remote places on Earth, also known as “White Mars”.

All this was made possible by her decision to uproot in 2014 and move to Bologna, Italy, to work for the National Research Council for a one-year  post-doc that became a nine year journey.

Meganne Christian studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Engineering in industrial chemistry receiving a final grade of Honours Class

From 2010 to 2014 she completed her Doctorate at the University of New South Wales and received her PhD in industrial chemistry with several scholarships such as the University of New South Wales Research Excellence

From 2018 to 2019, Meganne served as a winter-over scientist at the French-Italian station Concordia in Antarctica for the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and the Italian National Antarctic Research Programme. As scientist in charge of atmospheric physics and meteorology she was responsible for various observatories, including radiation, meteorology, stratospheric lidars, chemical and physical atmospheric aerosols and infrared radiation for Antarctic clouds.

She returned to the Concordia Station for a temporary assignment as scientist in charge of the atmospheric physics and meteorology observatories from October 2020 to January 2021.

Between 2014 and 2022, Meganne worked as a research fellow and subsequently staff researcher at the Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity and the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems in Bologna, Italy, as part of the EU scientific research initiative Graphene Flagship. During this time, she took part in two parabolic flight campaigns in 2017 and 2021 to test graphene coatings for thermal management in satellites. She successfully issued further articles and award-winning publications and served as ambassador for Graphene Flagship initiatives.

From 2021, Meganne was a lecturer on Problem Solving and Decision Making for businesses, as well as a researcher for the the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Bologna, Italy. She is also a start-up founder and CEO of a UK company cultivating technologies for the benefit of humankind.

Meganne’s favourite sports include climbing, white-water rafting, and scuba diving. She holds a black belt in Hapkido and enjoys crafts such as sewing, knitting and crochet. Furthermore, Meganne is an avid singer and active in multiple choirs, where she has also acted as board member and assistant choreographer.

In November 2022, Meganne was selected as a member of the ESA astronaut reserve.


Please register here