South Australian

Unsung Hero - Science

Congratulations to the 2019 Unsung Hero of SA - Science finalists.

Katja Hogendoorn

Dr Katja Hogendoorn is a senior researcher at the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide.


Her research focuses on the maintenance and enhancement of bees as pollinators of crops and native plants, and she has a particular interest in ecology and evolution of bee behaviour and diversity. She aims to advance management decisions to improve bee health, biodiversity and crop pollination services.


Known as "The Bee Lady", Dr Hogendoorn has worked tirelessly to understand and solve the crises facing bees in South Australia and around the world. Bee declines are a challenge both economically and environmentally.


Dr Hogendoorn’s work is not focused solely on honey bees - she has helped to save the Kangaroo Island Carpenter bee, and is working to save native bees in the Mt Lofty ranges and throughout the state.


Peter Traynor

Mr Peter Traynor is the Chair of the SA/NT Branch of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM).

He has played an active role in shaping the impact and direction of the Society and its various functions since 1982. His contributions and engagements for microbiology reach far beyond state levels, having an impact on a national and even international scale. One of his many achievements is as principal author of major guidelines that are intrinsic to the quality control of microbiological media in clinical, food and water laboratories nationally.


Mr Traynor is actively involved in the preparation of Australian Standards and adoption of International Standards for use in food microbiology. Through engagement with Federal politicians in both the House and the Senate, he has actively raised the profile of the discipline of microbiology among the national decision-makers.

Zoos SA Research Lab

Brian Rich (honorary researcher), Peter McCarthy (retired medical scientist), Wayne Rohrig (retired pharmacist), Jenny McInerney (ex CSIRO), David Morris (retired obstetrician) and Rebecca Probert (senior veterinarian nurse) are the volunteers running the Zoos SA Research Laboratory which was established in 2000.


Over the years this group of dedicated volunteers has performed countless tests on the animals held in the zoos' collection. Given their expertise, the lab has also partnered with a diverse range of researchers working on projects ranging from native species like koalas and corroboree frogs to exotic carnivores such as the African wild dog.


The outcomes of this volunteer-run laboratory include invaluable nutritional developments for captive animals and rehabilitating wildlife, support and mentorship of students, and clinically relevant diagnostic services.

Contact us

SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards

Department for Innovation and Skills
Ph: (08) 8226 3821

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