Our staff

Meet the team
The Sydney Informatics Hub brings together experts from diverse analytical and technical backgrounds to assist you with your research goals.

Leadership

Professional headshot of Associate Professor Tom Bishop

Professor Tom Bishop, Academic Director

Tom Bishop is a Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and mainly teaches in the field of data science. His research interests are in modelling and predicting the variation of environmental properties in space and time with an emphasis on applying this to the domains of soil, agriculture and hydrology.

View academic profile

Associate Professor Zhiyong Wang

Associate Professor Zhiyong Wang, Deputy Director  

Zhiyong Wang is an Associate Professor and Director of the Multimedia Computing Laboratory at the School of Computer Science. As a leading expert in the field of multimedia computing, he has focused his research on computing innovation for better searching, understanding, and creating multimedia data. His research has been applied across different domains such as agriculture, environment, health, and medicine, and is also the foundation to many emerging fields such as digital twin and metaverse. He brings extensive experience and expertise on data science, artificial intelligence and research computing to SIH.

Michele Collins, Operations Manager

Michele joined the University of Sydney as operational lead for Sydney Informatics Hub in 2017. Michele’s scientific background is in industrial chemistry and occupational health. She also has over 20 years’ experience in corporate business management, marketing and operations. As Operations Manager, Michele’s role is to know a bit about all things SIH to enable keeping the cogs turning in the background. She has general oversight of operations, strategy, service delivery, policy, administration, reporting, billing, finance, procurement, HR matters and outreach.

Meredith Tucker

Meredith Tucker, Operations Officer

Meredith has worked at the University of Sydney since 2016. She has extensive experience in administrative and operational support and has previously held roles in the Student Administration Services (SAS) and the DVC-Education portfolios. She joined the Sydney Informatics Hub in January 2023 and is excited to be working with a team that is so passionate about their work and supporting University of Sydney researchers. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves film music, travelling, learning new languages and collecting quirky accessories.

Informatics

Profile photo of Gordon McDonald

Dr Gordon McDonald, Informatics Team Lead

gordon.mcdonald@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn | GitHub | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

Gordon’s background is in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PhB, Australian National University, Uni Medal 2009), and he completed his PhD experimental quantum mechanics (2015) at the Australian National University, in which he developed compact new designs of quantum sensors to detect gravity with part-per-billion accuracy. Since joining SIH as a data scientist in 2016, he has been applying machine learning and Bayesian statistical techniques to:

  • Health-related projects with the Westmead Institute of Medical Research, the Woolcock Institute, and Sydney Children’s hospital.
  • Developing a software tool to streamline the process of analyzing metabolites through High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC-MS) at the Charles Perkins Centre.
  • Financial and occupational transition modelling for the NSW Department of Industry’s Smart and Skilled program for Vocational education and training.
  • Other projects involving dental health, electoral and demographic data, chemical concentration simulations, animal behaviour modelling and reviews on internet sales websites.
Profile photo of Chao Sun

Dr Chao Sun, Data Science Group Lead

chao.sun@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn

With a background in electronics engineering, Chao has been working in the digital humanities for several years. As the Data Scientist of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at this university, Chao created strong relationships with researchers, consulting on diverse research projects, to identify and collect large scale data sources, prototype data science techniques, and develop visualisations for researchers.

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Dr Sebastian Haan, Data Scientist

ResearchGate

Seb joined the University of Sydney in 2016 as a research data engineer and specialises in machine learning and data visualisation methods. With a background in particle and astrophysics (PhD, University of Heidelberg, Germany), his career is built on international research positions at the California Institute of Technology (USA), CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney), the Max-Planck-Institute (Heidelberg, Germany), and the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY, Hamburg). He has published and peer-reviewed in several major scientific journals. Having long term experience in analysing a wide range of complex data, he is keen on tackling new challenges in the rapidly changing field of machine learning for a large variety of data science applications. His latest research focuses on probabilistic models to explain and predict the occurrence of crime as well as novel 3D image processing methods for astronomical instruments. Besides data science and research, he enjoys to take things apart - but can’t always put them together again.

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Dr Henry Lydecker, Data Scientist

Henry is data scientist specialising in using artificial intelligence techniques including large language models and computer vison to solve problems in the real world. While his background is in ecology and public health research, he has worked on a range of projects from many different fields including agriculture, biology, ecology, geology, health, and law and is an expert in deep learning, machine learning, GIS, statistics, and software development. He leads a team of data scientists working to provide data science solutions to research problems, and to uplift the digital skills of the research community through training and outreach. Outside of work, he’s passionate about photography, free diving, fitness, and coffee.

Profile photo of Marius Mather

Marius Mather, Data Scientist

Marius is a data scientist and statistician with a background in psychology and mental health research. He has a Master of Biostatistics from the University of Sydney and previously worked at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use as a biostatistician. Marius is passionate about making data science more accessible to researchers in a variety of fields through the use of open source tools. His interests are statistical and causal inference, open and reproducible science, machine learning and Bayesian statistics.

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Dr Darya Vanichkina, Data Science Group Lead

darya.vanichkina@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn | GitHub | Google Scholar | Twitter

Darya is an empathetic leader with a focus on building a strong, collaborative team that develops innovative data science & artificial intelligence solutions. She holds a PhD in genomics and bioinformatics and has over 6 years of consultancy experience, working on projects as diverse as gambling harms, analysis of language in media and patient outcome prediction in acute care. Darya is a leader in the digital upskilling of others through her work with SIH’s training program, the Carpentries and ARDC and mentoring other trainers as a SFHEA. Outside of work, she enjoys Pilates, the Arts and exploring Sydney’s beaches and bushwalks with her family and friends.

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Dr Nathaniel Butterworth, Research Computing Group Lead

nathaniel.butterworth@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn | GitHub

Nathan has worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the EarthByte group at the University of Sydney. Here he learned the crafts of data mining and machine learning on big data projects. Prior to this he completed a PhD in geosciences entitled, “The dynamics of subduction and its tectonic implications”. Before pursuing geophysics he received his BSc from the University of Wollongong in 2008 and his honours in astrophysics from the University of Sydney in 2009. Between his postdoc and starting at SIH in July 2017, Nathan spent 2 years travelling the world with a telescope and engaging the global community with just how cool science is. Now he returns to the academic world to enable and inspire researchers to embrace the services of the Sydney Informatics Hub.

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Kristian Maras, Senior Informatics Technical Officer (Modelling and Simulation)

kristian.maras@sydney.edu.au

Kristian is passionate about applied mathematical modelling, including optimisation and complex systems. He holds a Masters in Science - Mathematical and Statistical Modelling (UTS). His career in academia covers transdisciplinary research consulting in Energy and Sustainability, building models to guide efficient use of resources, data analysis and geospatial mapping.

Prior to that he has a commercial background in both Energy and Finance markets and originally studied a double degree in Commerce - Actuarial studies and Applied Finance (Macquarie University).

Profile photo of Mike Lynch

Michael Lynch, Data Science Group Lead

LinkedIn | GitHub

Mike is a software engineer with over ten years experience providing specialised support for research, with expertise in research data management, open standards for data repositories and data publication and the application of modern IT development and deployment practices to research software. He has experience in full-stack web development in Python and JavaScript, machine learning, natural language processing and data visualisation, and is interested in digital humanities and functional programming.

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Dr Georgina Samaha, Australian BioCommons and Bioinformatics Group Lead

georgina.samaha@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn | Github

Georgina is working toward making bioinformatics more accessible for researchers by developing public digital infrastructure with the Australian BioCommons. She leads a team of bioinformaticians and developers providing scalable and collaborative data analysis and sharing solutions for the life science community. Since joining SIH she has worked on cancer genomics, rare heritable disease, plant ‘omics and Australian wildlife research. She has a PhD in genomics and an active research practice focused on companion animal and wildlife genomics.

Profile photo of Cali Willet

Dr Cali Willet, Senior Research Bioinformatician

cali.willet@sydney.edu.au

Cali is a bioinformatician at the Sydney Informatics Hub. She completed her PhD in animal genomics and computational biology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. She is interested in the genetics of disease in humans and animals, and how cutting edge genomic technologies are rapidly increasing our ability to understand complex biologies and phenotypes, in particular large scale genomic rearrangements. Currently she is working on optimising mammalian genomics pipelines to facilitate higher sample throughput on HPC, to be applied to diverse projects including human cancers and livestock studies.

Profile photo of Nandan Deshpande

Dr Nandan Deshpande, Senior Research Bioinformatician

Nandan works at the Sydney Informatics Hub as a Senior Research Bioinformatician. He has a PhD in bioinformatics and considerable amount of research experience working on projects revolving around different “omics” technologies. These include genomics, transcriptomics, and metagenomics, applied to model as well as non-model organisms. He has been instrumental in assisting various research groups in solving their questions in human diseases such as host-pathogen associations and cancer research. He has also worked on interesting questions from environmental science such as climate change, e.g. bleaching effects on marine algae and developmental growth of sea urchin due to ocean acidification.

Nandan has previously worked at the System Biology Initiative, UNSW as a Senior Research Associate and prior to that at the Institute of Bioinformatics, India as a Bioinformatics Research Scientist.

Image of Minh Bao Vu

Mr Minh Bao Vu, Frontend Developer (Australian BioCommons)

Minh is a frontend developer/software engineer with a background in computer science, web development, and interaction design. He received his bachelor’s degree with distinction from the Queensland University of Technology, where he also participated in a project to develop a data report management system for the Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing, and Water. With prior experience in various other software outsourcing projects, he has contributed to developing different software solutions that meet clients’ needs. Now at SIH & Australian BioCommons, he aims to use his knowledge and experience to assist researchers and make a positive impact.

Outside of work, Minh is interested in mechanical keyboards and enjoys playing musical instruments. He also occasionally goes bouldering or indoor rock climbing with friends.

Headshot of Ching-Yu Lu

Mr Ching-Yu Lu, Bioinformatics Officer

Ching-yu.lu@sydney.edu.au

Ching-Yu is a bioinformatician at the Sydney Informatics Hub. He is taking his PhD in plant pathology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. He took his Bachelor of Science degree in Taiwan and was a licenced biology teacher for several years. His PhD research is mainly focusing on genome assembly, searching of avirulent candidate genes, population genomics and phylogenetic tree construction.   

Profile photo of Eden Zheng

Dr Eden Zhang, Data Scientist

eden.zhang@sydney.edu.au

Using her background in soil microbial ecology and interest in all things creative, Eden strives to make a career out of data science – more specifically, the visualization of big data for better science communication. Outside of work, she dabbles in art, photography, eating lots of sweets and the occasional tattoo commission

Profile image of Jack Chan

Jack Chan, Data Scientist

Jack is a Data Scientist focusing on text analytics at the Sydney Informatics Hub (SIH). He is experienced with natural language processing and data analytics more generally.

Jack previously worked in the industry as a software engineer at a conversational AI startup and as a data engineer at a data analytics company. He completed his Master of Information Technology degree from the University of Melbourne.

At SIH, Jack is passionate to bring his skillset to NLP projects and assist researchers at the University of Sydney.

Dr Tim White, Data Science Software Engineer

Tim is a data science software engineer at the Sydney Informatics Hub. He has a background in physics and astronomy, completing his bachelor's degree (Hons I with medal) and PhD, both at the University of Sydney. He subsequently worked at the University of Göttingen in Germany, Aarhus University in Denmark, and ANU, before return to Sydney in 2019 as a University of Sydney Fellow. In his previous research, he measured fundamental properties of stars, and developed data pipelines and novel data processing techniques for NASA’s Kepler and TESS missions. With extensive experience analysing large and complex astrophysical data sets, Tim is eager to apply and expand his skills to broader range of research questions.

Profile photo of Xinwei Luo

Xinwei Luo, Data Science Software Engineer

xinwei.luo@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn

Xinwei is a data science software engineer at the Sydney Informatics Hub with a background in computer science, data science and psychology. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Sydney, achieving an HD average for core degree units. Xinwei participated in a summer research program to help integrate ProgressiveDB into Jupyter Notebook to speed up relational database queries. She also has over 3 years of experience in higher education teaching through her role as a teaching assistant within the School of Computer Science, focusing on coordinating and delivering units to large cohorts. 
At SIH, Xinwei is very excited to apply her background knowledge in CS and DS to real-world projects and make meaningful impacts for researchers at the University of Sydney.

Profile image of Sahand Vahidnia

Dr Sahand Vahidnia, Data Science Software Engineer

Sahand.vahidnia@sydney.edu.au

Sahand is a Software Engineer and Data Scientist with a research and development background and interest in data-driven methods and machine learning. His research experience covers topics in Computer Vision, NLP, and Metascience, while he is experienced in software development in C++, Python, and PHP.

Outside of work, he enjoys camping and kayaking with friends and family.

Image of Dr. Giorgia Mori

Dr. Giorgia Mori, Data Science Trainer

giorgia.mori@sydney.edu.au

Giorgia is a data scientist with a background in microbiology and bioinformatics. She is a Software, Data and Library Carpentry instructor, and she has been supervising, teaching and training students in the development of computational skills for conducting efficient and reproducible research. She volunteers in diversity initiatives (RLadies, PyLadies) to support the representation of gender minorities in the programming community. Outside of work, Giorgia is a yoga teacher and she enjoys exploring new places with her friends and family. 

Headshot of Tom Mauch

Tom Mauch, Research Compute Data Scientist

Tom has a background as a radio astronomer. After receiving his PhD in astronomy from the University of Sydney in 2006 he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the UK for 6 years, followed by a decade in South Africa working with the team building software for the MeerKAT radio telescope. He returned to Sydney in August 2023 to join the Sydney Informatics Hub. Tom has a keen interest in processing large datasets for research, building pipelines and implementing novel data analysis techniques. He can’t wait to apply what he has learned as a radio astronomer to a wide range of research topics.

Hamish Croser

Hamish Croser, Data Science Software Engineer

hamish.croser@sydney.edu.au

LinkedIn

Hamish is a data science software engineer at the Sydney Informatics Hub with a background in computer science and software development. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Sydney, focusing on software architecture and design. Before starting at SIH, Hamish spent 2 years teaching within the School of Computer Science, where he also led a number of software projects. 

Hamish is keen to apply his knowledge at SIH to help researchers meet their goals with bespoke solutions.

Statistical Consulting Service

Profile photo of Chris Howden

Chris Howden, Statistical Consulting Unit Lead

christopher.howden@sydney.edu.au

Chris Howden is the Statistical Consulting Unit Lead @ the Sydney Informatics Hub. He has been teaching and applying advanced statistical and quantitative methods since 1999, and managing data science/statistical teams since 2006. With experience in experimental design, data visualisation, analysis, predictive modelling, big data and training in the Academic, Public and Commercial sectors across a broad range of domains such as: Audio Processing of Gunshots, Criminal statistics, Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, Market Research (FMCG, Sensory and Services), Social Research, Psychology, Medical, Omics and other miscellaneous areas e.g. modelling household waste. He focuses on enabling researchers to access world class quantitative analyses to craft evidence based insight and strategies allowing them to achieve their objectives and publish in high impact journals.

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Jim Matthews, Statistical Consultant

jim.matthews@sydney.edu.au

Jim has worked as a statistician with the Sydney Informatics Hub since August 2018 and has also worked with the Bosch Institute in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Jim’s interests include experimental design, quality and precision of test methods, and especially working with researchers and statistical methods to achieve research goals.

Prior to completing his Master of Statistics degree at the University of Wollongong in 2014, Jim worked in the iron & steel industry and the refractories industry for many years in a number of capacities with an emphasis on refractory design and performance and laboratory evaluation.

Profile Photo Alex Shaw

Dr Alex Shaw, Statistical Consultant

alexander.shaw@sydney.edu.au

Alex has a background in medical research, with expertise in molecular biology, cell biology, bioinformatics, genomics and genetics. During his research career, Alex witnessed a sharp increase in the quantity and complexity of data being collected across the various research fields he was exposed to. He undertook a Master of Biostatistics, with the aim of helping other researchers conduct their analyses in this data-rich world. Alex joined the statistical consulting team in mid-2019. As well as consulting, Alex has an interest and experience in teaching statistics. His overall goal is to empower researchers to embrace the statistical challenges and opportunities that come from working with complex datasets in their chosen field.

Profile photo of Kathrin Shaw

Dr Kathrin Schemann, Senior Statistical Consultant

kathrin.schemann@sydney.edu.au

Kathrin Schemann is a biostatistician with a background in animal and human health and holds a Master of Biostatistics and a PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology. Kathrin has a decade of practical experience in applying her wide-ranging study design and data analysis skills to multi-disciplinary research and operational work in a range of settings and domains, including government and academia and covering animal- and veterinary science, psychology, policy science, service planning, health statistics, population health information systems as well as clinical and population health research. She has taught applied biostatistics to undergraduate and postgraduate students since 2009. Kathrin is passionate about making statistics approachable and aims to assist researchers in optimising their study design and statistical analysis to improve the quality of their research.

Image of Stanislaus Stadlmann

Dr Stanislaus Stadlmann (he/him), Statistical Consultant 

stanislaus.stadlmann@sydney.edu.au

Stanislaus Stadlmann is a Statistical Consultant with a background in Data Science and Statistics. He holds a joint PhD in statistical modeling from Göttingen University and Macquarie University, which he finished in 2021. During his time at either universities he has enjoyed teaching various Statistics subjects including Multivariate Statistics, Statistical Programming and Introductory Statistics. Since graduating, he has worked as a Data Scientist at QBE and coded fluently in Python and R. When he doesn’t code he rides his bike around the city or tours rural New South Wales.

Image of Dr Alexandra Green

Dr Alexandra (Ali) Green, Statistical Consultant

a.green@sydney.edu.au

Alexandra has been at the Sydney Informatics Hub since December 2022. She has a background in the animal sciences, with expertise in veterinary epidemiology and biostatistics, animal behaviour and welfare, as well as bioacoustics. She holds a PhD in Veterinary Science and has recently completed a postdoc in veterinary biostatistics. Alexandra has taught applied statistical methods to undergraduate and postgraduate students since 2020 and has a keen interest in helping researchers to break down complex datasets to make insightful evidence-based conclusions. Outside of work, Alexandra enjoys bird watching and doing pilates. 

Sydney Informatics Hub

Address
  • Level 3 Cnr City Rd & Butlin Ave Darlington NSW 2008 Merewether H04