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


Professional headshot of Associate Professor Tom Bishop

Professor Tom Bishop, Academic Director

Tom Bishop is an associate 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

Michele Collins, Operations Manager


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Dr Rosemarie Sadsad, Research Informatics Manager

Dr Rosemarie Sadsad is the Research Informatics Manager at the Sydney Informatics Hub. Rosemarie leads a team of data scientists, engineers and bioinformaticians that deliver digital platforms and services, data science and computation consultancy services, and an extensive training program, to boost the capability of research teams, accelerate research projects, and foster partnerships with industry and government.

Rosemarie is also the co-lead of an Australian BioCommons project work package, leading a multi-organisation team to deliver a National command line-based bioinformatics platform.

Rosemarie has over 15 years experience in research and the healthcare industry. She is a Computer Biomedical Engineer, with a Ph.D. in Health Informatics (UNSW). Rosemarie is also active in pathogen genomics and clinical decision support systems research with NSW Health. She specialises in complex systems analysis (multiscale modelling and simulation, network analyses), decision support systems, pathogen genomics, and bioinformatics.

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Dr Gordon McDonald, Group Lead

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:

  • Heath-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.

Gordon is part of the university’s Statistical Consulting Service as well as being a qualified Software Carpentry instructor, delivering hands-on training on behalf of SIH.

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Dr Joel Nothman, Group Lead

LinkedIn | GitHub | Google Scholar

Joel spent many years as a student at the University of Sydney (BSc / BA (Uni. Medal) 2008; PhD 2014) becoming an expert in natural language processing and linguistics, as well as in software engineering and machine learning more generally. He is a substantial contributor to the Scientific Python open-source software community, and brings this knowledge of developing scientific software for public use to the SIH team. He enjoys communicating about research, and also lectures for the School of IT.

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Dr Chao Sun, Group Lead


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


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 a data scientist with a background in parasite ecology, conservation, and infectious disease research. He has a PhD in Biology from the University of Sydney and has worked as a member of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Disease and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney. Henry enjoys finding innovate and efficient ways to collect, process, analyse, and visualise complex data sets. His areas of expertise include non-normal distributions, modelling, geospatial analysis, and time-series analysis.

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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 Jazmin Ozsvar, Data Scientist

Google Scholar LinkedIn

Jazmin is a data scientist at SIH and has a Bachelor of Science (Hons I) in biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology. She is currently finishing her PhD in biophysics at the University of Sydney where she is using full-atomistic molecular dynamics to elucidate the intrinsic properties of tropoelastin, the protein that gives human tissue stretch and resilience. Previously, she worked at Institutional Analytics and Planning at the University of Sydney, where she analysed geospatial, educational and operations based data. In her spare time, Jazmin is a freelance illustrator and avid data visualisation appreciator, having worked with multiple academics at the University of Sydney to provide illustrations for their publications and reports.

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Dr Darya Vanichkina, Data Scientist & Data Analytics Trainer

LinkedIn | GitHub | Google Scholar | Twitter

Darya is a data scientist with a biology background and experience in big data, machine learning, and statistics. She is a Software and Data Carpentry instructor and contributor, passionate about using evidence-based teaching practices to develop courses around quantitative skills, programming and reproducible research methodologies for researchers and non-technical audiences. Darya holds a PhD in Bioinformatics and Genomics from the University of Queensland, and is a Specialist Biochemist with a major in Molecular Biology. At SIH, Darya’s role is that of Data Analytics Trainer, working across the different faculties of the University to develop and deliver data science focussed discipline-specific workshops.

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Dr Louis Mercorelli, Data Science Software Engineer

Lou is a PhD/MBA in Finance and Economics with a specialization in Quantitative Finance. He worked for Accenture (6+ years) and Deloitte (6+ years) as a senior project manager for many global financial clients. Over the last 15 years, he has worked as an independent consultant in many of the newest technologies (blockchain, CUDA/OpenCL, AWS, HFT, etc). Going forward, his goal is to achieve the highest calibre of skills in the following areas:

  • Strong consulting skills including exceptional project/program delivery, clear communication, sharp presentations, top tier publications and the highest leadership/management skills.
  • Strong skills in the newest technologies including blockchain solutions, parallel processing solutions (CUDA/OpenCL), big data management (AWS), algorithmic trading (high frequency), modelling and analysing unique data sets and anything cloud related.
  • He is always improving his skills in the following technologies (Python, Amazon AWS, C/C++, GNU R, Unix, Perl, VBA, Matlab, SQL, parallel programming, kdb+, IRESS, Swift, Haskell, functional programming). He is also continuously improving his knowledge in Econometrics, Math (Stochastic) and Statistics.
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Zheng (Elevn) Li, Data Science Software Engineer

LinkedIn |

Elevn is a data science software engineer at SIH, with a background of renewable energy engineering and information technology. Before getting on board, he had 2.5 years of industry experience as a software engineer, where he got exposed to full stack web development (Python|Django|PostgreSQL|React/Angular) and variety of cloud services (Azure). Elevn is passionate about different research domains and loves designing and building resilient architecture under different infrastructures.

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Dr Sergio Pintaldi, Data Science Software Engineer

LinkedIn | GitHub | Google Scholar

Sergio is a Research Engineer in the SIH Data Science Team. He obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering with RMIT University in Melbourne, and worked in renewable energy for the past 6 years at the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle and then with SwitchDin. His skills range from thermal modelling and simulation to big data processing and pipelines in production environments.

His areas of expertise are:

  • thermodynamics modelling, control and thermal systems dynamical simulations
  • Data modelling and analytics
  • Data visualization
  • IoT data pipelines
  • Data engineering and databases
  • Python (coding), Linux (OS), SQL (database), RabbitMQ (data streaming), Ansible (DevOps)
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Dr Nathaniel Butterworth, Senior Informatics Technical Officer (Visualisation)

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 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).

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Dr Tracy Chew, Bioinformatics Group Lead

Tracy enjoys developing fast, scalable big data analytics workflows on commercial cloud and national high performance computing facilities. She has a background in animal health, genomics and bioinformatics having completed her Bachelor’s degree in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience (Hons I, USyd) and her PhD (USyd) on canine de novo mutations and Mendelian disorders. Since joining the Sydney Informatics Hub in 2017, she has been involved in human health (influenza, sepsis, pancreatitis, cancer research), metagenomics, plant ‘omics (food security) and Australian wildlife and conservation research.  She has developed fast and scalable workflows including germline and somatic variant calling, de novo genome and transcriptome assembly and RNA sequencing pre-processing.

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Dr Cali Willet, Senior Research Bioinformatician

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.

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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.

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Dr Georgina Samaha, Australia BioCommons Senior Bionformatics Officer

ResearchGate | Github

Georgina Samaha is a bioinformatician at the Sydney Informatics Hub. She completed her PhD in genomics at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Sydney and has undergraduate training in animal science (BAnVetBioSc Hons I, USyd) and philosophy (BASc, USyd). In her role, she is working to make bioinformatics more accessible to researchers by developing scalable and reproducible bioinformatic workflows. In her research she has focused on naturally occurring animal models of heritable diseases in humans and how researchers can repurpose genomic resources developed for model species to inform conservation management of endangered species.

Research Data Consulting

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Dr Adele Haythornwaite, Research Data Consulting Lead

PhD (Ecology), Syd.

Adele has previously worked in IT developing commercial software. For her PhD, she specialised in small mammal ecology in arid environments, and has extensive experience working in various research groups at Sydney.

Adele oversees the development of research data management policy, and works with the research community to identify, advocate for and implement strategies to improve research data outcomes across the University. She is continuing to explore mechanisms to improve researchers' access to health and clinical data, and management of sensitive data in research.

Dr Cameron K. Fong, Research Data Consultant

PhD (Anatomy), UNSW.

Cameron has joined SIH after working as a researcher attached to a clinical team the Sydney Children's Hospital Network between 2017-2019. He completed his PhD at NeuRA where he looked at improving child car restraints and has experience with histology and microscopy. Leveraging his broad research experience, Cameron is providing support and training to researchers and students across the university in digital research tools and data management.

Statistical Consulting Service

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Chris Howden, Statistical Service Lead

Chris Howden is the Statistical Consulting Lead. He has been teaching and applying advanced statistical and quantitative methods since 1999, and managing data science/statistical teams since 2006. With experience in data visualisation, analysis, design, modelling, big data and training in the Academic, Public and Private sectors across a broad range of domains such as: Audio Processing of Gunshots, Criminal statistics, Ecology, Market Research (FMCG, Sensory and Services), Social Research, Psychology, Medical, Genetic and other miscellaneous areas e.g. modelling household waste. His focus is using the most appropriate analysis in developing evidence based insight and strategy to help Researchers achieve their objectives.

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Jim Matthews, Senior Statistical Consultant

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.

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Dr Alex Shaw, Statistical Consultant

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.

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Dr Kathrin Schemann, Statistical Consultant

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.

Sydney Informatics Hub

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