Guest Speaker Date Topic
Prof. Jonti Horner 1 – 4 April 2022 Astronomy
Dr. Greta Dalle-Luche, PhD 29 April – 1 May 2022 Humpback Whales
Leaf to Reef  11 – 24 June 2022 Researchers 
Prof. Jonti Horner 1 – 4 July 2022 Astronomy
Prof. Jonti Horner 29 July – 1 August 2022 Astronomy
Dr. Greta Dalle-Luche, PhD 16-18 September 2022 Humpback Whales
Prof. Jonti Horner 23 – 26 September 2022 Astronomy
Leaf to Reef 15 – 29 October 2022 Researchers
Prof. Jonti Horner 21 – 24 October 2022 Astronomy
Prof. Jonti Horner 12 – 16 December 2022 Astronomy

*Subject to change

Leaf to Reef

Leaf to Reef: Biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island is a research group apart of the Reef Islands initiative, which aims to establish a network of climate change refuges by protecting critical habitats in the Great Barrier Reef and use citizen science to quantify the biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island and surrounding waters.

Jonti Horner

Professor Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist at the University of Southern Queensland. He first became interested in astronomy at the age of five, and has been hooked ever since. After spending his youth observing the night sky, and going to lectures at his local astronomical society, Jonti went to the University of Durham, where he spent four years studying towards a Masters’ degree in Physics and Astronomy. He then moved to the University of Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate for a thesis entitled ‘The Behaviour of Small Bodies in the Outer Solar System.’. Once his studies were complete, he moved to the University of Bern, in Switzerland, where he spent three years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Spells at the UK’s Open University and the University of Durham followed, before he moved to Australia in 2010, to take up a position at the University of New South Wales. In 2014, Jonti accepted a position at the University of Southern Queensland, where he became the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow.

Jonti is a passionate and enthusiastic science communicator. He gives regular talks to a wide variety of community groups, schools, and astronomical societies, and makes monthly appearances on ABC Queensland’s Evenings program, with Trevor Jackson. His research covers topics ranging from the formation and evolution of our Solar system to the search for planets around other stars. He is particularly interested in understanding the different factors that could make some of those planets more (or less) suitable for the development of life, and is looking forward to seeing the next generation of astronomical telescopes make a serious effort at answering the question “Are We Alone?”.

Jonti writes regular articles for the Australian research news website The Conversation, which can be found at: . His Twitter handle is @JontiHorner, and his personal webpage is located at

Dr. Greta Dalle Luche, PhD

Dr. Greta Dalle Luche, PhD is a biochemist with 7 year experience working with humpback whales. Her projects have spanned from marine food-chain pollution, humpback whale physiology, and distribution. Her favourite topics are whale endocrinology, including stress response and reproduction. She obtained her PhD in 2019 from Griffith University with a thesis entitled “Validation and use of a HPLC-MS/MS method for the analysis of multiple steroid hormones in humpback whale blubber” or, as the media referred to it “a new pregnancy test for whales” and presented her original research at several international conferences (including in Switzerland, Belgium, and New Zealand). Greta currently researches micro algae as a sustainable vector for the production of food grade ingredients and loves to listen to whale songs while cruising the bottom of the reef in her free time. Greta’s love for the reef also led her to co-found KoalaSun, a reef-safe surf zinc.