Microscopy Australia

Targeted research and the right technology lead to great discoveries.

Mission: to empower Australian science and innovation by making advanced microscopes accessible to all researchers.

We are a consortium of university-based microscopy facilities united by values of collaboration, accessibility, excellence and innovation. Each year, over 3,500 researchers from universities and industry use our instruments and expertise in facilities around Australia. Over 150,000 trainee microscopists around the world use our online training tools.

Microscopy Australia is funded by federal (NCRIS) and state governments and participating institutions. We report high-impact science outcomes from this investment in our annual Research Highlights and online news. We also engage the public in science with unique exhibitions and learning resources.

Microscopy Australia enables access to an array of high-end microscopy platforms and associated scientific expertise in strategic locations to efficiently service Australia’s microscopy needs. Microscopy Australia also has formal connections with a range of other specialised linked laboratories.

Vision: to provide world-leading microscopes and expertise that keep Australia at the forefront of global research.

Microscopy Australia (formerly known as the AMMRF) has been empowering research excellence for over a decade. A recent renewal of our government funding ensures that our strategic vision and collaboration continues to drive Australian research and deliver industry solutions for many years to come.


University-based research facilities collaborating through an unincorporated joint venture form the core of Microscopy Australia. Their wide range of complimentary instrument types and expertise collectively provide infrastructure for high-demand and cutting-edge techniques. All offer scanning and transmission electron microscopy and many have light and confocal instruments. 
See Facility Directory

Linked Labs

Linked Labs are research facilities affiliated with Microscopy Australia. They provide additional expertise and benefits to Australian researchers and industry users. The Microscopy Australia facilities, have strategic links to additional research laboratories to increase access and support for researchers via Linked Labs. 
See Linked Lab Directory

Governance & Management

  • Chief Executive Officer

    Prof. Julie Cairney

    Prof. Julie Cairney grew up in the outback town of Broken Hill, Australia. She studied Materials Science and Engineering at UNSW under a scholarship from Pasminco Limited. In 2002, she was awarded a PhD (Physical Metallurgy) also from UNSW. The next few years were spent working as a researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany, before returning to Australia. Julie is currently a professor in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and CEO of Microscopy Australia.

    Julie is an expert in advanced microscopy techniques that can image matter down to atomic scale, to study materials. The materials’ microstructure can then be related to their properties. This knowledge is used to engineer advanced materials with desirable properties such as superalloys, steels and hard coatings. In this way Julie’s work contributes to the development of stronger, lighter materials that require less energy to produce, for applications in industries like aerospace, construction and manufacturing. She is also active in applying atomic-scale microscopy to a wider range of research fields

  • Chief Operating Officer

    Dr Lisa Yen

    Lisa joined Microscopy Australia in 2019 as our Chief Operating Officer. She has over ten years of experience in research administration and management. She received her PhD in Cognitive Science, investigating speech and language, from Macquarie University in 2005. Lisa was the Chief Operating Officer of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD; 2011 – 2019).

    In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Lisa leads our team of support staff to deliver outstanding research infrastructure support to users across the nine Microscopy Australia facilities. She manages the strategic planning and operations of Microscopy Australia, including the financial management, reporting responsibilities and future planning. She oversees communication, marketing, stakeholder relations and engagement activities to strengthen industry, community and institutional collaboration.

  • Marketing & Business Development Manager

    Dr Jenny Whiting

    After completing her B.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Adelaide’s Biochemistry Department, Jenny spent nine years undertaking basic research in molecular and developmental biology at several institutions in London. Before joining Microscopy Australia, Jenny worked for the Wellcome Trust, a large medical research charity in the UK. There she was responsible for building their collection of microscopic and medical images and licensing it to academic and commercial users.

    Jenny promotes the benefits and outcomes of Microscopy Australia facilities to the Australian research community and industry, encouraging a wide range of collaborations. She also liaises with our various stakeholders to communicate return on investment in advanced microscopy and the research it enables.

  • Facility Directors / Operations Group

    Click on the link for Team Directory listings tagged ‘Director’

  • Board
    Dr Greg Smith
    Dr Deborah Rathjen
    Independent board member
    Prof. Laurent Rivory
    The University of Sydney
    Prof. Tim Colmer
    The University of Western Australia
    Prof. Mike Ryan
    Monash University
    Prof. Joe Shapter
    The University of Queensland
    The University of ADELAIDE
    Dr Douglas Robertson
    Australian National University
    A/Prof. Grainne Moran
    The University of New South Wales
  • Scientific Advisory Committee
    Prof. Wolfgang Baumeister
    Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry
    Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer
    The University of Sydney
    Prof. Christian Colliex
    Emeritus CNRS Research Director
    Dr Jan Ellenberg
    Dr Rob Hough
    Prof. David Joy
    The University of Tennesee
    Prof. Brian Wilson
    The University of Toronto
    Prof. Palli Thordarson
    UNSW Sydney
    Prof. Tim Senden
    Australian National University
    Prof. Colin Raston
    Flinders University
    A/Prof. Paul Verkade
    The University of Bristol
    Prof. Simon Watkins
    The University of Pittsburgh
    Prof. Xiaozhou Liao
    The University of Sydney
    Prof. Jodie Bradby
    Australian National University
    Prof. Anders Meibom
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    Prof. Paul Midgley
    Cambridge University
    Prof. Michael Monteiro
    The University of Queensland
    Paul Munroe
    Unsw Sydney
    Prof. Dongke Zhang
    University of Western Australia
    Prof. Paul Robinson
    Purdue University
    Prof. Allan Pring
    Flinders University
    Dr Tom Kelly
    Steam Instruments Inc
    Prof. Jin Zou
    University of Queensland
    Prof. Tim White
    Nanyang Technology University
    Dr Richard Leapman
    NIH, Bethesda
    Prof. Jason Swedlow
    University of Dundee


This annual publication is available in print or as a PDF download. Discover high-impact science, enabled by Microscopy Australia (formerly the AMMRF). If you would like to receive a printed copy, please contact us with your postal address.

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