Dr Claudia Freyer – Education Officer
Phone: +61 (3) 9340 3611
I was born and raised in Germany, and was interested in anything science from a very young age. As a teenager, I attended after-school programs that offered lectures and laboratory sessions designed for high-school kids. Eventually, I studied biology at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. Studying next door to the natural history museum, I took up a casual assistant position that supported research and teaching at the museum. It was immensely exciting to walk past the Brachiosaurus skeleton on a daily basis and through the enormous, historic research specimen collections. I often accessed the many drawers and shelves for skulls or “pickled” animals as part of my duties, and read through some fascinating historic research papers of first discoveries and explorations, especially about Australia.
I completed my first research degree about marsupial evolution at the museum, and started researching marsupial reproduction. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to assist a scientist from Australia, who was visiting the scientists at the museum, and happened to be the world-expert on marsupial reproduction. With support of a scholarship, I was privileged to carry out my PhD research on marsupial reproduction with plenty of access to a multitude of marsupials (from wallabies to dunnarts) under expert supervision at the University of Melbourne.
My PhD research lead me to become interested in human reproduction, and I continued on to research novel ways of preventing pregnancy, i.e. contraception. I was a member of a research team at the Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical research, before returning to the University of Melbourne to study embryo development and the effects of obesity on pregnancy as part of various group projects. Subsequently, in 2010, I started work in cancer research that supported research and clinical diagnostics of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and associated clinicians at the Austin Hospital.
After this extensive research career, I embarked on science education with a graduate diploma from Latrobe University. I have since taught in different private and public schools. I hope my current role as an Education Officer at GTAC will form one of the stepping stones that sets other children and teenagers on the path to exploration and discovery.