Group Head

Dr Claudia Vickers

mugshotflip300Dr Vickers obtained a BSc (Hons I) in molecular biology from the University of Queensland in 1998 and a PhD in plant molecular biology (cereal crop biotechnology) through CSIRO Plant Industry and The University of Queensland in 2004. She held a post-doctoral position at The University of Essex and Visiting Scientist position at the University of Lancaster 2004-2007, where she worked on abiotic stress and isoprene production in plants. She returned to The University of Queensland in 2007, joining the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to expand her research program into microbial metabolic engineering. Since then she has headed a group focused on the metabolism and physiology of the isoprenoid group of natural products. Dr Vickers has worked with industry partners in a range of application areas to provide consulting expertise and deliver industry-focused outcomes. She has also acted as an advisor on synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology for the Australian Federal Government, the Queensland Government, and the Institute on Science for Global Policy. She has won numerous awards and Fellowships, including a Queensland Government Smart State Fellowship (2010), the University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award (2013), a Queensland Government Accelerate Fellowship (2014), and a Young Tall Poppy Science Award (Australian Institute of Policy & Science; 2014). She has been working to develop and support synthetic biology across Australia and New Zealand for several years; as part of this initiative, she is founding President of Synthetic Biology Australasia (SBA).


Dr Jordi Pérez Gil

Marie Curie International Fellow2_1292_640

Jordi completed his degrees in chemistry and biochemistry followed by an MSc in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He then joined Prof. Manuel Rodriguez-Concepción’s Lab in the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) where he got his PhD in 2013. During that period of time he was awarded with a mobility fellowship to travel to the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany to work in the laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Gershenzon. In 2014 he was awarded with an outgoing Marie Curie Fellowship to conduct his postdoctoral research in Australia. He joined Dr Vickers’ lab at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland, Brisbane where he is currently working.

Click here to find out more about Dr Pérez Gil’s research interests.


Dr Zhenyu Shi

University of Queensland Fellow


Research Assistant

Ms Monica Espinosa



Mr Bingyin Peng (PhD)bingo2

Bingyin completed his Bachelor degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at Liaoning University (Shenyang City, China) in 2008 and his Master degree in microbiology at Shandong University (Jinan City, China) in 2011. He then worked as a research engineer in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore. In 2013, he enrolled into the PhD program at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland. Bingyin’s research is focused on developing a high-efficiency yeast platform for isoprenoid production.

Ms Rebecca Wood (PhD)web-page-photo_rebecca

Rebecca studied her bachelor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Honours) at the University of Melbourne. After completing her degree in 2012, she worked as a research assistant at Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, studying protein homeostasis and its dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases. In 2016, Rebecca began her PhD at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). Her research focuses on developing a microbiological platform for production of agricultural chemicals.

Ms Shiqin Yu (PhD)

Mr Huw Hayman Zumpe (Undergraduate)

Ms Endah Lestari (Masters, 2016)


Lab Mascot

Cedric is our lab mascot. When the cloning isn’t working or the cells aren’t growing, we turn to Cedric for help. Usually, he provides no assistance whatsoever.

Cedric, the lab mascot, hiding in the shrubbery



Dr James Behrendorff (2012-2013)

Dr Jennifer Steen (2009-2010)

Dr Yuchan Zhou (2010-2011)


Research Assistants

Erin Kelly (2015)

Haryadi Suguarto (2009 – 2013)

Sarah Bydder (2008-2015)

Jacky Hung (2007 -2009)


PhD Students

Colin Archer (PhD, 2013)

Suriana Sabri (PhD, 2013)

Mareike Bongers (PhD, 2016)

Michele Bruschi (PhD, 2014)

Thomas Williams (PhD, 2014)

Yalun Arifin (PhD, 2011)

Wendy Chen (PhD, 2010)


Honours & Masters Students

Mr Ran Quan (Masters, 2016)

Ms Yimin Wang (Masters, 2016)

Mr Chengeng Xie (Masters, 2014)

Mr Simon Boyes (Honours, 2009)


Undergraduate/Interns/Occupational Trainees

Aaron Goodwin (Summer Intern 2009-2010)

Alex Bowler (Summer Intern 2013/2014)

Alex Carpenter (Occupational Trainee, 2016)

Alex Nilon (Summer Intern, 2013-2014)

Arne Hofemeier (Occupational Trainee, 2013)

Eva Speelmans (Occupational Trainee, 2008)

Erin Kelly (Summer Intern, 2014-2015)

Huixuan (Andrew) Huang (Summer Intern/Special Research Studies/Winter Intern; 2007-2008)

Carla Vidal (Occupational Trainee, 2015)

Christiane Sonntag (Occupational Trainee, 2014)

Erin Kelly (Summer Intern 2014-2015)

Giovanna Abranches Rossini (Summer Intern, 2015)

Jessica  McClintock (Summer Intern, 2009/2010)

Joshua Volkman (Summer Intern, 2012-2013)

Judith Becker (Occupational Trainee, 2008)

Lisa Marei Schmitz (Summer Intern 2014-2015)

Melinda Ashcroft (Summer Intern, 2012-2013)

Matthew Henry (Winter Intern, 2014)

Michael Dore (Winter Intern, 2013)

Monica Espinosa (Special Research Project, 2014)

Nina Bohlke (Occupational Trainee, 2009-2010)

Philip Hoffmann (Occupational Trainee, 2008)

Sarah Prekel (Summer Intern 2014-2015)

Simone Higgie (Summer Intern, 2008-2009)

Tim McCubbin (Summer Intern, 2010-2011)