Who we are

The QiS New South Wales State Chapter is building a LGBTQIA+ STEMM community for New South Wales, both in Sydney and regional NSW. We create events to foster inclusion for all LGBTQIA+ individuals studying and/or working in STEMM fields in NSW. Our vision is to champion LGBTQIA+ scientists, and to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all LGBTQIA+ people in STEMM.

Our Recent Events

31 Aug


2022 Eureka Prize Award Ceremony

View event: 2022 Eureka Prize Award Ceremony
14 Jul

Macquarie University City Campus, NSW

LGBTQ+ inclusion in STEM

View event: LGBTQ+ inclusion in STEM
18 Nov

Online (Zoom and Gathertown)

LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day Symposium 2021

View event: LGBTQIA+ STEMM Day Symposium 2021

State Representatives

Dr Michelle Power (Co-chair)

Pronouns: She/Her

Professor at Macquarie University

I started out as a wildlife parasitologist but now consider the wider interactions between pathogens and endemic organisms within hosts relative to disease outcomes and within a One Health framework. In recent years my research has focussed on reverse zoonoses, particularly the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and associated AMR genetic determinants to wildlife. I work on diverse pathogens and wildlife hosts including flying foxes, marsupials, seals, sea lions and penguins, which sees me collaborating widely. My involvement with QiS stems from recognising the importance of visibility and support for LGBTIQ+ undergrads starting out at university and postgrads starting research careers.

Co-chair (Vacant)

Faelan Mourmourakis (Secretary)

Pronouns: he/him | They/Them

PhD student Macquarie University

Faelan Mourmourakis is a PhD student in the Department of Natural Sciences at Macquarie University. His research is situated on insect behaviour and cognition – predominantly focusing on comparative neurobiology and brain anatomy between species of bees such as honey bees, Australian native bees and bumblebees. Faelan has been involved in queer activism across mutliple organisations and universities, with the goal of encouraging trans visability and rights.

Events co-lead (vacant)

Please contact the NSW Branch to express interest in this position.

Dr Daniel Zucker (Treasurer)

Pronouns: he/him

Professor at Macquarie University

Daniel is an observational astronomer, studying the stellar populations of the Milky Way and its closest neighbours as a key to understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies in general. A particular interest of his is finding and characterising stellar streams in the outer reaches of our Galaxy – that is, streams of stars that form when a star cluster or small galaxy is torn apart by the Milky Way’s tidal forces, and which will eventually be absorbed into our Galaxy in a kind of cosmic cannibalism. He has been active in promoting diversity and inclusion in astronomy and academia in general for a number of years, including recently chairing the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Astronomy) Chapter of the Astronomical Society of Australia. Daniel joined Queers in Science because he believes it is crucial for LGBTIQ+ scientists and engineers – especially students and junior researchers – to feel welcome and encouraged in STEMM fields, and we should do everything we can to identify and try to eliminate obstacles that stand in their path.

Rami Mandow

Pronouns: He/Him


Rami is a radio astronomy PhD student, using the iconic Australian instrument, the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope, to listen in on the mind boggling and exotic astrophysical objects, known as pulsars. Using data collected by The Dish, Rami is working towards better understanding these exotic stars, after their violent births, in the heart of supernova explosions. Rami is also currently the chair if the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee of for the International Pulsar Timing Array project, as well as sitting on the DEI committee for Macquarie University’s School of Mathematics and Physics. Prior to commencing his science career Rami has worked in a variety of fields including Government, self-employment, corporate finance, not-for-profit and intelligence. He has also started his own government registered charity to help combat online bullying for young LGBTIQA+ people, as well as worked on the Australian Marriage Equality campaign.

Dr Mariella Herberstein (Councillor)

Pronouns: She/Her

Professor Macquarie University

I am gay and a behavioural ecologist. I work on spiders – I look at all aspects of their behaviour, from web-building to sexual cannibalism. I am interested in establishing spiders as significant models in behavioural and evolutionary research, deceptive signals in spiders and orchids, and the mating behaviour and sexual selection in spiders and insects. I combine my research with afternoon tea & scones and Eurovision (www.thescienceofeurovision.website). I have been an ally at Macquarie University, a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and am visible to the students I teach and at the University more broadly.

Councillor (Vacant)

Please contact the NSW Branch to express interest in this position.

Contact Us

Get in touch with the committee

Visit: Contact Us chev