The Team

Our Story

The Einstein-First Project started around the time of the first gravitational wave detection under the supervision of UWA Professor David Blair. Researchers involved in the Einstein-First program have collectively been exploring ways to teach gravitational wave discovery and the fundamentals of modern physics to students around Australia.

Emeritus Professor David Blair
David G. Blair is an Australian physicist and professor at the University of Western Australia and Director of the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre. Blair works on methods for the detection of gravitational waves. He developed the Einstein-First program in 2013.

Professor Li Ju
Li Ju is a Physicist at the Department of Physics, UWA. She is one of the chief investigators in the Australian Research Council Linkage Project “International collaboration in the teaching and learning of Einsteinian physics at schools”. Her other research interest is on experimental gravitational wave detection techniques.

Adjunct A/Professor Marjan Zadnik
Marjan Zadnik at UWA, was the Dean of Teaching and Learning in Science and Engineering, at Curtin University, overseeing the teaching quality of hundreds of academics, and the learning experience of their students. He has won many awards for excellence in teaching, including the AIP Education Medal and a National Teaching Fellowship. He has also won many competitive research and teaching grants. Current educational research projects include measuring the effectiveness of teaching Einsteinian Physics at schools, as well as investigating how students learn in science and engineering laboratory environments.

Dr. Steven Humphry
Steve Humphry specialises in Educational Assessment, Measurement and Evaluation at The University of Western Australia. He has extensive experience in the NAPLAN and WALNA large-scale testing programs. His research has focused increasingly on developing novel approaches that allow classroom teachers to reliably assess students in areas not amenable to large-scale testing such as Visual Art and Science Investigations. In Industry work, between 2011 and 2013, A/Prof Humphry has led the Central Analysis of Data project for NAPLAN, on which a team of psychometricians establish NAPLAN literacy and numeracy scales that form the basis for reporting on performance at the Australian, state and territory, school and individual student levels.
Professor David Treagust
David Treagust is John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Formerly a secondary science teacher, his research interests are related to understanding students’ ideas about science concepts, how they contribute to conceptual change and can be used to enhance the design of curricula and teachers’ classroom practice.

Dr. Elaine Horne
Dr. Elaine Horne is a Partner Investigator in the Einstein-First ARC Project. She is a science education specialist, past Chair of the Gravity Discovery Centre (GDC) Foundation and worked on Einsteinian education committees and boards for 20 years. Dr. Horne was instrumental in producing a Science Education Policy for UNESCO in 2007. She organised World Conferences on science education from 2003 to 2013, providing Keynote opportunities for international dissemination of Einsteinian Physics during that time.

David A. Wood
David Wood is a former education and school administrator and physics teacher. In retirement, David works in a voluntary capacity to represent the Science Teachers Association of Western Australia on the Einstein-First program. David’s interests and expertise include: school leadership, reform and improvement; curriculum reform; education program design and implementation; and advancing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools agenda.

Dr. Jyoti Kaur
Tejinder (Jyoti) Kaur completed her Ph.D. in 2018 from the University of Western Australia. She has worked in the Einstein-First project since 2013. Jyoti has a masters degree in Education as well as Physics. Jyoti is interested in science education and research.

Johanna Stalley
Johanna has a passion for STEM education with a focus on engaging and inspiring students in mathematics and the sciences. She believes that the development of skills in cross-disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies are essential for our students. Previously, she was the Project Officer on The STEM Learning Project for the Department of Education where she coordinated the development of STEM learning resources for WA primary and secondary students in alignment with the SCSA curriculum. In addition, Johanna coordinated and delivered professional learning activities to promote the STEM Learning Project in Western Australian metropolitan and regional schools, and at national science conferences. As a Project Officer at Scitech, she enhanced community and student engagement through innovative program designs. Lecturing for the School of Education at a University and maintaining a part-time role as a Science teacher in a primary school ensures Johanna has an ongoing connection with today’s students.

Dr. Jesse Santoso
Jesse Santoso is a physicist with a background in both experimental and theoretical plasma physics. His research has explored themes of nuclear fusion, renewable technologies, and green chemistry. He has significant experience teaching physics at a university level in both in-person and online formats. His primary activities include developing online teacher-training resources, producing teacher-training demonstration videos, and overseeing our Einsteinian Science Micro-credential courses.

Shon Boublil
Shon Boublil is an educational researcher, physicist and accomplished classical and jazz musician. He holds a bachelor degree in physics from Concordia University in Montreal and a bachelor degree in music from Berklee in Boston. His master’s degree is in physics education (didactique des sciences physique) at Laval University in Quebec. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in physics and education at the University of Western Australia.

Anastasia Lonshakova

Anastasia Lonshakova is currently pursuing her PhD in physics and education at the University of Western Australia. Her research interests are related to the development and implementation of a mathematical curriculum for Einstein Physics. She has a scientific background in physics and mathematics with research experience in polarization optics and the physics of liquid crystals. Being passionate about education, she has science teaching experience with different aged students, including pre-school. 

Kyla Adams

Kyla Adams is a physicist and science communicator who gained her Bachelor of Science (Physics) at the Queensland University of Technology. She then moved to Melbourne to do graduate research in gravitational waves and quantum liquids. Throughout her studies, she has been involved with various outreach and mentoring activities. She is currently completing her PhD in physics and education with Einstein-First.

Board of Management

  • Emeritus Professor David Blair
  • John Curtin Distinguished Professor David Treagust, Curtin University
  • Senior Honorary Research Fellow David A. Wood, UWA
  • Professor Grady Venville, Deputy Vice Chancellor, ANU
  • Distinguished Professor Susan Scott, ANU
  • Peter Rossdeutscher Chairman, Quantum Technology Exchange and Atomic Sky Pty Ltd
  • Professor Li Ju, Dr Elaine Horne
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Mario Zadnik, UWA

Former Team Members

  • Melanye B. Wawrik, J.D. – Quantum Girls Coordinator
  • Dr. Rahul Choudary – Researcher, PhD Graduate
  • Darren McGoran – PhD Student