1st “Research Bites” in Victoria

The first Research Bites (RB) organized by the Victoria (Australia) delegation of the Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific association (SRAP-IEAP) was held in La Trobe University (Melbourne) on Friday, 11th December 2015, from 5 – 8 pm. This event was organised by our member  Dr. Álvaro Roura, who works at  La Trobe University (Melbourne) with a postdoctoral contract.

15 Spanish researchers participated in this event. Seven of them talked about their research and how did they end up working in Australia:

  1. Marta Portela-Esteban, Biologist, postdoc at La Trobe University. She works in human diseases Drosophila melanogaster, particularly in cancer and Alzheimer.
  2. Marta Enciso, Chemist-Physicist, research officer at La Trobe University. She works on molecular modelization, and simulating biologic systems
  3. Iván Martínez Botella, Chemist, Experimental Scientist CSIRO (Clayton). He works on organic synthesis (mainly in polymers) in continuum flux.
  4. Francisco Gómez Carrasco, Physicist, Postdoc Monash University. He works on Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  5. David Rodríguez Sánchez, Mechanical engineer, PhD student at RMIT. He works in optics of solar concentrators.
  6. David Perez Guaita, Chemist, postdoc at Monash Univ. He works in biomedical applications of the vibrational spectroscopy.
  7. Paula Sánchez Rodríguez, Biologist, currently searching for a grant or contract to start her PhD.

However, the event was interrupted before finished because a fire alarm forced to evacuate the building.

Primer Reseach Bites en Melbourne

First Research Bites of the SRAP-IEAP in Victoria, Australia. Credit: Álvaro Roura.

This first Research Bites of SRAP-IEAP in Victoria was not exclusive for researchers, but the Spanish Consul in Melbourne, D. Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo, with some relatives and friends of the SRAP-IEAP members, also attended. After the Research Bites all participants enjoyed some Spanish tapas  (tortilla de patatas, empanada de carne, mejillones a la vinagreta, embutidos y quesos ibéricos) with Rioja wine and beers.


Álvaro Roura was interviewed in radio 3ZZZ on 8th December 2015 to talk about the SRAP-IEAP and publicise the first Research Bites in Victoria. The link to the radio interview can be found here, it starts in minute 38.



Congratulations to all participants to the first Research Bites of the SRAP-IEAP association in Vitoria!


About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.