Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astrophysicist, communicator and occasional ultra-marathon runner. Her research uses some of the largest telescopes in the world to study the birth and death of stars, cosmic magnetic fields and interactions between colliding galaxies. Harvey-Smith was the winner of the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Australian Science Research in 2016 and in 2015 she was a co-recipient of the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal. She was named in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 100: Most influential people in 2012.
Harvey-Smith is also a speaker, MC and performer with a passion for communicating science and its real-world outcomes to non-specialists. She was a presenter on the ABC's popular astronomy show Stargazing Live and appeared as a guest physicist on the popular ABC series Todd Sampson's Life on the Line. Lisa hosted a national tour in 2016 with Gene Cernan: Last Man on the Moon at major venues across Australia and has introduced several live shows including Buzz Aldrin: Mission to Mars and An Evening with Neil De Grasse Tyson in Sydney and Melbourne. In February 2015 she presented her own show Stargayzing for Sydney Mardi Gras.
Lisa has appeared on many radio and television platforms including ABC and commercial radio, Sky News Business, ABC Splash, Al Jazeera English, SBS News and ABC News 24. She has written articles for The Conversation and appeared in many national newspapers and magazines. Her article on the SKA features in the popular science book Patrick Moore’s Yearbook of Astronomy 2016.
She is involved in many educational initiatives and outreach programs and regularly mentors students in schools located in Sydney and at Pia Wadjarri, a remote aboriginal community in Western Australia.
Harvey-Smith is an advocate for a level playing-field for everyone working in astronomy. Her work as a former Chair of the Astronomical Society of Australia’s Chapter for Women in Astronomy culminated in the launch of The Pleiades Awards, a national accreditation scheme for employers of astronomers in Australia that take steps towards achieving best practice in equity and diversity.
As a keen recreational athlete Lisa enjoys the adventure and challenge of ultra-marathon and multi-day races. Her proudest achievements include running 250 km in the Simpson Desert and completing four marathons in a single day. She is a member of the Australian Ultra-Running Association.