Jon Clarke

Jon's is a geological general practitioner,. He graduated as a palaeontologist, moved into petroleum and coal geology, completing a PhD in carbonate sedimentology and palaeoecology. He has also worked on marine surveys in the Southern and Indian Oceans, explored for base metals, nickel and gold in Archaean and Proterozoic terranes in South and western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, as well as for gold and copper in the Philippines and Chile. More recently he has been working on the evolution of Australian landscapes, especially of the arid interior and its regolith, on the sedimentology and architecture of Australian Cainozoic basins, and aquifer characterisation and salinity mapping in Australian depositional landscapes. He has been researching in two main fields, terrestrial analogues of Martian landscapes and developing exploration strategies for human missions to Mars. Particular analogue landscapes he is interested in include the Hanksville area in Utah, the Arkaroola region in South Australia, areas of inverted relief throughout Australia, and groundwater-related landforms of Australian mound springs, especially those at Dalhousie. Exploration strategies for human missions is through integrated field research of instruments (spectrometers, data capture, geophysical tools), methodologies (scouting, navigation), exploration technologies (suits, living modules, rovers, field robotics), at appropriate levels of simulation fidelity. These inform and define baseline requirements and capabilities of human Mars missions and have been particularly useful in the development of the Mars Oz reference mission, a low mass, high return four person Mars mission utilising chemical propulsion and solar power.

David Willson
Vice President, Director and Project Manager

David is a research and development mechanical engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center working on Mars exploration technologies for spacecraft sample handling, sample instruments and subsurface drilling. Other projects include the effectiveness of undertaking field science in spacesuits, human perceived temperatures on Earth, Mars and Titan, dust and perchlorate management for human Mars exploration, and collaborated in a study of crater erosion in Death Valley CA for Mars applications. David is a mechanical engineer with 17 years experience designing and leading multi-disciplined teams to build equipment for the Australian mining industry including stackers, reclaimers, shiploaders, materials handling facilities and chemical processing plants. He has functioned in industry as a design engineer, lead engineer, engineering design team leader/manager, and engineering site and commissioning manager on a large variety of projects. He has also co-authored and published papers on Mars mission architectures, Mars habitat design, and rocket engine design and development.

Guy Murphy
Treasurer, Director and Webmaster

Guy Murphy′s long-standing interest in Mars was initially fired by reading science fiction, and the Mars Pathfinder landing in 1998. He was a co-founder of the Mars Society Australia in 1998. He has participated in scientific expeditions to Mars-like environments in outback South Australia and spoken at Mars conferences in Australia, Europe and North America. A graduate of the University of Melbourne, he is a researcher writer and historian based in Melbourne. His interests in Australian history and Mars share the themes of frontier exploration and human settlement. Guy has also coauthored a number of papers examining the heritage management of space artefacts. He is the author of Mars: A Survival Guide, published by Harper Collins Australia (2010). 

Mark Gargano
Education Officer and Director

Mark Gargano has been a member of Mars Society Australia since 2003 and in that time has been involved in numerous space science related activities, events, programs and workshops, including NASA Spaceward Bound Mojave 2008, South Australia 2009 (Education Team Leader), Namibia 2010 and Western Australia (Education Team Leader) in 2011. He has also received a number of opportunities including being awarded a position on the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) education tour to Japan in 2010, ‘It is Rocket Science’ and receiving two significant teaching awards, in 2004 a National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA) ‘Community Merit Medal’ and in 2008-09 the National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA) – ‘Inspirational Teacher’ (National Finalist & Top 3 in WA). Mark’s day job is the Curriculum Coordinator (Teaching & Learning Years 4-10) at St Joseph’s School in Northam, Western Australia, where he has been since 1995 apart from stints away at other schools or the Catholic Education Office, where he was the Australian Curriculum for Science Consultant in 2012. Mark is passionate about science and science education, in all shapes and forms, and promotes a curiosity of the world through diverse, unique opportunities where students engage with authentic research and explore their future... today.

Graham Mann
Director and Project Manager

Dr. Graham Mann teaches and carries out research in the fields of robotics and human-factors engineering at Murdoch University in Perth, where he runs the Applied Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has designed and built several advanced field robots, including the Mascot hexapod for remote site maintence, such as a planetary base. He is manager of Project Marsupial, which aims to develop a medium-fidelity prototype vehicle for carrying future human explorers on Mars. So far the project has gathered over $80,000 of sponsorship, principally from Starchaser Industries, a UK aerospace firm, and has published eight papers in national and international conferences and journals. The prototype vehicle, Starchaser, is currently under construction in Hobart, Tasmania.

Marcia Tanner

Marcia has been passionately interested in space since she first looked up at the sky as a small girl and wondered what was out there. Her interest was furthered by the late astronomer Michael O'Leary and involvement in the Astronomical Society of South Australia. In 2001, attending a public lecture by NASA scientists Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke prior to the Jarntimarra expedition; she was amazed to learn Australia was involved in Mars research and inspired to become involved in the Mars Society. Ever since, she has been a board member and the South Australian branch coordinator. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Recreation Planning and Management.  She served in the 2004 Expedition to Arkaroola, has been a past convenor of the Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) in 2004 and 2009, and various outreach activities including National Science Week, meetings and public lectures. Marcia dreams of a future human presence on Mars. She would like to see an increased commitment from Australia to deepen its involvement in the space industry. Marcia sees Mars research including Mars missions, as a way to inspire young people into Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) and to eventually have some Aussies on Mars.

Sandy Dance

Sandy started life as a mathematics student at Monash University in the late 1960s, and after graduating and bumming around Asia for a few years,  the need for actual work led him to IT contracting.  After several years of this,  a misguided attempt to upgrade his IT skills led him to inadvertently obtain a PhD in artificial intelligence from Melbourne University.  Oddly enough,  this led to a permanent job in the research section (CAWCR) of the Bureau of Meteorology,  where he is still employed.  In the meantime,  an abiding interest in astronomy and space travel got him into the Mars Society,  where he was involved in organising Robert Zubrin's first (being an optimist) lecture tour in Melbourne,  and subsequently the first AMEC conference in the same city.  He later helped set up the first MSA website, and since then has remained an enthusiastic if inactive member of MSA.

Annalea Beattie

Annalea Beattie lives in Melbourne, Australia and is an artist/writer/educator.

Her art practice focuses on human factors in deep space settlement, specifically how art-making might survive in extreme and lethal environments and what this might mean for small, constrained societies in space.  Annalea is an Executive Director of the Mars Society Australia and a board member of the National Space Society of Australia. She is a past crewmember the Mars Desert Research Station KiwiMars, Crew 118. She was a participant as artist and educator on NASA Spaceward Bound New Zealand 2015. She has contributed to three Springer volumes on extraterrestrial liberty, speculating through her art practice  how art making might activate communities, contribute to social cohesion, improve one's quality of life, inhibit alienation and keep the will to imagine alive. In mid 2016 she was a participant in NASA Spaceward Bound India as educator and field artist in environments in Ladakh analogous to those on Mars. In late 2016 she became a crew member of Mars 160 as part of the Mars Society's twin desert missionin the Utah desert. As field arist and as part of the science team she experimented to test the value of field drawing in a space suit. 

 In Melbourne, Annalea Beattie works at RMIT University for the Study and Learning Centre. She is currently studying a doctorate in nonfiction, focusing on art, space science and writing.

Ken Silburn

Ken Silburn is a science educator and communicator.  He is the Head Teacher Science at Casula High School, President of LAZSTA (Metropolitan South West Science Teachers Association) and Coordinator and founder of the iSTEM (Invigorating Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) project delivering science enrichment programs for high school science students. Ken is a graduate of the University of Wollongong and the Honeywell US Space Academy for Educators Program. Ken was the recipient of the 2013 NSW State Award for Innovation in Science Teaching and more recently the 2014 NSW Australian Academy of Physics Award for Community Outreach. Mars Society Australia and Member of Mojave, Pilbara, Arkaroola and India expeditions. 

Steven Hobbs

Steven Hobbs is a qualified photographer and graphic designer with 15 years professional experience whose illustrations have routinely been commissioned for scientific literature and many other publications. Steven is currently studying a PhD that compares terrestrial gullies in peri-glacial, temperate and semi arid settings with Martian gullies in Noachis Terra. He wishes to extend the scope of this research and explore robotic applications of remote sensing, and raw material extraction through the use of ground based systems. To this end he is developing Mars’obot – robot platforms that employ open source microcontroller architecture, proven mobility methodology and off the shelf components. Mars’O Bot aims to provide rovers that are able to conduct productive scientific missions in environments where human exploration would be hazardous or impractical. Steven is married and has two children.


Dr James Waldie

Dr. James Waldie is working with BAE Systems in Melbourne on corrosion control technologies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle design and production, and has flown over 80 UAV research missions. He is also a RMIT research associate. James has recently returned from the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Postdoctoral Scholar and consultant at NASA Johnson Space Center and ESA. His research has focused on the design and physiological effects of the next generation of spacesuits, and investigations into reducing the mobility resistance and injury mechanisms of gas-pressurised gloves. He has designed a gravity loading skinsuit as a countermeasure to skeletal atrophy during long duration missions which has been designated a flight by ESA to the ISS in 2015. For the Mars Society, James has served on the Jarntimarra, Expedition (One and Two) and Leonardo missions, and currently leads the MarsSkin project producing analogue MCP spacesuits.

Siddharth Pandey

Siddharth Pandey is a PhD student at University of New South Wales at Canberra, Australia. His work is on Understanding Thermal Convection on Martian Surface to aid Design of a Mars bound Rover. Previously, he was an Education Associate at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on investigating Fluidized Granular Flows in reduced gravity to aid design of Pneumatic Sample Acquisition Systems. He also worked with the Space Biosciences Division to design and develop Microgravity Bioscience Payload for research conducted on board the International Space Station. Towards, his team received the NASA Spaceflight Awareness Team Award in May 2014 for two successful spaceflight experiments. He holds a Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Amity University, India. As a Researcher with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and Mars Society Australia, Siddharth is helping coordinate joint Astrobiological field research and workshops in India with support from relevant research groups within US, Australia and New Zealand and India. His goal is to promote scientific collaboration between groups in India and elsewhere and also increase planetary science and Off-Earth surface exploration research among Indian university students. On a personal level, he maintains links with students and staff at his previous educational institutions and helps mentor students with career and research relevant advice.