Parasites Online for Science Week

Australian Society for Parasitology

What has hairy legs, can jump high and likes cats?

Find out when you join us for some free virtual fun with “Parasites Online” events 15-23 August 2020 to celebrate National Science Week.

Australian parasitology researchers will share their stories through online science shows and short research presentations, “Live from the Lab” laboratory tours and “Fresh From the Field” field work tours, virtual “Couch Chat” interviews and science book readings to increase community awareness and understanding of parasites and engage and inspire the next generation of scientists.

Featuring parasites from the poo of veterinary animals and wildlife, scabies, malaria, giardia, worms and more.

Events start with science stories and games for young scientists on Saturday 15 August at 12:30pm AEST and continue every day until Saturday 22nd August.

Young scientists will enjoy hands-on learning at home participating in online book reading, workshops and science activities with Perth-based researcher Dr Rina Fu, these events are AUSLAN interpreted. Young people with special needs will enjoy their own Sensory Science Show.

Viewers will go for a virtual laboratory tour and meet world-leading scientists trying to find cures for neglected tropical diseases like scabies, malaria, giardia and schistosomiasis with Brisbane based scientists Dr Kathy Andrews (Griffith), Dr Tina Skinner-Adams (Griffith) and Dr Katja Fischer (QIMR) and Melbourne scientists Dr Teresa Carvalho (LaTrobe) and Dr Cameron Raw (Melbourne University).

They will step into the virtual field to collect bat and sheep poo and take it back to the laboratory to analyse it with Sydney based scientist Dr Michelle Power (Macquarie).

Gamers will be able to enjoy Virtual and Augmented Reality parasite games with Dr Sarah Preston from Victoria (Federation University) or follow the clues to be a disease detective with ANU researchers from Canberra.

Artists and scientists will engage with online tools that use illustration and claymation to communicate complicated science concepts. Dr Danny Wilson in Adelaide (University of Adelaide) and Dr Shokoofeh Shamsi in Wagga Wagga (CSU) will run art-science workshops.

Viewers will enjoy the stunning animated science-based artwork of Cairns indigenous artist Bernard Lee Singleton.

All events are listed on the ASP website and streamed live from the ASP Facebook page

These Inspiring Australia events are supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week and hosted by the Australian Society for Parasitology.

Register to receive updates about the awesome online activities that will be available!

“Parasites are a fascinating and very popular science topic. There is a gross-out factor that both repels and intrigues people to want to know more,” Lisa Jones, from the Australian Society for Parasitology said. “Our online events are suitable for children, teens and adults. We want to enable audiences to get “under the skin” of Australia’s parasitologists, and the best way we have found to do this is by engaging scientists, communicators and the general public in discussions about, and activities that describe, the lifecycle of parasites and how parasites fit in with their individual lives.” she said.

Parasites are a part of everyone’s life; they infect our pets, the meat and crops we eat, and us. They also infect our iconic marsupial wildlife and the fish in our unique oceans and reefs, sometimes with devastating consequences. Parasites are barometers for the health of any ecosystem; signals that life is out of balance. Australia, like everywhere else, also has a large number of common, human parasites, particularly in our Indigenous communities in our northern reaches. Some of these can be chronic, incapacitating and even life-threatening.

National Science Week 2020 will run from 15-23 August. Event details can be found


/Public Release.