Researcher biography

Dr Curtis is a recipient of the 2018 'ABC Top 5 Scientist Media Residency Award'.

Dr Curtis is interested in genomics, technology and their impacts on society, and she is particularly interested in privacy issues surrounding genomic data. Her versatile science and science communication skills make Dr Curtis a valuable member of the Centre for Policy Futures' Science, Technology and Society research program.

Dr Curtis was honoured with a 2019 'Australian Institute of Science & Policy Tall Poppy Science Award', recognizing excellence in both research and science communication.

She is also a Queensland 2019 Flying Scientist, with the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist and Wonder of Science.

Caitlin's research spans both science and humanities to look at some of the emerging ethical, legal and social issues being created by the advances in genetic technology, in order to inform policy debate on these important issues.

  • What are the new challenges being presented along with the advances in genomics technology?
  • How can genetic data be integrated to society in a way that benefits everyone equitably?

Dr Curtis has experience applying molecular tools in combination with ecological studies and historical records, to gain new insights into ecology and archaeology. Her work has involved the analysis of DNA from a range of species (from sawfish to seals) and she has used next generation sequencing technologies to investigate ancient, mummified remains and modern avian species.

Dr Curtis has recently published a paper in PLOS Biology that explores the social aspect of science, and how dominant and charismatic personalities can have a disproportionate impact on the direction of science.

This work has generated a fair bit of discussion and was recently featured in Forbes - and you can find the link here:

Caitlin recently gave a media comment to Nature News about changes to the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) regulations on genome editing technology exempting CRISPR from GMO regulation, provided no new genetic material is added.