Andrew Gray and Candice Raeburn (Australia)

National Science Week Challenge 

Are plastic-eating bacteria hiding out in your own back yard? 

For National Science Week, Science Gallery Melbourne throws down the gauntlet and sets an ambitious challenge: can we find a new plastic-eating bacteria in Australia? Building on the research of Japanese plastic-eating bacteria expert Professor Shosuke Yoshida, and working with local biohacking group BioQuisitive, this project asks young people Australia wide to become citizen scientists and take part in the hunt for a new species that could solve our plastic waste dilemma. 

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government. 

Hunt for the Plastic Eaters will run Australia wide during National Science Week, 10 – 18 August 

About the contributor(s): 

Andrew Gray (Australia)

Andrew is an American veteran, biohacker and science facilitator. His time outside of his day job as a special effects officer is spent improving access to science for the public via two charities. The Phoenix School Program donates science equipment to primary schools and high schools, while Bioquisitive puts you at the lab bench in a PC1 laboratory as the primary investigator of your own curiosity. Through improving access to science, he believes we can improve engagement, literacy and innovation. 

Candice Raeburn (Australia)

Candice is a passionate STEM professional working across government, education and research sectors. Her past research has looked at ways to use bacteria to clean up nuclear fallout zones, has explored bacteria living in extreme environments (such as the deep-sea floor), and has created glowing biosensors that can help us better understand neurodegenerative diseases. She is a current Science and Technology STEM Ambassador for the federal electorate of Wills, running events to connect, empower and enable the local community to engage with politics. Candice currently works in engineering education at RMIT University, and in government at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.


Photo credit: Andrew Gray