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Dr Colin Scott

Pronouns: he,him,his

Senior Principal Research Scientist


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Contact details:

GPO BOX 1700


I am a microbial biochemist and synthetic biologist. I completed my BSc in Genetics in 1996 at Aberystwyth in Wales and my PhD in 2000 at Sheffield University's Kreb's Institute in England. In 2004, I joined CSIRO for a project focused on engineering enzymes to remove environmental pesticide contaminants, which won a DuPont Innovation Award in 2006.

My research focuses on discovering, engineering and evolving microbes and proteins; using the incredible biochemical diversity of microbes as inspiration to address major issues facing Australia and humanity. My current projects include using microbes and enzymes to clean up pollution, manufacture chemicals, and mine for critical metals. I am highly motivated to drive innovation and impact in biotechnology for improved social, environmental, and industrial outcomes.

I have a strong academic record, with publications in prestigious journals such as Nature, and multiple patents. My work has been widely recognized, and several of my technologies have been commercialized or adopted by the industry. I have extensive experience in leadership, strategy development, project management, and mentoring. Throughout my career, I have held several senior leadership positions at CSIRO, including director of the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, director of the Advanced Engineering Biology Future Science Platform, and director of the CSIRO BioFoundry.

I am committed to providing a supportive, inclusive, and collaborative environment for early career researchers, students, and postdoctoral fellows.

Current Roles

  • Senior Principal Research Scientist
    Developing biotechnologies for industry and the environment

Academic Qualifications

  • 2000

    PhD in Molecular Microbioogy
    University of Sheffield

  • 1996

    BSc (Hon) in Genetics
    University of Aberystwyth

Professional Experiences

  • 2021-2022

    Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Director

  • 2017-2022

    Research Team Leader

  • 2017-2021

    Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Executive

  • 2016-2017

    Future Science Platform Director (interim)

  • 2012-2017

    Research Group Leader

  • 2008-2012

    Research Team Leader

  • 2004-2008

    Post-doctoral Research Fellow

  • 2000-2004

    Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    University of Sheffield

Achievements and Awards

  • 2010-2013

    Julius Award

Other highlights

  • 2020-Present

    Adjunct Professor - Queensland University of Technology

  • 2010-Present

    Editor - Biodegradation (Spinger)