COVID-19 experts available for comment

UNSW has a wide range of experts available for comment on the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

Artist impression of the COVID-19 virus

The Medical Research Future Fund has awarded nearly $2 million to UNSW research into COVID-19 transmission and treatment. Image: Shutterstock


For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray, or 0411 987 771:

  • Law Professor George Williams can discuss lockdowns and enforcing self-isolation.
  • Law Professor Graham Greenleaf can discuss the relevance of data privacy laws in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, including the federal government's COVID-19 tracking app and privacy issues around video-conferencing apps such as Zoom.
  • Indigenous Law expert Dr Kyllie Cripps, UNSW Scientia Fellow and Pallawa woman, is able to comment on the impact on Indigenous communities, specifically related to family and domestic violence
  • Criminology Professor Eileen Baldry can discuss the government’s early conditional release of NSW prisoners to stop the virus spreading in prisons.
  • Family law expert Dr Noam Peleg can discuss the impact of COVID-19 on parenting arrangements.
  • Human rights expert Scientia Professor Louise Chappell can talk about human rights under COVID-19. Contact Gabrielle Dunlevy on 0423 972 801. 
  • Data privacy expert Dr Katharine Kemp can discuss the legal aspects of the federal government's plan to introduce a mobile phone app that tracks coronavirus victims in Australia. 

Arts and Social Sciences

For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray, or 0411 987 771:

  • Experimental Arts Professor Jill Bennett is available to comment on creative, trauma-informed responses to distress and older peoples’ experiences.
  • Political media expert Honorary Associate Professor David McKnight can talk about the lessons of the epidemic for small government.
  • Social researcher Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan can discuss animal cruelty in Asian wet markets and the move to ban trade in wild animal meat, and the effects of COVID-19 crisis on companion animals
  • International and food security expert Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta can discuss panic buying and food security.
  • Political Science and International Relations Professor Fengshi Wu from UNSW Arts & Social Sciences can discuss societal responses in relation to China in the COVID-19 era. 
  • Global Health and Development Professor Anthony Zwi can comment on global health and policy responses.
  • Social policy and governance expert Associate Professor Bingqin Li can discuss social distancing and lockdowns.
  • Healthcare expert Dr Sophie Lewis, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health, can comment on loneliness for the most vulnerable populations.
  • Social policy expert Dr Natasha Cortis at the Centre for Social Policy Research Centre can comment on workers on temporary visas who currently don't qualify for the JobKeeper subsidy. 

Built Environment

For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray, or 0411 987 771:

  • Rental housing and housing affordability expert Dr Chris Martin from UNSW City Futures Research Centre can discuss tenancy law and renters rights.
  • Architecture Professor David Sanderson is available to discuss urban resilience.

Health and Science

For media enquiries contact Caroline Tang, or 02 9385 8809:

  • Biosecurity expert Professor Raina MacIntyre, Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine
  • Infection control expert Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, UNSW Medicine
  • Virologist Professor Bill Rawlinson, UNSW Medicine
  • Virologist Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid, UNSW Medicine
  • Virologist Professor Peter White, UNSW Science
  • Epidemiologist Associate Professor Margo Barr, UNSW Medicine, can discuss community concern during pandemics, social isolation and equity of health services(unavailable Thursday onwards).
  • Social Scientist Dr Holly Seale, UNSW Medicine, can discuss social/behavioural responses (such as social distancing, face masks, vaccinations, infection control) and strategies to promote acceptance/engagement.
  • Scientia Professor Greg Dore, Head of the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program at the Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine, can discuss testing and types of tests for COVID-19.
  • Dr Adrienne Withall, UNSW Medicine, can discuss mental health and wellbeing in relation to ageing.
  • Professor Richard Buckland, UNSW Engineering, can discuss cybersecurity, the Government's new contact tracing app and staying digitally connected with friends, family and colleagues.
  • Associate Professor of Food Microbiology Julian Cox, UNSW Engineering, can discuss safe food hygiene practices.


For media enquiries contact Dawn Lo at or 0433 018 180:

  • Dr Yenni Tim from the School of Information Systems and Technology Management is available to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity.
  • JW Nevile Fellow Tim Harcourt from the School of Economics is available to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on international trade, globalisation, Australian and global economy.
  • Banking and Finance Associate Professor James Doran can comment on the impact on finance, the sharemarket and investors
  • Economics Professor Richard Holden can comment on the impact on the global economy.
  • Associate Professor Nitika Garg from the School of Marketing is available to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour (e.g panic buying). 
  • Economist Adjunct Professor Raja Junankar can comment on the impact on the economy and policies to help fight it.
  • Taxation and Business Law Professor Pamela Hanrahan can comment on the federal government’s relief package for businesses, on corporate law and capital markets law changes, and the impact on superannuation.

Social policy experts from the Centre for Social Impact

For media enquiries contact Nicola Hannigan, or 0407 075 307:

  • Professor Kristy Muir can comment on disadvantage, poverty, social cohesion, homelessness and housing, government policy, wage subsidies, Universal Basic Income (UBI) and leadership.
  • Associate Professor Gemma Carey can comment on disability and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • Dr Megan Weier can comment on measuring social progress, wellbeing and access to pharmaceuticals.
  • Dr Cobi Calyx can comment on disaster response and recovery, science communication and health promotion.
  • Chris Hartley can comment on housing, homelessness and social housing policy.