COVID-19 experts available for comment

UNSW has a wide range of experts available for comment on the coronavirus pandemic.

Healthcare workers

Frontline healthcare workers are advised to wear surgical masks to protect against viruses in droplets, and respirator masks to guard against airborne viruses. Photo: Shutterstock

Health and Science

For media enquiries contact Isabelle Dubach on 0432 307 244 or

  • Epidemiologist and Advisor to World Health Organization Infection Control and Prevention Guidance Development Group for COVID-19, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, UNSW Medicine
  • Biosecurity expert Professor Raina MacIntyre, Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine
  • Professor Anthony Kelleher, Director of the Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine, leads the Institute's development of COVID-19 immunotherapies. The Kirby Institute is conducting various COVID-19 research projects, including cohort studies, clinical trials, treatment studies, modelling, surveillance and intervention studies.
  • Epidemiologist Professor John Kaldor, Public Health Interventions Research Group Head, Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine
  • Professor Greg Dore, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program Head, Kirby Institute at UNSW Medicine, can discuss COVID-19 testing and types of tests.
  • Virologist Professor Bill Rawlinson, UNSW Medicine
  • Virologist Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid, UNSW Medicine (unavailable Friday)
  • Virologist Professor Peter White, UNSW Science
  • Virologist Emma Harding, UNSW Science
  • Molecular biologist Professor John Mattick, UNSW Science, can discuss genomic testing.
  • 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.
  • Epidemiologist Dr Abrar Chughtai, UNSW Medicine, can discuss prevention and control of COVID-19 through the use of masks and respirators. 
  • Professor Richard Buckland, UNSW Engineering, can discuss cybersecurity, the Australian Government's contact tracing app and staying digitally connected.
  • Professor Sanjay Jha, UNSW Engineering, can discuss security and privacy issues with the Australian Government’s contact tracing app.
  • Associate Professor of Food Microbiology Julian Cox, UNSW Engineering, can discuss safe food hygiene practices


For media enquiries contact Ebony Stansfield on 0434 904 669 or

  • JW Nevile Fellow Tim Harcourt from the School of Economics is available to discuss the economic impact of COVID-19.
  • Associate Professor Nitika Garg from the School of Marketing is available to discuss panic buying.
  • Dr Yenni Tim from the School of Information Systems and Technology Management is available to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cyber security.
  • Founding Director of UNSW Tax Clinic Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar is available to comment on tax issues faced by people and small businesses in financial distress.
  • Taxation and Business Law Professor Pamela Hanrahan can comment on the Australian Government’s business relief packagecorporate law and capital markets law changes, and the impact on superannuation
  • Economics Professor Richard Holden can comment on the impact on the global economy
  • Banking and Finance Associate Professor James Doran can comment on the impact on finance, the share market and investors.

Centre for Social Impact

For media enquiries contact Nicola Hannigan on 0407 075 307 or

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


For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray on 0411 987 771 or

  • Law Professor Melissa Crouch can discuss the impact of COVID-19 on democracies in Southeast Asia (use of emergency powers, role of military, infringements of human rights, curfews, lockdowns), in Indonesia (in view of second wave coming) and Myanmar.
  • Law Professor Graham Greenleaf can discuss the relevance of data privacy laws in relation to the COVIDSafe app as well as privacy concerns around video-conferencing platform, Zoom.
  • Professor Jane McAdam, Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, can discuss the impact on refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced people.
  • Human rights expert Scientia Professor Louise Chappell can talk about human rights under COVID-19. Contact Gabrielle Dunlevy on 0423 972 801.

Arts and Social Sciences

For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray on 0411 987 771 or

  • Professor Deborah Lupton from UNSW's Centre for Social Research in Health and Social Policy Research Centre can discuss people's use of digital health and their views on health data privacy.
  • 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.
  • Experimental Arts Professor Jill Bennett is available to comment on creative, trauma-informed responses to distress and older peoples’ experiences.
  • Social researcher Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan can discuss animal cruelty in Asian wet markets and the move to ban trade in wild animal meat

Built Environment

For media enquiries contact Rachel Gray on 0411 987 771 or

  • Rental housing and housing affordability expert Dr Chris Martin from UNSW City Futures Research Centre can discuss tenancy law and renters’ rights.