Professor Michael Gillings is internationally recognized for his pioneering work on the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. This work led to a critical understanding of how environment and ecology are centrally important in managing the resistance crisis. He has coordinated groups of international scientists in the production of a series of influential perspective papers on the dangers of pollution with resistance genes, and the influences that human activities have on the dissemination of microorganisms more generally. He also has an international reputation in other, diverse fields, such as the evolution of human gut microbiota, the role of humans in precipitating global change during the Anthropocene, and the existential crisis posed by digital information. This expertise is reflected in the number of Keynote and Plenary invitations he receives every year.
Professor Gillings makes enthusiastic and significant contributions to Macquarie’s Research, Teaching and Outreach activities, and is a high profile ambassador for the University. He has a strong commitment to mentoring staff and research students, both through personal supervision, and through the Research Enrichment Program, where he convenes the cross-disciplinary Outlook Conference. These networking opportunities build interdisciplinary collaboration, and help forge strong, interconnected cohorts of big thinkers. He is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, and has been consistently voted the best Lecturer at Macquarie. His passion for communicating Science to the public is shown by the large numbers of public lectures he gives, and by frequently representing Macquarie on radio and television, and in the print media.