Microbiologist discovers antibacterial properties of insect wings

When Elena Ivanova travelled from Russia to Australia in January 2001, she brought with her an international reputation, an impressive publishing record and her unique collection of marine bacteria, amassed over almost two decades.

“The collection is priceless to me,” she told a Melbourne newspaper at the time. “Naturally it was never destined for the luggage hold and travelled business class with me in a specially designed container as part of my hand luggage.”

The arrival of Professor Ivanova, a Russian-born and educated microbiologist who had worked in the US and Japan, was a coup for Swinburne.

Professor Ivanova, who was based in Vladivostok, had, among other important discoveries, identified ways in which behaved differently depending on the…

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