Karen Lee-Waddell

Australian SKA Regional Centre
Project Scientist
WALLABY Survey (https://wallaby-survey.org)

Perth, WA

Contact me for

  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


Dr Karen Lee-Waddell is the Director of the Australian SKA Regional Centre (AusSRC, https://aussrc.org), jointly appointed at ICRAR and CSIRO. In this role, she is leading the Australian effort to build computing and data intensive research capabilities that will support astronomers using the current and next generation of radio telescopes. She is also currently the Project Scientist for WALLABY (https://wallaby-survey.org), the all-sky neutral hydrogen survey that is being conducted on CSIRO’s newest telescope, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). 

Karen completed all of her education in Ontario, Canada -- including a PhD at Queen’s University, MSc at the Royal Military College of Canada, BA(hons) at McMaster University, and a BSc(hons) also at McMaster. During her first undergraduate degree, Karen joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a Logistics Officer. For 13 years, she was an active Reservist serving with units in Canada -- primarily HMCS STAR and HMCS CATARAQUI -- and in Australia (as a foreign exchange officer) working with the 8th Combat Service Support Battalion. In 2019, Karen was awarded with a Canadian Forces' Decoration medal for long service and good conduct.

In 2015, Karen moved to Sydney, Australia as a Postdoctoral Fellow to pursue a dream of exploring the Universe with the technology made possible by CSIRO and the Australia Telescope National Facility. Her research focuses on galaxy interactions and physical processes governing these systems, in order to better understand how the Universe is evolving and hopefully solve some of the greatest mysteries of the still unknown. 

Karen is also passionate about science education and public outreach. She often volunteers in schools (as a part of the STEM Professionals in Schools program) and contributes to events aimed at sharing science and research with society, hoping to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Karen identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.