Researcher biography

Dr Christina Zdenek is a Fulbright alumna, former professional basketball player, and a 2021 ABC Top 5 Scientist. As a Biologist and Toxinologist, she works as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Venom Evolution Lab at The University of Queensland. Her research, published in over 50 scientific publications, explores the systemic effects of animal venoms, therapeutic options to treat snakebite, as well as snake ecology, and snake behaviour. Her private business, The Australian Reptile Academy, teaches people the safe handling, husbandry, and identification of venomous snakes. Her passion for wildlife and snakes in particular began as a child when her family pet wasn’t a fluffy dog but rather a scaly two-metre boa constrictor snake. Her unwavering passion for wildlife, including palm cockatoos, fuels her avid science communication where she uses science to promote a better world for both humans and wildlife.


Photo: Christina with a coastal taipan. Credit: Dr Nick Hamilton