Chair: Dr Rowena Christiansen

Dr Rowena Christiansen

MB BS, BA Hons, LLB, MEmergHealth, MBA, DCH, GradDipEd, GradDipDisasterMed, ACCAM, GradCertDisasterMed, GradCertSpaceStudies, AsFAsMA, ISU SH-SSP16

Dr Rowena Christiansen proud to be the founder of the ad astra vita space life sciences website and consultancy. She has had a lifelong passionate interest in astronomy and space exploration. Rowena has established this initiative in the context of the entrepreneurial emphasis of the new Australian Space Agency, and hopes that showcasing Australian capability in the space life sciences will raise awareness both locally and internationally, and lead to more linkages and partnerships. The small but diverse consultancy team offers a multi-dimensional capability to contribute to space life sciences projects, education and outreach.

Rowena herself has a diverse background. After a first career as as a lawyer, management consultant, and small business owner/operator, she qualified as a medical doctor, and works as a small group facilitator and assessor in the Melbourne Medical School, and as a pre-hospital emergency doctor and life support instructor. She is a Fellow of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. Rowena has undertaken post-graduate training in emergency medicine and critical care, women and children’s health, aviation medicine and space studies, disaster health, and emergency management. She pursues special interests in aerospace medicine, extreme environments and wilderness medicine, and is currently undertaking research related to expeditionary medicine and resuscitation science. 

In particular, Rowena is passionate about space medicine education, outreach, and research, and mentors medical students interested in space medicine. She was the Dux of the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program in 2016, and is proud to be the recipient of the 2019-20 Aeromedical Society of Australasia Professional Development Scholarship, which will assist her attendance at the 2020 AsMA Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta.

Her voluntary memberships include the Space Life Sciences Committee of the Australasian Society for Aerospace Medicine and the Space Medicine Association. Rowena is a Director of the Mars Society Australia, Chair of the Australian Ski Patrol Association Medical Advisory Committee, a volunteer ski patroller, a member representative on the Australian Resuscitation Council, and inaugural Treasurer for the Australasian Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society.

Rowena is an amateur musician, chorister and percussionist, and time permitting, enjoys building space-themed LEGO pieces. She also enjoys photography and learning about languages and culture.