Conference Themes & Chairs

A key goal for ACMM27 has been to ensure that the program contains sessions that will be of interest to the whole membership of the society, from biologists to materials scientists, geoscientists, and instrumentation specialists. We also want to encourage participation from researchers interested in simply using microscopes and analytical techniques to solve specific discipline-focused problems through to those interested in technical aspects of microscopy and the development of new technologies.

The Program Committee for ACMM27 has identified a number of key themes for the conference, with many having been proposed by the AMMS special interest groups (AMAS, LMA, CryOz, FIB, VIA) as being of particular interest to their members. Each theme has a chair or co-chairs that will act as a champion and focus for that theme.

Conference attendees will have the option of submitting abstracts to one of these themes or to the general program.Abstracts that are not submitted to specific themes will be organized into additional focused sessions when the final program is put together. Abstract submission is expected to open in September/October.

A list of themes, chairs, and the SIGs identifying with that theme are given below. Themes identified with the AMMS logo were proposed by the Conference Chairs as part of the broader program.

If you have questions about a particular theme, please contact the chair(s). General questions on the program can be directed to the Conference Chairs.

Physical Sciences

Materials in 3D - From Atoms to Zircons

Hui Diao (UQld); Adrian Sheppard (ANU)

Several microstructural parameters such as size, shape, connectivity and distributions of selected features can only be obtained by 3D microstructural characterization and quantification analysis. A range of 3D microscopy techniques for materials science are available with various advantages and drawbacks – and this theme covers them all! Techniques such as X-Ray computed tomography (CT) allow samples to be imaged multiple times in ambient and controlled environments. In cases where very high spatial resolution is required, TEM tomography and atom probe tomography can push the resolution down to sub-nanometre scales. FIB tomography fills the gap between X-Ray CT and high-resolution TEM and Atom Probe Tomography in regard to the resolution and the size of the volume that can be analysed.

Atomic Resolution Microanalysis

Denis Fougerouse (Curtin University)

Structural, topographic, chemical and isotopic information extracted from nanoscale analyses have fundamental implications for understanding a wide range of material properties and the processes effecting them. Acquiring such data requires access to advanced instrumentation and in-depth technical expertise. This session welcomes contributions that report investigations at sub-nanometre resolution from any fields of science. This includes new and/or modified instrumentation, data processing strategies, or sample preparation techniques. Additionally, we encourage submissions of unexpected results that enhance understanding of the field. As such, we are particularly interested in contributions that showcase ‘work in progress’ where the outcomes are not yet clear.

Minerals & Mineralogy

Artur Deditius (Murdoch University)

Minerals are essential constituents of the planets that store structural, chemical, and isotopic information for billions of years. Therefore, minerals form natural archives helping to elucidate biogeochemical processes shaping planets from their interiors to surface environments. With the development of our civilization minerals became the centre of the human interests as an essential substance to secure sustainable future of healthy and carbon neutral society. We welcome all contributions that use microscale approaches to study natural samples, experimental and computational modelling. We call for abstracts to form sessions on structure, chemistry and physics of minerals, fluid-mineral interactions, biogeochemistry and biomineralogy, environmental mineralogy, ore and industrial mineralogy, medical mineralogy, mineralogy of planetary interiors and extra-terrestrial bodies.

Diffraction (in memory of the late Andy Johnson)

Phil Nakashima (Monash)

Key to all microscopy is the interaction between the incident radiation and the specimen under scrutiny.  The scattering strength as a function of angle is the basis of not only diffraction as a domain of techniques, but also of many imaging methods which make use of intensity as a function of scattering angle.  As such, the ACMM theme of “diffraction” is not restricted to diffraction techniques alone, nor is it restricted to any particular type of radiation.  Neither is it restricted to crystals.  This theme welcomes contributions from all areas where diffraction contributes fundamental information to the microscopy being conducted.

In Situ & Time Resolved Microscopy

Richard Tilley (UNSW); Soshan Cheong (UNSW); Shery Chang (UNSW)

This symposium will cover recent advances of in situ imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy techniques in electron microscopy, and highlight progress in materials properties and synthesis gained by state-of-the-art real-time materials characterisation. This program will bring together works with different stimuli on the dynamics in materials, such as the structural and chemical evolution of energy materials and catalysts, the electronic structure of functional materials, and mechanical properties of alloys. Works on experimental strategies, data processing and big data management are welcome. The symposium will promote and facilitate the application of existing and new in situ techniques to bridge the understanding of mechanistic of materials.

Nanomaterials & Nanostructures

Laure Bourgeois (Monash); Mariusz Martyniuk (UWA)

Materials in which all their constituents have at least one dimension at the nanoscale, ie below 50 nm, are increasingly used in applications as varied as electronics, biosensing or catalysis. More broadly, many materials derive their functions and properties from their nanostructures and their geometrical arrangements. This theme will focus on the application and development of microscopy techniques for the characterisation of nanomaterials and nanostructures. Contributions will be welcome not only on structural and chemical characterisation, but also on characterising properties and how these are affected by the reduced spatial dimensionality.


Sample Challenges in Biological Microscopy

Louise Cole (UTS); Matthias Floetenmeyer (UQld)

Sample preparation is the key to success for any imaging application regardless of microscopy technique. Biological samples present unique challenges for imaging applications, especially where fast, long-term live cell imaging is required and where samples are thick and opaque.  As the technical development of microscopes continues to advance and new instruments push the boundaries of what can be imaged or resolved, suitable preparation methods for biological specimens must keep up. Indeed, improved preparation methods have been developed over the years for biological samples and some methods are now routine and well established, such as tissue clearing methods for imaging labelled whole tissue organs, as well as rapid cryofixation methods that reduce chemical fixation artefacts. This theme addresses the common challenges that arise when preparing biological samples for microscopy and reviews the current and future steps to ensure better outcomes for biological imaging.

Biology in 3D - From Angstroms to Z-Stacks

Senthil Arumugam (Monash); Sarah Creed (Hudson Institute)

Cellular processes at various scales are orchestrated by interaction between molecules, organelles, cell-cell interactions and tissue microenvironment. 3D imaging can give a better understanding of these complex biological processes in a realistic context – because life is 3 dimensional. This theme will look at both the challenges and advancements in 3D imaging across different modalities including FIB, Cryo-tomography, CT and 3D Optical Microscopy Techniques. In particular, focusing on how different imaging modalities can be adapted to study processes at various temporal and spatial scales and provide new insight into biological processes.

Breakthroughs in CryoEM

Melanie Rug (ANU)

In these sessions we encourage you to share exciting recent and unpublished results in the cryoEM space to stimulate the exchange of new ideas, challenges and opportunities among cryo-EM experts and new-comers, at all career levels. We expect abstracts on a variety of topics revolving around cryoEM breakthroughs, including novel sample preparation techniques or workflows, pushing boundaries in single particle cryo-electron microscopy or cellular cryo-electron tomography research, or research on resolving structural features in 3D (e.g. via cryoFIB-SEM). Breakthroughs might also have been achieved towards technological innovations in cryoEM hardware, software, automation, data validation and/or data curation.

Super-Resolution & Single Molecule Optical Microscopy

In memory of the late Kat Gaus
Liisa Hirvonen (UWA)

This theme focuses on optical super-resolution imaging and single molecule microscopy techniques. We welcome abstracts on new technological developments (including labelling, detection, and data processing methods) as well as advanced applications in this field. Super-resolution techniques include (but are not limited to) single molecule localisation microscopy (e.g., PALM, STORM, PAINT and their variants), stimulated emission depletion (STED), structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and expansion microscopy. Single molecule microscopy techniques include FLIM, FRET and FCS, molecular biosensors, optical tweezers, and other optical single molecule spectroscopy, tracking and imaging methods.

Dynamic Imaging

Sarah Elllis (ONJ Centre); Harrison York (Monash)

Understanding physiology and disease requires the observation of the small, complex and fast dynamics processes that occur within living systems. Light microscopy enables live, quantitative, multiparametric-measurements across large spatiotemporal scales. Continual advances have enabled us to image more, faster, longer and with greater resolution. Specialised techniques allow us to interrogate molecular interactions and dynamics; new probes enable measurement of cellular and organellar states and mechanics; and optogenetic tools enable on-demand perturbations and specific control. Together, light microscopy has become the ‘Swiss-Army Knife’ in modern biologists’ toolboxes.

Diseases & Treatments in Humans, Plants & Animals

Murray Killingsworth (UNSW, WSU, and NSWHP)

The pathways to disease in humans, plants and animals are diverse involving mechanisms such as infection, genetic mutation, metabolic disorder, neoplasia and aging. Many of the features indicating pathogenesis are manifest as structural change at the level of the cell or organelle and can be appreciated by microscopy in its various forms. Similarly, understanding the underlying mechanism of treatments or interventions aiming to ameliorate pathological changes often benefit from microscopical characterisation at the cellular or subcellular level. We therefore call for submissions to the theme Diseases and Treatments in Humans, Plants and Animals from researchers who have used light, laser, force or electron-based microscopy modalities to provide insights in their research domain.


Image Analysis, Big Data, & Machine Learning

Greg Bass (CSL); Vijay Rajagopal (UMelb); Gediminas Gervinkas (Monash)

Recent advances in microscopy have enabled unprecedented, three-dimensional visualization of structures at nanometre and Angstrom resolution. The big data generated by these techniques pose challenges in data management, visualization and image-based quantification. This session will bring together speakers from multiple disciplines, including optical microscopy, volumetric imaging, cryoEM, and computer science.  Topics will range from deep learning algorithms, Python plugins, and 3D volume image analysis to critical infrastructure needed for big data management and data democratization.  Our speakers will showcase the art and science of image analysis in academic and industry research, and highlight diversity of applications across fields and specialties.

Correlative Multi-Modal Imaging

Nick Ariotti (UQld); Alex de Marco (Monash); Pamela Young (USyd)

Correlative microscopy has expanded beyond correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) to include many advanced imaging and analytical techniques, earning it a new name Correlative Multimodal Imaging (CMI). CMI combines multiple, typically separate, microscopy techniques to answer research questions that cannot be answered with a single microscopy approach.  Typical microscopy combinations include (but are not limited to) conventional light, confocal and super-resolution microscopy, atomic force microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy (especially cryo-techniques), micro/nano CT (computed tomography) and more recently analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry imaging. These microscopy techniques offer complementary information captured from the same sample which often requires specific preparation methodologies, software and hardware.

Applications of Microanalysis

Karen Privat (UNSW)

This session highlights case studies utilising a wide range of microanalytical techniques to characterise novel and intriguing materials, answer questions, and solve mysteries across diverse disciplines. Research focusing on all types of samples and features will be included (inorganic, organic; nano- to macro-scale); submissions featuring approaches or sample types not conventionally covered in microanalysis sessions are particularly encouraged (e.g., biological/’soft’ samples). All microanalytical techniques are welcome, including (but not limited to) EDS, WDS/EPMA, XRF, Fluorescence Microscopy, EELS, Vibrational Spectroscopy, EBSD, CL, and XPS. Join us as we explore the breadth of compositional information that can be obtained from electrons, X-rays, ions, atoms, molecules and light!

Microanalytical Mass Spectrometry

Laure Martin (UWA)

Micro-scale, in-situ analysis by mass-spectrometry captures small variations in the distribution of isotopes, elements, or molecules within solid materials. Spot analyses, mapping, depth profiling: strategies have been developed to adapt to the different materials, geochemical systems and needs of a wide range of disciplines, from geology to biology, nuclear forensics, archaeology, and material sciences. This theme intends to (i) provide an overview of the current applications and challenges associated with microanalytical mass spectrometry, and (ii) stimulate interdisciplinary discussions about new and future developments and applications.

Technical Challenges in Microanalysis

Ben Wade (UAdelaide)

Do you have a story of an interesting, challenging, or out of the ordinary sample you have had to analyse? Or perhaps it’s an unusual technique you have had to adopt to analyse your sample, or a new way of data mining your results. If so, then this theme is perfect for you.  New methods and paradigms for analysis are continuously emerging in the Sciences. This theme seeks contributions showcasing developments and novel applications in microanalysis in its broadest sense. Applications from all science related disciplines are welcome and encouraged.

Scanned Probe Microscopies & Surface Analysis

Hua Li (UWA)

This theme highlights recent breakthroughs in surface characterization and analysis by scanning probe microscopy (i.e. atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy, nanoindentation), and spectroscopy (i.e. Raman, FTIR and XPS). The interfacial structure of solids, both hard and soft, can be directly determined down to the molecular level under proper experimental conditions. With the latest development of high-speed atomic force microscopes, the dynamics of liquids at the interface are able to be recorded with molecular resolution. Such capabilities provide profound knowledge of relationships between interfacial structure and property, and thus pave the way toward rational design of task-specific materials via bottom-up approaches. This theme aims to facilitate the exchange of information on recent developments, challenges, and outlooks of applying advanced surface imaging and analysis methods to a wide range of systems, including metals, oxides, semiconductors, polymers, and hydrogels.

New Technologies & Technique Development

Roger Wepf (UQld)

This theme will highlight promising novel instrumentation, technique development and methods that have been most recently developed by researchers, incl. early career scientists, new entrepreneurs and established microscopy providers. The theme will span across physical and life sciences applications and will bundle novel imaging and analytical approaches not well known to the community yet, offering a platform for tantalising talks and poster presentations on “new equipment” frontiers to potentially ignite new collaborations and developments in our field. Submissions will cover a variety of topics such as next generation multimodal imaging and analytical tools, new detector technologies, ultrafast microscopy and spectroscopy, lens-less imaging and multi-dimensional data acquisition as well as approaches to automate sample preparation and imaging workflows (robotics), in-situ and in-operando characterisation approaches and new ways to handle and process datasets (eg. AI) – offering a space to keep restless microscopists fascinated about their field and future challenges (work).

Facility Management

Aoife McFadden (UAdelaide)

Microscopy facilities enable world class research across many academic disciplines, however much of the work that goes into running these facilities to back that research is often hidden behind the scenes. Facility staff have the difficult role of juggling many day-to-day jobs, including user education and training, instrument maintenance, business administration, retention of knowledgeable and technically minded staff, and the advancement of multi-disciplinary research. The goal of this theme is to provide a forum where the challenges faced by facility staff, and their innovative solutions in managing microscopy facilities can be shared within the microscopy community. All microscopy staff are encouraged to contribute, where they have tackled any of the challenges of running a facility. 


The Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Society comprises a number of special interest groups (SIGs) who are responsible for identifying some of the key themes of the conference.

Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Society

Australian Microbeam Analysis Society (SIG)

CryoEM (SIG)

Focussed Ion Beam (SIG)

Light MIcroscopy Australia (SIG)

Volume Imaging Australia (SIG)