Originally from Boston, Dr Maggie Hardy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Australia. She is internationally recognized for her work in sustainable agriculture and insecticide toxicology. Dr Hardy earned her MSc in Entomology from the University of Hawaii in 2007, where her work focused on the toxicity of boron compounds in subterranean termites. Dr Hardy earned her PhD in Chemistry and Structural Biology from The University of Queensland in 2011, where her research program centered on discovering novel, environmentally friendly, orally active insecticides from the venom of native Australian spiders. In addition to her research, Dr Hardy is a wife and mother.
Dr Hardy has actively published at the intersection of insecticides and biological control; invasive species and the conservation of biodiversity; and, sustainability and insecticide discovery. Dr Hardy has received funding from the Australian Government, the Australian Research Council, and UniQuest Pty Ltd, and has co-authored patents protecting her work. Dr Hardy is the Secretary for the International Branch of the Entomological Society of America, the world's largest professional organisation serving entomologists, is involved with the International Society on Toxinology, and is a member of the Australian Early- and Mid-Career Researchers Network, an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science.
In addition to her research interests, bringing science to the public is another of Dr Hardy's goals. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she was involved with programs designed to help traditionally underrepresented and disadvantaged students succeed in higher education and careers in science. While a PhD student at the IMB, she founded the IMB Science Ambassador Program to train early career researchers in speaking to the public, to the media, and to funders. In 2008, she was selected as one of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s Young Science Ambassadors, where she spoke to high school students and stakeholders in Outback Queensland, and as one of the Queensland Government’s Talking Scientists, for which she appeared at community groups and stakeholder meetings statewide. Because of her work communicating science, Dr Hardy was an invited speaker at the 2009 Queensland Parliament’s Science in Parliament.