Professor Justin Chalker

Matthew Flinders Professor

College of Science and Engineering

place Physical Sciences (3109)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Justin M. Chalker earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Pittsburgh in 2006. At Pittsburgh, he contributed to the total synthesis of several natural products under the direction of Theodore Cohen. Supported by a Rhodes Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Justin then completed his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Benjamin Davis where he developed several tools for the site-selective modification of proteins. In 2012, Justin started his independent career as an assistant professor at The University of Tulsa where he established a diverse research program in organic chemistry, biochemistry and material science. In 2015, Justin moved to Flinders University as a Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry and recipient of an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. Justin has been recognised with several accolades for his efforts in teaching and research including the 2016 Tall Poppy of the Year for South Australia, the 2017 Dream Chemistry Award Finalist (1 of 5 globally), Eureka Prize Finalist for Outstanding Early Career Researcher (2018), SA Science Excellence Awards STEM Educator of the Year (2018) and the AMP Tomorrow Maker Award (2018). In 2017, Justin was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Research Leader in the Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology at Flinders University. In 2020 he was promoted to Associate Professor and serves as the Research Section Leader for the Molecular Science and Technology division in the College. In 2020 Justin was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for New Innovators, one of the top science prizes in Australia.

Lab Website:


Professor, Flinders University (2022-Present)

Associate Professor, Flinders University (2020-2021)

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University (2017-2019)

Lecturer in Synthetic Chemistry, Flinders University (2015-2017)

Assistant Professor, The University of Tulsa (2012 to 2015)

D.Phil., Organic Chemistry, Oxford University (2011) - Advisor: Prof. Benjamin G. Davis

B.S., Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh (2006) - Advisor: Prof. Theodore Cohen

B.A., History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh (2006)

Honours, awards and grants


  • ARC Linkage (LP200301661) E-waste Recycling (w/ Clean Earth Technologies) $884,669
  • ARC Linkage (LP200301660) Oil spill remediation and slow-release fertilisers (w/ Clean Earth Technologies) $708,984
  • ARC LIEF (LE210100139) NMR Facility (w/ Flinders, Adelaide, and UniSA) $1,240,000
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP200100090) (2020) $410,000
  • AMP Tomorrow Fund (2018) $44,800
  • Australian Research Council LIEF (LE190100123) Flow chemistry facility (w/ Flinders, UNSW, UWA, UQ) (2018) $380,000
  • SA Science Excellence Awards STEM Educator of the Year (2018) $10,000
  • Defence Innovation Partnership (2018) $150,000
  • Coca-Cola, Brisa Water, and Ogilvy & Mather partnership in water remediation (2018) $26,000
  • Royal Society International Exchange Grant (2018) $22,000
  • RACI Academic Sharp Brain Award (2017) $5000
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project () (2017) $575,000
  • Australian Natl Environmental Science Program, Emerging Priorities Funding (2016) $80,000
  • Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2015) $372,000
  • STEMulating Education, Oklahoma Department of Education (2014) $70,000
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2008) $166,000
  • Rhodes Scholarship (2006) $150,000


  • Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2015)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers, Flinders University (2015)
  • Tasmanian Alkaloid Visiting Lectureship, University of Tasmania (2016)
  • South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year (2016)
  • Green Chemistry Emerging Investigator (2017)
  • ChemSocRev Emerging Investigator (2017)
  • David Solomon Award, Chemeca and RACI Academic Sharp Brain Competition (2017)
  • Dream Chemistry Award finalist (1 of 5 globally) (2017)
  • RACI Youth Chemistry Lecturer, Tasmania (2018)
  • Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry New Talent Award (2018)
  • Eureka Prize Finalist for Outstanding Early Career Researcher (1 of 3 in Australia) (2018)
  • SA Science Excellence Awards STEM Educator of the Year (2018)
  • AMP Tomorrow Maker (2018)
  • Prime Minister's Prize for New Innovators (2020)
  • South Australian Science Awards - Innovator of the Year (2021)
Teaching interests

I am interested in all aspects of organic chemistry and allied fields of biochemistry and chemical biology. Currently I teach second and third year organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and a chemical biology Honours module. In these efforts, I aim to inspire students and convince them that organic chemistry is a valuable and interesting academic discipline in and of itself, but also a highly practical science intimately related to a variety of pursuits in biology, energy, materials, and medicine.

For more:

2018 STEM Educator of the Year Statement

Teaching Webpage

Topic lecturer
CHEM3711 Organic Synthesis and Mechanism
CHEM2702 Organic Reactions
CHEM3712 Introduction to Polymer Science
CTEC3101 Clean Technology (Project Supervisor)
CPES7721 Chemical Biology (Honours Module)
CPES3700 Research Project (Supervisor)
CPES8700 Research Project (Supervisor)
Supervisory interests
Chemical biology
Functional materials
Green chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic synthesis
Protein chemistry
Sustainable chemistry