Oliver grew up in Manchester England. He is a graduate of Imperial College London (PhD and MSc) and Queen Mary University of London (BSc Hons). Following his PhD in 2005, Oliver joined the University of Cambridge as a postdoctoral fellow until 2009. He then worked as a lecturer at the University of Durham before moving to RMIT in 2012 (to get a few years’ experience working abroad). Oliver has held several senior leadership positions at RMIT including Program Manager, HDR Manager, Discipline Leader and Deputy Director of the Water: Effective Technologies and Tools (WETT) Research Centre. He is the former Associate Dean (head) of the Biosciences and Food Technology Discipline (department).
Oliver has developed an international reputation for high quality research. He has broad, interdisciplinary interests across many areas of chemistry, (analytical, biological, environmental) and chemical/environmental engineering (water technology and hydrology) and a sideline in Forensic Science. His work has a focus on solving real world problems in collaboration with active industry engagement.
Oliver has received a number of awards for his research, including the ANZMAG Sir Paul Callaghan medal the SETAC AU Mid-career medal, the RACI Environmental Chemistry Medal and the Barry Inglis Medal from the National Measurement Institute. In 2019 he was listed as ‘Iridium’ on the IUPAC periodic table of outstanding younger chemists (one of only 118 people worldwide to be honoured in this way).
Oliver is also known for his work in Learning and Teaching and received an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2019. He has a particular interest in the innovative use of technology in Education and developed a game-based app “Chirality-2” to help teach Organic Chemistry. The app is available for free on both Apple and Google devices.
Oliver is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI, and an Associate Fellow of the Institution for Chemical Engineers (AFIChemE). He served on the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Chemistry and was previously President of the Australian and New Zealand Metabolomics Network and a board member of the International Metabolomics Society, and the Australia and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance. His is a current board member of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Oliver is also very keen to communicate science to the public and is a skilled media commentator. He has featured widely in TV, radio and newspapers (Channel 9 News, ABC News, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian, the Times Higher Education, and the Washington Post) and can be found promoting science on Twitter, Mastodon, Instagram and TikTok as @dr_oli_jones