Professor Nancy Millis was an Australian microbiologist who worked and studied microbial growth and the fermentation process. As a girl, Millis didn’t intend to become a scientist. However, during the Second World War she worked for CSIRO, testing the strength of different woods for making aircraft. From there, went on to study agricultural science, becoming interested in botany and microbiology. Her PhD research focused on the fermentation of cider. It looked at why and how certain bacteria caused cider to turn bad during the fermentation process. Millis discovered that a bacteria (similar to yeast) released chemicals, which changed the cider’s taste. With her experience investigating bacterial processes, as well as extensive research into environmental and wastewater management, Millis became a key figure in industrial microbiology and wastewater treatment.

Key terms:

  • fermentation
  • anaerobic
  • rational thinking
  • microbiology
  • nitrogen.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis talks about the importance her parents placed on education.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis talks about her education, rational thinking and why it is healthy to be critical of machines.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis talks about how she became interested in the study of bacteria and fermentation.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis talks about the British cider industry and her work with bacteria. Millis talks about the scientific process and transfer of knowledge from her previous studies.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis discusses the beginnings of environmental awareness in Australia and the study of waste water management.

Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis the findings of the Port Phillip Bay study and the science behind the findings.