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Staff Record
Photo of Graeme Melville
Research Fellow

Graeme Melville


0402 251893



  • Introduction to Astronomy (Phys1160)
  • Brave New World (GENS4015)


  • BSc (UNSW)
  • MSc (UWollongong)
  • DiPEd (UNSW)
  • PhD (UWS)
  • FAIP

Research Interests: 

I am in the astrophysics division of the School of Physics at UNSW and am currently doing research on the atmospheres of Exoplanets. I build theoretical atmospheric profiles of exoplanets using the program we have developed, Versatile Software for Transfer of Atmospheric Radiation (VSTAR), and test these profiles using observational work. 

Previously, I have worked at St George Hospital, Wollongong and Macquarie University Physics Departments, Department of Defence (DSTO - Canberra) and as a science, mathematics and computing teacher in NSW High Schools. I was also a professional tennis player in the 1980's.

Presently ABC radio guest science speaker (see under my name).


Honours, Awards and Memberships: 

  • Past Chairman of the Australian Institute of Physics (NSW) and Past Editor-in-Chief - Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Insights as well as present Reviewer of the international nuclear journal ‘Applied Radiation and Isotopes’ and a Member of Elsevier Researcher Panel.
  • Published Book.
  • Federal Election NSW Senate Candidate (1998).
  • Science advisor to the Federal Labor Part (1998)
  • Was the first person to artificially produce Ac-225 by a linear accelerator, which is potentially a new treatment for metastatic cancer.
  • Past Section Assistant Director of DSTO.
  • Received a commendation from NASA for planetary astronomy work involving the Magellan Venus Project in 1994.
  • Recipient of the 2005 ‘Physics in Industry Day’ award. This was awarded for the best research in industry-based physics, which was most likely to benefit Australia.
  • 2007 ‘Research Futures Forum’ prize. Best scientific presentation in 2007.


Selected Publications: 


1Colour-colour and colour-magnitude diagrams for Hot Jupiters

G. Melville1 , L. Kedziora-Chudczer1 , J. Bailey1

1School of Physics, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia


We use ground-based and space-based eclipse measurements for the near-infrared (JHKs) bands and Spitzer 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm bands to construct colour-colour and colour-magnitude diagrams for hot Jupiters. We compare the results with previous observations of substellar objects and find that hot Jupiters, when corrected for their inflated radii, lie near the black body line and in the same region of the colour magnitude diagrams as brown dwarfs, including low gravity dwarfs that have been previously suggested as exoplanet analogs. We use theoretical emission spectra to investigate the effects of different metallicity, C/O ratios and temperatures on the IR colours. In general we find that while differences in C/O ratio and metallicity do correspond to different locations on these diagrams, the measurement errors are too large to use this method to put strong constraints on the composition of individual objects. However, as a class hot Jupiters cluster around the location expected for solar metallicity and C/O ratio.




2. Feasibility study on medical isotope production using a compact neutron generator.

Leung KN1Leung JK2Melville G3

1 Nuclear Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Berkion Technology, Hercules, CA 94547, USA. Electronic address: knleung@lbl.gov.

2 Berkion Technology, Hercules, CA 94547, USA.

3 Department of Astrophysics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Compact neutron generators can provide high flux of neutrons with energies ranging from thermal (0.025 eV) to 14 MeV. Recent measurements demonstrated high neutron yields from the D-7Li fusion reaction at an interaction energy of 500 keV. Using the D-7Li reaction and applying new advancements in high flux neutron generator technology along with the commercial availability of high voltage DC power supplies enables the production of useful quantities of radioisotopes for medical applications. Using the known neutron reaction cross-sections, it has been estimated that hundreds-to-thousands MBq (or tens-to-hundreds mCi) of 99Mo, 225Ac, 64Cu and 67Cu can be obtained from a compact high flux neutron generator.

PMID: 29524732

DOI: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2018.02.026


3. A Bright Short Period M-M Eclipsing Binary from the KELT Survey: Magnetic Activity and the Mass-Radius Relationship for M Dwarfs.

Lubin, Jack B.; Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Zhou, George; Conroy, Kyle E.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Collins, Karen; Stevens, Daniel J.; Labadie-Bartz, Jonathan; Stockdale, Christopher; Myers, Gordon; Colón, Knicole D.; Bento, Joao; Kehusmaa, Petri; Petrucci, Romina; Jofré, Emiliano; Quinn, Samuel N.; Lund, Michael B.; Kuhn, Rudolf B.; Siverd, Robert J.; Beatty, Thomas G.; Harlingten, Caisey; Pepper, Joshua; Gaudi, B. Scott; James, David; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Reichart, Daniel; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Bailey, Jeremy; Melville, Graeme.

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 844, Issue 2, article id. 134, 12 pp. (08/2017).


4. “Targeted α therapy for cancer: where we are today and where we are heading”.

G. Melville

Future Oncology: November 2015 ,Vol. 11, No. 22, Pages 3065-3067 , DOI 10.2217/fon.15.189



5. “A theoretical model for the production of Ac-225 for cancer therapy by neutron capture transmutation of Ra-226”.

G. Melville, P. Melville


Centre for Experimental Radiation Oncology, St George Cancer Care Centre, Gray Street, Kogarah, NSW, Australia.

Applied Radiation and Isotopes 72 (2013) 152–157


6.  "Cyclotron and linac production of Ac-225".

          G. Melvillea and B J Allenb, c

aUniversity of Western Sydney, Penrith NSW, Australia

bCentre for Experimental Radiation Oncology, St George Hospital, Gray St, Kogarah NSW 2217, Australia
cClinical School, University NSW, Australia

Applied Radiation and Isotopes Volume 67, Issue 4, April 2009, Pages 549-555


7. "Production of Ac-225 for cancer therapy by photon-induced transmutation of Ra-226".
            G. Melville a, H. Meriarty b, P Metcalfe c, T. Knittel d and B.J. Allen a,e

a Centre for Experimental Radiation Oncology, St George Cancer Care Centre, Gray Street, Kogarah, NSW 2217, Australia
b Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Sydney, NSW, Australia
c Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
d Department of Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
e Clinical School of Medicine, St George Hospital, UNSW, NSW, Australia
Received 29 September 2006; revised 30 March 2007; accepted 31 March 2007. Available online 16 April 2007.

Applied Radiation and Isotopes Volume 65, Issue 9, September 2007, Pages 1014-1022 


8. "A theoretical model for the production of Ac-225 for cancer therapy by photon induced transmutation of Ra-226".

G. Melville, Sau Fan Liu and B.J. Allen

Centre for Experimental Radiation Oncology, St. George Cancer Care Centre, Gray St. Kogarah, NSW, Australia

Applied Radiation and Isotopes Volume 64, Issue 9, September 2006, Pages 979-988

9. “Venus Unveiled: The Magellan Images”.

             Zealey, W. J.; Melville, G.; Kreig, M.

Publication: Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Vol. 10, Issue 3, p.200, 199

Origin: KNUDSEN Bibliographic Code:1993PASAu..10..200Z