UQ astrophysicist and Australian Survivor contestant Samuel Hinton. Credit: Network 10
UQ astrophysicist and Australian Survivor contestant Samuel Hinton. Credit: Network 10
1 August 2018

University of Queensland astrophysicist Samuel Hinton is putting his brains and brawn to the test in the latest season of Australian Survivor.

The first episode of Network Ten’s Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders airs tonight, and the UQ School of Mathematics and Physics astrophysicist and PhD candidate is looking to outwit, outplay and outlast other contestants to become the sole survivor.

His selection for the series was exciting news for Samuel, who didn’t believe the email offer was real when it arrived in his inbox.

“To be honest at first I deleted the email and thought it was spam. I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Samuel was flown to Fiji to compete against 23 other contestants, many of them Australian celebrities, for $500,000 in prize money.

“As a member of the Champions tribe, I had to survive working alongside some impressive people, including The Biggest Loser's Steve 'Commando' Willis, ex-special forces commando Damien Thomlinson, rugby legend Mat Rogers, and Olympian Shane Gould,” he said.

“I’ve made some great friends for life and I can’t wait to catch up with them all at the live finale.”

For Samuel, the show was a break from his PhD research investigating dark energy - the mysterious anti-gravity field that permeates the universe and accelerates its expansion.

“I’m currently working with the Dark Energy Survey, modelling exploding stars in an effort to map out the cosmic history of the universe and chart its growth,” he said.

Samuel shared his knowledge about the wonders of the universe with some of his fellow contestants.

“I took the tribe down to the beach and gave them a sky tour, showing them the constellations, interesting objects and satellites,” he said.

“The universe is an amazing place, and I’m looking forward to sharing my passion for space with Australian Survivor fans.”

Now back in Brisbane, Samuel is looking forward to finishing his PhD, growing his space-themed podcast Commuting the Cosmos, and finding new ways to spread his love of science.

Image above: Samuel has a long history of being in the spotlight and sharing his love of science.

Media: Samuel Hinton, samuel.hinton@uqconnect.edu.au, +61 424 670 574; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.