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Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas is a Transdisciplinary Researcher and Knowledge Broker in the marine ecosystem modelling and risk assessment group based at CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere in Hobart. With a background in ecosystem science and marine ecosystem modelling, her current role is focused on helping to bridge the science-user-policy divide, as well as understanding how people make decisions, how they use information, and how best to communicate and engage regarding change and management for marine social-ecological systems. Jess was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Oceans & Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (2019), and is a Theme Leader with the Centre for Marine Socioecology ( She was the 2020 TAS Australian of the Year.

Achievements and Awards

  • -2019

    2020 TAS Australian of the Year
    National Australia Day Council

  • -2019

    Alumni Achievement Award for distinguished service in the fields of ecosystem & climate change research
    University of Tasmania

  • -2018

    One of 16 Stand-out Thought Leaders in Sci-Tech for 2018
    Silicon Republic

  • -2017

    One of 12 famous female scientists to be featured as a constellation on the ceiling of Grand Central Station (NYC)
    GE Balance the Equation Initiative

  • -2017

    Finalist in the 2017 Women's Agenda Leadership Awards
    Women's Agenda

  • -2017

    One of 30 Superstars of STEM
    Science & Technology Australia

  • -2015

    Young Tall Poppy of the Year for Tasmania
    Australian Institute of Policy and Science

  • -2003

    Rhodes Scholarship
    University of Oxford

Professional Experiences

  • 2013-2019

    Research Scientist
    Australian Antarctic Division

  • 2014-2019

    Project Leader
    Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

  • 2011-2013

    Ecological Statistician
    Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

  • 2006-2010

    Modelling & Decisions Support Team Member
    Coral Reef Targeted Research Program

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-2019

    IPCC Lead Author, Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

  • -2019

    Theme co-leader, Centre for Marine Socioecology

  • -2019

    Review Editor, Editorial Board of Marine Conservation and Sustainability, Frontiers in Marine Science

  • 2018-2019

    Co-Convenor, Scientific Steering Committee, Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO) international program

  • 2014-2016

    Co-founder, Homeward Bound project for women in science and leadership


We have publications by Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas