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Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas is a Transdisciplinary Researcher and Knowledge Broker, and leads the Marine Socio-ecological Systems Team in the Sustainable Marine Futures Program with CSIRO Environment in Hobart. Jess' background is in mathematical modelling and Antarctic climate change science, and in her current role is helping to connect research to decision-making for sustainability and climate change adaptation. Jess was one of Australia’s first 30 Superstars of STEM and was named Tasmania’s Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015 for her excellence in research, science communication and policy engagement. She co-founded the Homeward Bound project, which took the largest ever all female expedition on a leadership journey to Antarctica in 2016, and was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2019 Special Report on the Oceans & Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. She was also one of 12 female scientists globally to have her portrait featured as a constellation on the ceiling of New York’s Grand Central Station as part of GE’s 2017 Balance the Equation campaign. Jess was the 2020 Tasmanian Australian of the Year.

Achievements and Awards

  • 2023-

    Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women
    Inducted for service to the environment; science and research

  • 2022-

    One of Australia's 100 Green Power Players
    The Australian

  • 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

Current Roles

  • Transdisciplinary Researcher & Knowledge Broker
    Marine Socio-ecological sytems

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

  • 2022- 2024

    Patron of National Science Week Tasmania

  • 2018-2023

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

  • 2019-2022

    Theme co-leader, Centre for Marine Socioecology

  • 2019-2022

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

  • 2017-2019

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

  • 2014-2016

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

We have publications by Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas