Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas
Marine Ecosystem Modelling
Australian Antarctic Division and Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre
Seventy percent of our planet’s surface is water and we depend on the oceans for a broad range of resources and services. But the underwater environment is difficult to observe and understand. Building ecosystem models as ‘flight simulators’ is the most powerful approach we have for evaluating what marine ecosystems might look like under different future scenarios. Dr Melbourne-Thomas’ research uses these models to simulate and test different management strategies and to help determine what’s driving change in particular components of the system. These results can then inform where and how to best coordinate and invest in further research and monitoring.
Jessica strongly believes that communication is a fundamental component of the role of a research scientist. She has been a presenter for an online course in Marine and Antarctic Science, initiated a global network of women in polar science and is helping to coordinate a voyage to Antarctica for women in science and leadership in 2017. Using her roles through the ACE CRC and the AAD she is also communicating science to key policy makers.