Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas is a Research Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division and a Project Leader with the ACE CRC. In her work, she uses mathematical models of marine ecosystems to understand how these systems function and how they might respond to climate change and other human activities. She is highly engaged in the translation of science into decision-making.
Jess is a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was named Tasmania’s Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015 for her excellence in research, science communication and policy engagement, and was one of 30 Australian Superstars of STEM in 2017. She cofounded the Homeward Bound Program for women in science and leadership, which sent the largest ever all-female voyage to Antarctica and was a finalist in the Womens’ Agenda leadership awards for 2017. Jess was one of twelve women scientists to have her portrait featured as a constellation on the ceiling of New York’s Grand Central station, as part of GE’s Balance the Equation campaign. She was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford from 2003-2005.
Dr Melbourne-Thomas leads ACE project R2.3 on Status and Trends in ecosystems. Her current research uses ecosystem models to simulate different future scenarios and to help determine what’s driving change in particular components of the system. These results can then inform where and how we might best coordinate and invest in further research and monitoring.