Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas

Marine, Antarctic and climate scientist

TASState RecipientAustralian of the Year2020

International research scientist, mother, and former Rhodes scholar, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas grew up exploring Tasmania’s spectacular coastline and wilderness and has gone on to work in the marine environment from the tropics to the poles. With a background in mathematical modelling and Antarctic climate change science, Jess is now a Knowledge Broker for CSIRO, helping to bridge the gap between complex scientific research and decision-making for sustainability.

A passionate advocate for diversity and gender equality in science, Jess co-founded the Homeward Bound project, which took the largest ever all female expedition on a leadership journey to Antarctica in 2016.

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 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 Balance the Equation campaign.