Introduce yourself and give us a fun fact about Jemma
I am an ecologist at DELWP’s Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI). I work in the threatened species team and, alongside my wonderful colleagues, I spend a lot of my time in the forest undertaking surveys for threatened forest fauna including Leadbeater’s possum, the Greater Glider and the Long-footed Potoroo, as well as forest owls, like the Powerful Owl.
We work to provide data to help us better understand the distribution and habitat preferences of these species. This helps DELWP build robust predictive models for these species and make better decisions about forest management.
I love to travel and have been to over 22 countries!
What are some of your proudest achievements?
Completing my PhD in 2014. I spent four years studying the impacts of parasites on the health and behaviour of eastern grey kangaroos. It was a wonderful feeling to pull all my research together into a thesis and several published journal papers.
Another proud moment was when our Greater Glider research was used by DELWP in the decision to permanently protect State forest in the Strathbogie Ranges.
What does International Day of Women and Girls in Science mean to you?
It’s a day where we can raise awareness about the diversity of science jobs available to women, encourage students to follow their science dreams and to profile some of the interesting work being done by our amazing women scientists!
Why is it important to recognise days like this?
Because currently less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. When the science community is diverse and composed of people with different perspectives, we can improve our ability to solve varied problems and think about things in different ways.
Do you have any advice for girls and young women considering a career in science?
Science is wonderful and it’s diverse. There are many ways to be a scientist and you don't have to be a genius or achieve great marks in high school to become a great scientist.
Follow your passion and do things that you enjoy. There are many different career paths available and one of my favourite things about science is that it is incredibly collaborative. I get to work with brilliant people every day, whether it is in the office or the forest, and we work together closely to achieve our research goals.
Page last updated: 27/07/20