The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients
Australian of the Year
2020 TAS Australian of the Year Nominee
Dr Jess Melbourne-ThomasState: Tasmania
Marine research scientist
Rhodes Scholar, international research scientist and mother, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, grew up exploring Tasmania's spectacular coastline and wilderness. Her love of the environment led her to pursue a career as a research scientist, first with the
Australian Antarctic Division, and now with CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere.
Jess uses interdisciplinary research approaches to understand how marine socioecological systems respond to climate change and other human activities, and to inform decision-making for sustainable development.
A passionate advocate for female leadership in science, Jess co-founded the Homeward Bound project, which took 78 women working in science on a leadership journey to Antarctica in 2016. Jess also co-founded the Women in Polar Science network, which has more than 4,000 members worldwide.
Named Tasmania's Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015 for her excellence in research, science communications and policy engagement, Jess also co-presents the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Marine and Antarctic Science that's reached over 17,000 students.