The STELR Project is the key school education initiative of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. (ATSE). They give school students the opportunity to meet Australian scientists and engineers and as part of their free webinar series, Shape Your Future, and I presented alongside Dr Alice Jones in the Nurturing happy & healthy oceans category.
Following multiple COVID-19 enforced delays, we finally headed to Lizard Island Research Station, in the northern Great Barrier Reef in late March for my project to characterise the microbes of turf algae. This project was made possible by the 2020 Raymond E. Purves Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
In September, Dr Matthew Nitschke and I spent 2 weeks in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on fieldwork for Matt's Rutherford Research Project. While we were there, we had the opportunity to meet and work with Dr Teina Rongo and Jackie Rongo of Kōrero O Te Ōrau and learnt a lot about the Cook Islands - in and out of the water.
Did you know we had corals in NSW? Did you know they bleached during the 2016 global mass bleaching event? This is something many people aren't aware of, and to help increase awareness about our NSW corals, I was part of a team organising an event for National Science Week in August 2019.
Ever wondered what the mysterious continent of Antarctica was like? After returning from our trip in Janurary 2019, it has been hard to find the correct words to describe Antarctica. I always think a picture tells a thousand words, so hopefully the video footage helps show what we experienced (in a very, very short highlight reel).
How many of you would feel comfortable with being asked to shut your eyes, spun around a few times, and then submit to trusting your partner to guide you to a new destination? Or even asked to take a step forward without knowing what is ahead? Do you lean into the unknown? Or are you hesitant to put trust in someone else? Would you completely refuse? Learning to step out of our comfort zone, putting complete trust in others and embracing uncertainty were central leadership lessons I learnt while in Antarctica with Homeward Bound.
During our trip, a couple of us signed up as Homeward Bound Daily Correspondents. I signed up to do a blog post of 5 photos and captions on January 13th 2019, reflecting on my experiences so far. Here they are!
I had been thinking about this day since I found out Christiana Figueres was going to be on board with us. What was I going to say to my role model? What would our first conversation be like? The women who was the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and was the driving force behind the 2014 Paris Agreement? A women who has dedicated her life to bringing awareness to and protecting the most vulnerable from the effects of climate change? With credentials and experience that knocks you off your feet?
Tonight was our welcome dinner in Ushuaia, Argentina. Tonight we met each other for the first time after getting to know each other online, or 'virtually' throughout the year. Tonight was one of the most memorable nights I've ever had.
The day has finally come! A whole year's worth of excitement and planning and it's finally here. Today is the day I depart for Ushuaia in Argentina, to meet up with 79 incredible women from 28 different countries, to share a 3-week trip of a lifetime to Antarctica. I hope I've remembered to pack everything...!
All of my travel - for work and holidays is to somewhere tropical and warm. I can't remember the last time I packed my suitcase and not my mask/snorkel or any diving gear. Packing for Antarctica is so different, and it has taken multiple to-do lists and checks to ensure I don't forget anything crucial...! But I am still packing my diving mask... I'm planning on diving in the Beagle Channel when we return from the expedition...
I have currently raised an INCREDIBLE $16,828 for my crowdfunding campaign for my participation in Homeward Bound! I've been absolutely blown away with the generosity of 65 supporters. This means I've raised 67% of my total which has blown me away! In exchange for donations, supporters could choose perks including raffle tickets, and I drew the winners out this morning.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on limiting the impacts of Global Warming to 1.5°C has been approved. The main message is that when compared to the impacts of a 2°C temperature increase, limiting warming to 1.5°C (we are already at 1°C) would significantly reduce the risk of severe and extreme weather events, particularly heatwaves and heat-related mortality.
Every fraction of a degree of warming matters.
In the past year, I've become particularly aware of the damage plastic is having on our environment and ocean ecosystems, and I'm actively reducing my use of plastics - and encouraging others to do the same.
It's really exciting when you find a company with values that align with your own, particularly when their products actually work and do what they are meant to. If you haven't already heard of Ethique, let me tell you how they are making a difference in our world.
Came across this challenge to get near, in, on or under water for 100 days. Easiest challenge ever?! Most enjoyable challenge ever, too!