Our big star shuns the lime­light

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - TIM MARTAIN

HO­BART marine ecol­o­gist Jess Mel­bourne-Thomas was thrilled to have been named Tas­ma­nian Aus­tralian of the year ear­lier this month but said part of her still felt un­wor­thy of the hon­our.

“It’s still sink­ing in, and I kind of half ex­pect some­one will call me any day now and say it was a mis­take, they want the award back,” she said.

Dr Mel­bourne-Thomas, 38, of Neika, has al­ways been drawn to study­ing na­ture, hav­ing grown up in a fam­ily where out­door ac­tiv­i­ties like hik­ing and scuba div­ing were the norm.

She re­ceived a Rhodes schol­ar­ship in 2003 to al­low her to fur­ther her re­search at Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity and she works for the CSIRO in Ho­bart as a trans­dis­ci­plinary re­searcher and knowl­edge bro­ker, es­sen­tially mak­ing the agency’s re­search eas­ier to un­der­stand for mem­bers of the public and politi­cians.

She has been on a bill­board in Ho­bart but she finds any kind of public ex­po­sure quite amus­ing, pre­fer­ring to let the sci­ence be in the spot­light in­stead.

Read the full in­ter­view in­side in TasWeek­end

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