Tackling the issues affecting the ocean off WA’s lengthy coastline will be the theme of a year of talks by one of the state’s leading researchers.
Professor Jessica Meeuwig, Director of the Centre for Marine Futures at the University of Western Australia, is the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s Eminent Speaker for 2019.
The role recognises a Western Australian scientist whose research is having significant economic or environmental impact and who is an outstanding communicator – able to share the excitement and impact of research and development based in WA.
During the year Professor Meeuwig will speak to high school and university students and the public to promote the importance of science in understanding our environment and how to manage it better.
Professor Meeuwig said she was excited at the opportunity to promote the science and management of our ocean.
“Western Australia with its enormous coastline is both a great place and an important place to engage in marine research,” she said.
“Unfortunately the oceans are largely out of sight and out of mind and I hope that during 2019 I can share with the public some of the important issues that put our oceans at risk now and, in particular, inspire young scientists to help build resilient oceans.”
Professor Meeuwig is a highly regarded expert in marine science, marine policy and the translation of science into management outcomes.
As the Foundation Director of the Centre for Marine Futures she has developed a team which focuses on high-impact applied marine research that supports ocean management and links to the commercial and government sectors locally and around the world.
The Chair of the Academy’s WA Division, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski, said that in appointing the Eminent Speaker the Academy was recognising both an applied scientist who was making impact and an outstanding communicator. “Professor Meeuwig delivers in both areas,” he said.
The Academy began the Eminent Speaker program in 2001 and previous speakers have covered areas as diverse as mineral resources, health, agriculture and meteorology. Professor Meeuwig is the first from the marine sciences area. Further details of the year’s program will be released soon.
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy operating as an independent, non-political and expert think tank that helps Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.