Professor Emma Johnston
Professor Emma Johnston AO is Dean of Science and Professor of Marine Ecology and Ecotoxicology at UNSW Sydney. A strong advocate for the STEM sector and environmental management, Professor Johnston is President of Science & Technology Australia (STA) and sits on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Antarctic Foundation (ASF).
She was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at UNSW and Inaugural Director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program.
A highly awarded scientist and educator, Professor Johnston has published more than 135 peer-reviewed articles and supervised more than 20 successful PhD graduates. She is head of the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab at UNSW, and has led major research projects for industry, government, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Antarctic Science Program.
Her research group investigates the ecology of human impacts in marine systems, combining the diverse disciplines of ecology, microbiology and ecotoxicology to expand fundamental understanding and provide recommendations for management. Her research is conducted in such diverse field environments as Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef and temperate Australian estuaries.
Professor Johnston studied science at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a PhD in 2002, and was an Australia Research Fellow at UNSW from 2010-2014. Selected prizes include the Australian Academy of Science’s inaugural Nancy Mill’s Medal for Women in Science (2014), and the 2015 Eureka Prize for the public communication of science. In 2018 Emma was named one of the 2018 The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and an Officer of the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to higher education, particularly to marine ecology and ecotoxicology, as an academic, researcher and administrator, and to scientific institutes”.
A strong advocate for equity and diversity in STEM and for sound environmental management, Professor Johnston is President of Science & Technology Australia (STA) and sits on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Antarctic Foundation (ASF).
Professor Johnston is strongly committed to the translation and communication of new knowledge. She is a television presenter for the ongoing BBC/Foxtel series, Coast Australia, ABC Catalyst and she frequently contributes expert opinion to state, federal & international government agencies. Professor Johnston works from the tropics to the poles, and consults with industry through the development and implementation of new biomonitoring techniques and environmental monitoring programs.
She was appointed Dean of Science in May 2017.