03 December 2020

Dr Zoe DoubledayUniversity of South Australia marine ecologist Dr Zoë Doubleday has today been named a “Superstar of STEM” for her work to develop more sustainable seafood, improve the health of our oceans and make science more accessible.

Dr Doubleday is among 60 female scientists recognised nationally by Science & Technology Australia to celebrate the country’s most inspiring women working in STEM, who are smashing the stereotype of “an old man in a white lab coat”.

Her research is focused on using geochemical tools to unlock the environmental histories of marine animals to identify better methods to track the provenance of seafood and combat seafood fraud. She also has a long history working with octopus to support their sustainable management.

Dr Doubleday, an ARC Future Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, is renowned for her science communication work, giving 70 media interviews across 15 countries in the past five years alone, promoting the environment, marine ecology and accessible science.

Encouraging scientists to drop academic jargon and write in a more engaging style, Dr Doubleday hopes to extend scientific readership beyond the tiny proportion (0.3 per cent) of papers that reach the media and outside world.

“As a Superstar of STEM, I want to show people the amazing, but largely hidden, world of STEM that is helping to make Australia, and the rest of the globe, a better place,” says Dr Doubleday.

“I would also like to congratulate and thank STA for creating such an incredible program that is breaking ground in making STEM a profession where diversity (and diversity of ideas) is truly represented.”

Congratulating the STEM superstars, Science and Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Mischa Schubert said the program gave women in STEM stronger skills and confidence to step into expert commentary roles in the media.

“It’s hard to be what you can’t see,” she said. “Women are still seriously under-represented in STEM leadership roles.”

“The Superstars of STEM program sets out to smash stereotypes of what a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician look like – these powerful role models show girls that STEM is for them.”

Dr Doubleday has received multiple awards, including being named a 2017 SA Young Tall Poppy and Thinkable's inaugural Peer Prize for Women in Science. She was also a finalist for The Advertiser’s inaugural Women of the Year Awards in 2019.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, described Dr Doubleday as “an outstanding young scientist, who is undertaking game-changing research into the health of our oceans and inspiring the next generation to pursue science”.

“Since joining UniSA in 2019, Zoe has excelled, with her research having an impressive media uptake and impact across many languages and cultures. She is a STEM superstar in every sense of the word,” Prof Hughes-Warrington says.