Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott, announced today that Professor Johnston will join the University in July this year from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where she is currently Dean of Science. Professor Johnston is a highly awarded and world leading authority in marine science and conservation and a former Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research).
Professor Scott said Professor Johnston’s appointment confirmed the University’s strong commitment to improving its research performance and developing new partnerships with other universities, governments and industry.
“I am delighted to welcome Professor Johnston to the University of Sydney. Professor Johnston is a passionate advocate for all types of research and is deeply committed to supporting research across all our faculties and schools,” Professor Scott said.
Professor Johnston has led the development of multiple research centres and driven major strategic projects from planning to implementation. She is also a successful researcher in her own right with a demonstrated record of working with industry, government and the community to translate results in basic research into results that directly benefit society.
“Professor Johnston has an outstanding record of building and maintaining multiple community and industry partnerships and engaging in high-level advocacy on a range of policy issues. She is also a trusted advisor working across a range of government and industry bodies and our community will benefit from her strong commitment to collaborating and supporting quality research.”
In acknowledging her appointment, Professor Johnston recognised the University of Sydney’s reputation as a powerhouse of research and development.
“Research and technology have never played a more important role in society and the University of Sydney is at the forefront of helping Australia succeed in a world where ‘smarts’ increasingly matter. As global challenges mount and the pace of change accelerates, the University is ideally positioned to expand its discovery and translational research capacity,” Professor Johnston said.
I’m excited to be joining the University as a leader and advocate for what is already an outstanding research ecosystem and believe we can play a role in strengthening Australia’s research and development capabilities to build resilience and prosperity for the wider community.
Professor Johnston is an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Royal Society of New South Wales and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday honours for ‘distinguished service to higher education, particularly to marine ecology and ecotoxicology, as an academic, researcher and administrator, and to scientific institutes’.
Professor Johnston has led major research projects for industry, government, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Antarctic Science Program and contributed to the development of international and national research strategies, priorities and plans. She is a sustainability and diversity champion and a Chief Author of the Australian State of Environment Report 2021.
Professor Johnston’s current research focuses on marine debris, microplastics, bushfire impacts in marine ecosystems and securing Antarctica’s environmental future. As the past President of Science & Technology Australia (STA), an elected position, she is a highly influential figure in the Australian higher education and research sector.