Australian government appoints Emma Johnston to the board of CSIRO

23 August 2023
Bringing environmental expertise to the national science agency

Professor Emma Johnston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney, has been appointed to the board of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for four years.

Professor Emma Johnston AO has been appointed to the board of the CSIRO.

The Australian government announced the decision today, recognising Professor Johnston’s invaluable expertise in the fields of environmental science and conservation that she brings to the agency’s board.

“As I take on this new responsibility as a member of the CSIRO board, I am reminded of the institution's legacy of pioneering research that has shaped industries and improved lives,” Professor Johnston said.

“It's a tremendous honour to work alongside visionary minds who are driving Australia's scientific progress, and I am excited to play a part.”

Professor Johnston’s current research focuses on critical global challenges including marine debris, biological invasions, extreme events and the future of Antarctica's environment. As an advocate for sustainability and diversity, she was the Chief Author of Australia’s State of Environment Report 2021.

Announcing the appointment, Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said: “Professor Johnston’s impressive marine science credentials will bring much needed environmental expertise to the CSIRO Board, complementing the board’s existing skills and experience.

“It’s incredibly important that the CSIRO is at the forefront of applying scientific research to tackle the big challenges facing the Australian community. Having esteemed scientists like Professor Johnston as part of the leadership of our national science agency is invaluable.”

Professor Johnston holds significant influence in the Australian higher education and research sector, and her expertise has contributed to the formulation of international and national research strategies, priorities and plans.

Professor Johnston is a board member of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), and a governor of the Ian Potter Foundation. She has led major research projects for industry, government, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Antarctic Science Program.

She has previously held eminent positions such as Dean of Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of New South Wales and President of Science and Technology Australia (STA).

Her career has earned her prestigious titles including being an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Royal Society of New South Wales (RSNSW).

She was honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours for her exceptional service to higher education, marine ecology, ecotoxicology, research and administration.

Philip Ritchie

Media & PR Adviser - Science

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