Dr Melbourne-Thomas’ research focuses on the development of ecological models to facilitate strategic studies of ecosystem dynamics and methods for achieving conservation and sustainable utilisation of marine biota, including taking account of the impacts of climate change.
She is highly engaged in the translation of science into decision-making, including through outreach to model end-users and policy briefings. She was named Tasmania’s Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015.
Dr Melbourne-Thomas joined the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in 2011 as an ecological statistician and is now a Research Scientist (Ecosystem Modeller) with the Australian Antarctic Division. She was awarded her PhD in Quantitative Marine Science from the University of Tasmania in 2010. Prior to this she worked as a coral reef researcher in Indonesia (2004-2006), and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford from 2003-2005.
Dr Melbourne-Thomas is a project leader for ACE project R2.3 on status and trends in ecosystems. Her current research uses ecosystem models to simulate different future scenarios and to help determine what’s driving change in particular components of the system. These results can then inform where and how we might best coordinate and invest in further research and monitoring.
She currently supervises five PhD students, is engaged in undergraduate teaching, and is a co-presenter for the highly popular MOOC on Open2Study entitled Marine and Antarctic Science.
Status and Trends in Habitats, Key Species and Ecosystems
Biological responses to environment change
Melbourne-Thomas, J., K. M. Meiners, C. J. Mundy, C. Schallenberg, K. L. Tattersall, and G. S. Dieckmann. 2015. Algorithms to estimate Antarctic sea ice algal biomass from under-ice irradiance spectra at regional scales. Marine Ecology Progress Series 536:107–121.
Melbourne-Thomas, J., S. Wotherspoon, S. Corney, E. molina-Balari, O. Marini, and A. Constable. 2015. Optimal control and system limitation in a Southern Ocean ecosystem model. Deep-Sea Research Part II 114:64–73.
Constable, A. J., J. Melbourne-Thomas, S. P. Corney, K. R. Arrigo, C. Barbraud, D. K. A. Barnes, N. L. Bindoff, P. W. Boyd, A. Brandt, D. P. Costa, A. T. Davidson, H. W. Ducklow, L. Emmerson, M. Fukuchi, J. Gutt, M. A. Hindell, E. E. Hofmann, G. W. Hosie, T. Iida, S. Jacob, N. M. Johnston, S. Kawaguchi, N. Kokubun, P. Koubbi, M.-A. Lea, A. Makhado, R. A. Massom, K. Meiners, M. P. Meredith, E. J. Murphy, S. Nicol, K. Reid, K. Richerson, M. J. Riddle, S. R. Rintoul, W. O. Smith Jr, C. Southwell, J. S. Stark, M. Sumner, K. M. Swadling, K. T. Takahashi, P. N. Trathan, D. C. Welsford, H. Weimerskirch, K. J. Westwood, B. C. Wienecke, D. Wolf-Gladrow, S. W. Wright, J. C. Xavier, and P. Ziegler. 2014. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.12623.
Melbourne-Thomas, J., A. Constable, S. Wotherspoon, and B. Raymond. 2013. Testing paradigms of ecosystem change under climate warming in Antarctica. PLoS ONE 8:e55093.
Melbourne-Thomas, J., S. Wotherspoon, B. Raymond, and A. Constable. 2012. Comprehensive evaluation of model uncertainty in qualitative network analyses. Ecological Monographs 82(4):505-519.