Dr Steph McLennan

Geoscience Australia
Research Field: Geoscience, Landscape Evolution

We like to think of Antarctica as a pristine, icy wilderness but its small ice-free areas are relatively easy to access and under increasing pressure from national programs and tourism. Understanding these environments is critical to protect them and remediate past damage.

By studying the geology and landscape evolution processes of polar environments, Dr McLennan aims to arm decision makers with information to balance our need to be in Antarctica – to study it and understand it – with the impact we leave behind. She uses traditional methods like mapping and geochemical analysis alongside drone technology and remote sensing to build a picture of how this fragile environment changes in response to human impacts.

Steph is a 2019/20 Superstar of STEM and engages with the public through talks, school visits, podcasts, media interviews, and social media. She is an avid supporter of the National Youth Science Forum both as a scientist and running student selections across the ACT and southern NSW through Rotary.

Dr McLennan was awarded her PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2016. She is currently an Antarctic geoscientist at Geoscience Australia.