Dr Jennifer Matthews
Dr Jennifer MatthewsPostdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Technology Sydney
Without help, coral reefs may not survive this century. But vital nutrients provided by microalgal symbionts may be key to coral survival success. Dr Jen Matthews has pioneered the application of metabolomics to unravel the metabolic interactions underpinning coral health and resilience to environmental change. A Human Frontier Science Programme Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, she holds a PhD in Marine Biology (Dean’s list, Victoria University Wellington), a MRes (Imperial College London) and a BSc (Honours, Bath University). Jen is dedicated to finding solutions to current environmental challenges, targeting local (e.g. tropicalization of coastal NSW), national (e.g. Great Barrier Reef restoration), and global topics (e.g. microplastic pollution).
Her contributions are internationally recognised, being invited to join the prestigious Coral Bleaching Research Coordination Network, and the International Metabolomics Society Early-Career Members Network. In 2009, she founded ‘Big Blue Conservation’, a not-for-profit organisation protecting and restoring beautiful reef ecosystems in Thailand. Her industry engagement while developing the innovative microplastics removal tool, funded by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Seed Innovation Grant, has shown her to be an emerging STEMprenuer. Despite her early-career stage, Jen has secured $300,000 in competitive funding, produced 14 publications and actively advocates for effective science communication and women-in-STEM, through programs such as SoapboxScience Sydney 2019-2020.