Superstar of Stem


Jenny Mallela was selected as a SuperStar of STEM in 2018 and continues as an advocate for women in STEM. 

Superstars of STEM aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM.  STA created Superstars of STEM to create a critical mass of celebrity Australian female scientists and technologists - role models for young women and girls – and to work towards equal representation in the media of women and men working in all fields in STEM.

Over five years we will have equipped 150 female scientists and technologists with advanced communication skills and provided them with genuine opportunities to use these skills – in the media, on the stage and in speaking with decision makers.

Working with participants over two years, the program strives to;

  • Support 60 women employed in a range of roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become highly visible public role models;
  • Build the public profile of 60 women employed in STEM though training in public speaking, media and communicating with influence and through creating opportunities to practice their newly acquired skills;
  • Empower participants to share their story and their work with general audiences by equipping them with advanced communications skills and an understanding of traditional media, social media and story-telling.
  • Smash imposter syndrome and build confidence in a range of professional settings, participants will learn how to communicate with influence, in their workplaces, in the media and with leaders and politicians.
  • Directly encourage young women and girls to study and stay in STEM, by program participants speaking with them in their schools and workplaces and by providing prominent public role models for them to aspire to.

The first year of the two-year program will focus on professional development through a series of five workshops and the second year will focus on providing participants opportunities to practice their new skills through media and speaking opportunities in schools and on high profile stages.


Dr Jennie Mallela is an enthusiastic, environmental bio-geo scientist. She conducts research that addresses real-world problems focusing on pollution and climate change.

She earnt her PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK assessing the impacts of catchment pollution on Caribbean coral reefs. She has held postdoctoral positions at the Australian National University and the University of the West Indies. She recently completed an Australian Research Council research fellowship (DECRA) where she assessed the impacts of climate change, agricultural runoff and mining impacts on coral reefs.

Jennie is also a highly qualified commercial and scientific SCUBA-diver. This enables her to conduct underwater research on coral reefs around the world. Jennie also acts as a scientific diving consultant and advises international scientists on diving related research.

Jennie is a keen advocate for science. She has co-authored 39 research outputs with 129 international co-authors and her research has been cited more than 1000 times. She is regularly invited to join international teams of researchers as their scientific diving expert. Her 2017 popular online video on the causes of coral reef bleaching in 2016, released by her University, received over 100,000 views in the first 10 days. Jennie believes science should be accessible to everyone.

» View Jenny's citation.

Dr Jennie Mallela

Jennie Mallela - Real "STEM" Wonder Women »

Jennie Mallela is a Real Wonder Women in STEM and was nominated as a “Superstar of STEM” by Science and Technology Australia. Read about a real women in STEM in this Biocomic for International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Take a behind the scenes look at Dr Jennie Mallela, coral reef scientist and science communicator. This Biocomic was created by scientist Dr Marina Trigueros @cariboo_design, another awesome woman in STEM