Jennie Mallela

Research Background

I became interested in research as a first year undergraduate student at the University of Leeds in the UK whilst studying Environmental Bio-geo Science. Every year we had multiple opportunities to conduct independent, mini research projects and I found I gravitated towards those which led me into the field and subsequently the lab. It was great, I had access to world class facilities and academics across four different departments and we were able to conduct curiosity driven projects of our own design. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been fortunate to combine my love for research, fieldwork and travel. I’ve worked in East Africa, where I built and lived in a mangrove hut for 18 months, assessing threatened species in Marine Parks. I’ve assessed the biodiversity of 2nd World War shipwrecks in Scapa Flow (Scotland), I’ve tracked eels across river catchments in Ireland, worked at Max Planck in Germany where we used stable isotopes to answer ecological questions, and assessed environmental impacts on coral reefs from the Caribbean to the Great Barrier Reef.

Current research interests

I was fortunate to be awarded an ARC DECRA to study the impacts of climate change and pollution on coral reefs. I currently conduct multidisciplinary research combining ecological, biological and geochemical research techniques to understand how environmental disturbance will impact reef function and health in the future.

What do you enjoy most about research?

I enjoy working on real world problems and conducting research that may one day input into potential solutions for ecosystem and species conservation. I enjoy interacting with, and learning from, a range of collaborators who have very different skills to me. I love that I still manage to combine research, fieldwork and travel.