Dr Patricia Selkirk has spent considerable time in Antarctica and the subantarctic since 1978, when she was one of the first women scientists to work on Australian Antarctic bases. She has spent five periods on mainland Antarctica and 14 expeditions to Macquarie Island and one to Heard Island as a member of Australian, New Zealand and American Antarctic expeditions.

Dr Selkirk has made significant contributions to Antarctic science in several capacities:

  • as a member of national scientific committees (such as ASAC, ANCAR and AREG)
  • as an academic at Macquarie University (through student research supervision and the development of an Antarctic studies unit)
  • through her scientific research (both on the Antarctic continent and subantarctic islands)

Dr Selkirk has been involved in major innovative research projects ranging from taxonomy, landscape ecology, plant adaptations to Antarctic and subantarctic environments, vegetation mapping and plant genetics. Throughout her substantial Antarctic career, she has both led and participated in many multi-disciplinary research projects.

One of Dr Selkirk’s outstanding attributes has been as a mentor and role model to young Antarctic researchers, particularly women scientists. She has provided generous support and assistance to numerous scientists as they embark on their Antarctic careers and this support has continued as they develop into experienced Antarctic researchers.

Dr Selkirk has an extensive publication record, with over 60 refereed Antarctic and subantarctic publications, with her most recent publications ‘in press’. Her publications reflect the breadth of her research work, while the number of co-authors reflect the number of collaborative research projects she has undertaken in Antarctica and the subantarctic. Her publications include the major reference work ‘Subantarctic Macquarie Island: Environment and Biology’ (Cambridge University Press 1990). This is the definitive reference book on the physical and biological features of Macquarie Island and includes a comprehensive annotated bibliography.

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