The Australian Antarctic Division’s Chief Scientist, Dr Gwen Fenton, has announced her resignation after more than four years in the job.

Dr Fenton has worked at the Division for more than 17 years, leading the science branch since 2015.

During this period she has overseen a review of science funding and the establishment of the Australian Antarctic Science Council.

Dr Fenton said it’s been a privilege to drive important research being undertaken in the region.

“The science we do in the program is highly collaborative and delivers excellent results that truly matter, helping to inform policy and management of the region,” Dr Fenton said.

Dr Fenton also represented the Australian Antarctic Program internationally, working closely with Antarctic Treaty parties and with the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) on research and environmental protection in Antarctica.

Director of the Division, Mr Kim Ellis, said Dr Fenton has made a significant contribution.

“Dr Fenton has a real passion and commitment to our work in the Antarctic,” Mr Ellis said.

“As the first female chief scientist she has been a trail-blazer for women in science and inspiration to the younger generation.”

The Division will begin a recruitment process for a new leader of Science next year.