Australian Science Superheroes – John Martin

During National Science Week in August 2016, Australia’s Chief Scientist launched the #5ScientistPledge to recognise Australian Scientists. Now, we’re shining a light on some of these Australian science superheroes with a new tag – #AusScienceHeroes.

Check back regularly for new profiles!

Dr John Martin, Wildlife Ecologist, Botanic Gardens
& Centennial Parklands, Sydney, NSW


1) What is your science superpower?

I research species movement behaviour, aiming to understand where animals live and what they eat. This helps us understand population sizes and interactions between groups within populations. I am also involved in citizen science projects, where the public helps out with big research projects.

2) The year is 2030. How has life changed as a result of your research?

Habitat is conserved or aided for a range of species across Australia in association with the Hollows as Homes citizen science project. As a result of this project, we have a detailed understanding of the tree hollow habitat across Australia, and the wildlife using this critical resource.

3) What drew you to science in the first place?

Ultimately, I thought it’d be great to work in a national park. While studying at university I was particularly interested in conservation, both through hands-on measures and research activities. Helping out with great research projects in university inspired me to become a research scientist myself!

4) When you’re not wearing your science superhero cape, what do you get up to?

There are few things better than sitting around a campfire with good friends, singing a few songs and laughing at how we can’t sing. I’m also quite fond of sampling well brewed ales.

Image: Dr John Martin holds a Powerful owl fitted with a GPS transmitter