Australian Science Superheroes – Marissa Parrott

“My superpowers are animal match-making and fighting extinction! I focus on breeding, reintroduction and research programs for our most threatened species.”

Australian scientists work right across every inch of our sunburnt country, and across every field of discovery. Now, the Office of the Chief Scientist is shining a light on some of the Australian Science Superheroes with a new campaign – #AusScienceHeroes.

Check back regularly for new profiles, and make sure you check out the Chief Scientist Facebook and twitter accounts for more coverage.


Marissa Parrott releases a Tasmanian Devil to the wild

Dr Marissa Parrott
Reproductive Biologist
Wildlife Conservation &
Science, Zoos Victoria
Healesville, VIC

1) What is your science superpower?

My dual superpowers are fighting extinction and animal match-making! I focus on captive breeding, reintroduction and research programs for our most threatened species like Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Tasmanian Devils, New Holland Mice and Corroboree Frogs. My research into mate choice aims to produce the best breeding programs and offspring possible.

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

Our current threatened species have recovered and we are now helping the next group of animals in need. I would love to say every species is safe, but we have a way to go yet! Zoos Victoria works with amazing partners to recover species in the wild, where they belong.

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

I have always been fascinated with science and nature, particularly everything furred, feathered, scaled, finned and shelled. I love animals –especially our unique and remarkable Australian natives! My parents say they always knew I would work in zoos with breeding programs. I have my dream job at Zoos Victoria.

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

I never remove my cape, or often in my case, superhero blue overalls! I love travelling to exotic places (often with field gear to work with Zoos Victoria’s international partners), walking my gorgeous dog, dancing and acting – I met my boyfriend on the set of a zombie movie!