Steph McLennan

Geoscience Australia

Canberra, ACT

Contact me for

  • Mentoring
  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


At its core, Dr Steph McLennan's research is about being an environmental storyteller. As an Antarctic geoscientist she pieces together clues about the earth's history and its current state to understand human impacts on ice-free areas of Antarctica. These environments are vulnerable to damage from infrastructure development and tourism and can be incredibly slow to recover. Steph uses geomorphic mapping, landscape evolution, geochemistry, and technology like drones to understand the landscape and monitor the effects of human presence. Her work arms decision makers with information to support environmental management in Antarctica. 

Steph was awarded her PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2016 with the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre, developing novel mineral exploration methods. She joined Geoscience Australia's graduate program in 2015 and has been working in the Marine & Antarctic Geoscience team since 2016, including as Chief Investigator on an Australian Antarctic Science Program project, leading two field seasons based at Davis Station, East Antarctica. Steph is a 2019/20 Superstar of STEM and a 2021 Australian Institute of Policy & Science Young Tall Poppy Award winner. She is a partner investigator on the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative, Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future (SAEF). 

She is passionate about the value of earth science to Australians. Through her outreach and media engagement, she aims to spark wonder in earth science, its relevance to everyday life, and its role addressing current and future challenges. She is an avid supporter of young people in STEM and chairs the Rotary District 9705 NYSF Committee.