[Onscreen text: DEECA celebrates: Int. Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023]

Dr. Amanda Chamberlain: My name is Dr. Amanda Chamberlain, and I'm a molecular geneticist working in agriculture. I work in a team of people who use genetic information to improve livestock, plants, fungi and things that are important to agriculture. I grew up with a love of dairy cows. I had an aunty and uncle in the Western District who had a Holstein stud that I just loved to go and visit.

The project I'm currently working on is trying to improve the health and fertility of dairy cattle. If we can help farmers to select animals using their genetics that are more resilient, better able to produce more milk, it's better for the farmer, it costs less resources, the cows eat less grass. Also, we're working on them, producing less methane. Definitely a big contribution to the environment, but also back to the farmer as well.

One of my Ph.D. supervisors was really influential, she encouraged me right from the beginning to undertake a Ph.D. She really paved the way for me to become a leader in science. To be honest, I don't think there's a deficit in encouraging young girls to be involved in science. The problem is progressing them to be senior scientists.

So it's fostering the growth of women in science, I think, that's really important.

[Onscreen text: Agriculture Victoria Research Women in STEM Program]

We have a women in STEM program and they've been coming up with ideas to help women progress in science. Time out of science has a big impact on a scientist's career because you're not contributing to the latest and greatest research, which means you don't publish. I did take time out of the workforce to have children, but one of the things that I think helped me was so did my partner.

So we shared our responsibilities at home. That's something that I think the Women's STEM program has really been pushing. Giving women access to good projects, to do good science, to build up their publication records, to be involved in cutting edge things, that's also going to build their careers as well.

[Onscreen image: DEECA logo, Victoria State Government, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action]

Page last updated: 14/02/23