Nicole Webster

Nicole Webster


Dr Nicole Webster
Australian Antarctic Division
Chief Scientist


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Dr Nicole Webster obtained her PhD in marine microbiology from James Cook University in 2001, studying how microorganisms contribute to the health of coral reef invertebrates. Moving from the tropics to the poles, Nicole’s postdoctoral research was undertaken at the University of Canterbury, investigating the utility of microbes as biomarkers for environmental stress in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

In 2005, Nicole commenced a role as research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and in 2017 commenced a joint appointment as Professor at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, University of Qld. Throughout her research career, Nicole has employed experimental and field-based ecological research combined with metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and advanced imaging approaches to uncover the contributions of microscopic life to the health, survival and adaptation of marine species. Nicole also has a strong focus on translating fundamental research outcomes into strategic tools for coral reef management.


In 2021, with an ever-growing desire to play a greater role in positioning science at the forefront of society’s decision-making, Nicole commenced as Chief Scientist for the Australian Antarctic Division where she is looking forward to developing the innovative and collaborative pathways needed to improve our understanding, management and conservation of this wild and fragile ecosystem.

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