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Julianna Kadar

Shark biologist

Julianna Kadar grew up with a passion for the ocean that led to shark tagging trips and now a voyage to Antarctica.

Growing up in Southern California, Julianna Kadar was always surrounded by the ocean and the vibrancy of marine life. As a child, she loved exploring tide pools and watching the animals around her to see if she could figure out their behaviour. 

As it turns out, that was the perfect foundation for her current work as a PhD candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney. 

For the past five years, Julianna has been focused on the behaviour and patterns of the iconic Port Jackson shark, by tagging them with what she explains as ‘the marine equivalent of a Fitbit.’ She’s tagging them in order to learn their impact on the environment and get an idea of what they do to maintain a healthy population. The ultimate goal of her research is to learn how best to manage the species and keep their environment protected and healthy.  

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By the way, she wants you to know that sharks are not so scary once you come to understand them! She urges everyone to look a little closer and really get to know them before writing them off.

Julianna’s incredible work doesn’t stop there. In 2019, she was selected as one of only 75 women across the world (and all from different fields of STEM) to participate in Australia’s Homeward Bound program for 2020. 

The Homeward Bound program, now in its 5th year, is a unique endeavour to connect women in STEM to work on climate change solutions. The program includes a three-week trip to Antarctica, where participants are expected to monitor the wildlife, take part in research and ultimately work to try and solve some of the sustainability issues faced by the most vulnerable environment on the planet. 

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For Juliana, the most valuable thing the program has given her is friendship and connection to other women doing amazing work in STEM, a field which can often be isolating, as it’s still such a male-dominated field. 

In fact that’s her advice for young women in STEM; make connections and find mentors, they will be invaluable and change your world. 

Julianna’s study path

  • Bachelor of  English Literature, Macquarie University
  • Masters in Biodiversity Conservation, Macquarie University 
  • Masters of Research, Macquarie University 
  • PhD in Biology, Macquarie University 

Follow Julianna on Twitter: @jpkadar

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