Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Professor Emma Johnston, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) provides strategic leadership and support to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in the generation of external research income and improving UNSW’s overall research performance, and in attracting and retaining outstanding academic staff, research only staff and higher degree research candidates to UNSW.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) is also responsible for UNSW’s international research strategy, research partnerships including affiliated research institutes, eResearch strategy, research ethics and safety and effective promotion of the University’s research capability and research profile.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) acts in the position of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) during the absence of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).


A leading authority in marine ecology, Professor Johnston comes to the role with an exceptional research career. As well as heading up the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab at UNSW, Professor Johnston has led major research projects for industry, government, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Antarctic Science Program.

In 2012, Professor Johnston was appointed the inaugural director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, where she worked with 35 scientists to better understand the threats to Sydney’s prized natural harbour, and helped devise more sustainable management practices.

Professor Johnston is a high-profile science communicator, winning the 2015 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research. She is a regular media commentator and, as co-presenter for the Foxtel/BBC television series, Coast Australia, has helped take Australian marine science to an international audience.

An Australia Research Fellow from 2010-2014, Professor Johnston studied science at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a PhD in 2002. Her research has been recognised with numerous awards, including the inaugural 2014 Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, the 2012 NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Biological Sciences and the Hynes Award from the Canadian Rivers Institute (2016). She is currently Vice-President of Science & Technology Australia.

Location and Contact Details

General Enquiries
+61 2 9385 5638
+61 2 9385 6545
Location Address
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Level 4, South Wing
Rupert Myers Building
UNSW Kensington Campus
Closest Gate: Gate 14, Barker Street
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)
University of New South Wales
Staff Contacts:    
Name Position Phone / Email
Claudia Abouarrage Office Manager and Executive Assistant T: +61 2 9385 5638