Antarctic adventure awaits Bull Creek PhD student


Bull Creek PhD student Jessica Kretzmann is off to Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound leadership program.
Bull Creek PhD student Jessica Kretzmann is off to Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound leadership program.

A PhD student at the University of Western Australia and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research will take the trip of a lifetime as part of a leadership initiative for women in science.

Bull Creek resident Jessica Kretzmann is among 80 people selected for the Homeward Bound leadership program, which will take place over 12 months and includes an Antarctic expedition in February.

The program aims to “redress the gender imbalance in the upper levels of science”.

Ms Kretzmann, whose chemistry and nanotechnology research could potentially be used to treat genetic diseases including cancer, said the Antarctica trip was an amazing opportunity.

“Antarctica is an amazingly beautiful and uniquely inspiring environment, but particular regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to climate change,” she said.

“We will be lucky enough not only to visit Antarctica, but to learn about polar science, what it is telling us about the state of the planet, and discussing the influence of human activities and how we can move forward in our own roles to push for change.”

She said the program was sure to have a positive impact on her as a person and career-wise.

“The Homeward Bound program will not only help me to develop myself as a better role model and mentor for all my students, but I believe it will also open opportunities for me to do more outreach into schools, hopefully increasing my impact encouraging young women and men into science careers,” she said.