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Wildlife scientist, Macquarie University

Vanessa Pirotta is a wildlife scientist and science communicator. Her zoological background has taken her around the world for wildlife research. Vanessa is also a passionate and experienced science communicator who loves making science accessible. Her keen interests cover topics of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, also known as STEAM. Vanessa has represented Australia internationally as the national winner of a world-renowned science communication competition known as FameLab, placing second in the world. Vanessa’s efforts to communicate science has also seen her become a TEDx speaker, speak at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and recognized as one of the top 100 Women of Influence judged by the Australian Financial Review. Vanessa has also been listed as one of 60 women in science nationally as part of Science & Technology's Superstar of STEM program.


  • –present
    Wildlife scientist and science communicator, Macquarie University


  • 2019 
    Macquarie University , Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2015 
    Macquarie University , Masters of Research
  • 2010 
    Australian National University, Bachelor of Science (Zoology and Evolution and Ecology majors)


  • 2020
    Operational Protocols for the Use of Drones in Marine Animal Research, Drones
  • 2020
    A citizen science approach to long-term monitoring of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off Sydney, Australia, Marine Mammal Science
  • 2019
    Cost‐effective mitigation strategies to reduce bycatch threats to cetaceans identified using return‐on‐investment analysis, Conservation Biology
  • 2019
    Challenges of collecting blow from small cetaceans, Ecosphere
  • 2019
    Consequences of global shipping traffic for marine giants, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • 2018
    Virological Sampling of Inaccessible Wildlife with Drones, Viruses
  • 2017
    An Economical Custom-Built Drone for Assessing Whale Health, Frontiers in Marine Science
  • 2016
    Migrating humpback whales show no detectable response to whale alarms off Sydney, Australia., Endangered Species Research
  • 2014
    A whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback whales: an empirical test., Endangered Species Research