Maja Arsic, mentee in the 2020-21 program in SA (University of South Australia)

Maja is a third-year student completing a joint PhD in Plant Sciences at the University of Copenhagen/ University of South Australia. In 2017, she was awarded a John Monash Scholarship; Australia’s most prestigious scholarship awarded to those with leadership potential to study overseas. During her PhD, she has been developing and applying novel bio-imaging techniques to investigate plant phosphorus nutrition, with the goal of improving sustainability in agriculture. Maja has won several grants and stipends to work with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization to conduct her research at radioisotope facilities and the Australian Synchrotron.

Maja’s educational background is in environmental science, applied chemistry and climate change adaptation, where she graduated as University Medallist for Rare Excellence at Griffith University with Class I Honours. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and co-authored a book chapter in an environmental chemistry textbook, as well as presented at several international conferences. At university, her professional experience included teaching and tutoring, and serving as a Research Assistant in a trace metal analysis laboratory and in the field as an alpine climate change botanical surveyor.

Selected for the competitive Graduate Programme at the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Maja completed a Diploma of Government and provided research on policy in the areas of climate, plant biosecurity and agricultural chemical regulation. Personally, her passions lie with community engagement in the sciences which she has actively promoted through local and national environmental programs, attending international youth leadership conferences and in her previous role as Junior Mayor of the Gold Coast. She is very interested in the nexus between science and policy and is keen to learn how relationships can be built with industry to find modern solutions to national sustainability challenges.