STEMM Profile: Lucy Buxton | Industry Engagement Manager | Climate Change Cluster | University of Technology Sydney | Sydney | NSW

Dr Lucy Buxton [Photo credit: Jayne Ion]

“Sometimes we can get lost in the minutiae and I have always found it helpful, no matter what role I’ve been in – research or professional, to be able to see how the work that we do translates into the wider community and creates positive impact”

Dr Lucy Buxton has a PhD in marine biology and has worked in research, education and external engagement for the last 20 years.  For the first half of her career she worked as a scientific researcher at international marine and oceanographic institutes contributing to international projects spanning ecotoxicology, ocean and human health, climate change research and coral biology.  Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.

A keen interest in the business and governance of research, she later moved into professional roles in the higher education and research sector and has worked for the last decade across aspects of science engagement.  She has help a number of professional roles spanning research strategy development, external relations, international partnerships and collaboration, research talent recruitment and development, industry and government relations, science marketing and communications, and business development.

Lucy is a passionate champion for science translation and supporting science engagement with government, business and the public. She regularly supports the communication of science and technology through media, events and public festivals. Lucy is also a mentor for women in STEM, a public speaker and an ocean sailor.

What inspired you to do science?

As a child I was constantly curious about the natural world around me, in particular the sea and seashore. I would explore rock pools for hours and hours, fascinated to get a glimpse of what the sea had revealed on the receding tide. My parents always supported this interest and science was a natural fit for me as I moved through school. At the age of 11 I met a “real life” marine biologist and she inspired and motivated me to pursue my passion.

What do you think is the most important character train in a successful STEMM professional?

Passion for what you do and keeping an eye on the big picture. Sometimes we can get lost in the minutiae and I have always found it helpful, no matter what role I’ve been in – research or professional, to be able to see how the work that we do translates into the wider community and creates positive impact.

Do you set boundaries?

For me this is a constant work in progress. Setting boundaries is important to support the team, managers and myself. It’s not just about achieving a work life balance (although this is very important), it’s about creating an inclusive work culture, knowing your limits, recognising other’s strengths and supporting great team work.

What do you believe are the greatest attributes of a successful leader?

In my experience, strong leadership is often rooted in inclusivity and respect. Recognising the strengths of team members, allowing space for dialogue, and supporting the development of others.

Do you think it is important to have a mentor?

Mentoring can take many shapes and forms, from the formal to informal. It is a two way relationship and getting to know each other supports better communication and may generate different ideas on how you can collaborate. Mentor and mentee relationships have been incredibly helpful and rewarding during my career development both for professional and personal guidance. 

LinkedIn: Lucy Buxton


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