STEMM Profile: Nastaran Mazloumi | Fisheries scientist | Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences | Australian Government | Canberra | ACT

“…it is not easy to change things at high levels unless we prepare ourselves for a cultural revolution and already accept its consequences. For example, we need to increase awareness about the importance of accepting the cultural diversity”

Nastaran Mazloumi is a Fisheries scientist with a multidisciplinary skills in marine science and fisheries. She has a PhD in Fish physiology and biochemistry, Masters in Fisheries Engineering-Aquaculture and Propagation and a Bachelor in Fisheries Engineering-Marine ecology. She currently works as a fisheries scientist at the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) – Department of Agriculture and Water Resources- Federal Government of Australia.

Nastaran is a Scientist with experience in the design and conduct of research projects in fisheries, aquatic physiology, biology and related fields. She applies quantitative methods in developing and managing commonwealth fisheries in order to ensure the sustainable harvesting of the marine resources. She has a genuine interest in fish physiology and biology and is conducting range of researches about the biology of harvested fish species and the ecosystem in which they inhabit.

Nastaran is also a professional visual artist and has certificate IV and Diploma in Visual Arts. She spends most of her free time painting and drawing in her studio. She explores variety of media and techniques in the field of art to showcase her creativities. For example, illustration, animation, digital imaging and sculpture. She tells stories through the portraits and fictions that she creates. She draws inspiration from her own experiences as well as from nature, fairytales and various mythologies.

What is the biggest challenge to women pursuing a career in the STEMM sector?

The biggest challenge that we have in the STEMM sector is the amount of value that has been put on young women scientists. While experience is highly regarded, the importance of ideas from the young and passionate scientists shouldn’t be ignored. Current early career scientists build the future of science and will become the great minds in future. So it is crucial to give them opportunities to flourish. This can be achieved through providing young women scientists job opportunities and creating a gender balance in the labs, as well as providing grants for women in STEMM.

What is one thing you would change to improve the gender balance and diversity in senior ranks of the STEMM sector?

Unfortunately it is not easy to change things at high levels unless we prepare ourselves for a cultural revolution and already accept its consequences. For example, we need to increase awareness about the importance of accepting the cultural diversity in the labs. Being a woman in STEMM is already challenging and being international women in STEMM makes things even more challenging in some places such as academia.

What one thing do you feel that all (public and scientists) can do to most help the position of women in (Australian) Science?

One of the important things to do is to provide opportunities for women in STEMM to flourish. This can happen through providing them job opportunities at academia or in government sector. This can also happen by providing special grant for women in STEMM. I also believe that running workshops about the role of women in STEMM and sharing stories about not just successful and well established scientist but also about emerging female scientists is critical. Young women, in particular those with international background, need support and a welcoming environment, and they need to feel comfortable working and studying in a multicultural environment.

What would you say is your most valuable personal attribute that has helped you succeed?

My most valued personal attribute was/is my persistence. I encountered many obstacles and difficulties in my science journey but I stayed strong. As a female scientist I valued my abilities as a woman without trying to change my attitude and behave masculine in a male-dominated area. I also took advantages of every learning opportunities that came across my way and built my professional skills. I always had a personal passion for art to pursue and this could perfectly balance between my professional and personal life. That was like a therapy! 

Do you have a strategic 5-year plan or do you just ‘go with the flow’?

Yes – I always have a plan for my future and I recommend everyone to plan for their future. This can be small smart goals in short periods which lead to high goals in a long run. Achieving one goal creates opportunities to set the next goal and increase motivation to reach it. Without goals we will be just like plants to grow and die, having goals make a human being strong, passionate and productive. In this journey I chose team work and try to avoid individual work as much as possible. Working in a team is brilliant and can help in achieving goals in a shorter and more productive way.

Twitter: @Nastaran_Maz

ResearchGate: Nastaran Mazloumi



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