Jessica Pettitt Frazer
BSc with Honours Marine Biology & Zoology (2005), University of Queensland
DipEd (2014), Queensland University of Technology
Senior Research Technician (2018- ), University of Queensland
Career History and Interests
Growing up I spent most of my time outdoors, either catching fish from the creek or building cubby houses on its banks. But it was the family holidays to Lady Musgrave Island where I developed a love for the ocean and all its creatures. From about the age of 8, it was my dream to become a marine biologist, so when it came to deciding what courses to do at university, a Science degree with a dual major in Marine Biology and Zoology was the obvious choice. During the course of my degree I developed a fascination of sharks and their role in the marine ecosystem, with their low fecundity and the high value of their fins I was concerned about their future. I went on to complete my Honours in the Sustainability of Queensland Shark Fisheries with Daryl McPhee. After honours, my desire to travel and see the world took over and off I went to Scotland, where I worked pulling pints under the shadows of Edinburgh Castle. I was then lucky enough to score a gig working in the highlands with the Kyle of Sutherland Salmon Fishery Board, which gave me opportunity to work in a salmon hatchery and experience some Scotland’s untouched rugged landscape.
On return to Brisbane, little did I know that waders were to become a regular clothing item. I worked on the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) as an Aquatic Scientist assessing macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages of QLD streams. Here, I was lucky enough to work with Skye Cameron. I then went on to give the world of environmental consulting a go and I worked as an Ecologist for frc environmental on a number of projects, marine and freshwater. Getting itchy feet again, I packed up and left to learn Spanish (badly) in Cadiz, Spain. On my return, I obtained a position working with the Water Science Group at GHD, a group of keen aquatic ecologists. Here I had the opportunity to complete a variety of aquatic surveys, the usual fish and macroinvertebrates, but also platypus and stygofauna. However, the down turn of the mining industry, which funded a large proportion of projects, led me to pursue other career options.
I took the opportunity to complete a Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) and started my first teaching job in a small school in Julatten, Far North Queensland. Since starting this career I have developed an interest in student wellbeing and how incorporating mindfulness techniques into classroom routines can benefit students. Now back on the Sunshine Coast, I have been working as a relief teacher and outdoor recreation instructor. Until recently, I was offered an opportunity to work for the Wilson Lab with Chopper on the project assessing the dust and health of the people of Groote Eylandt.
Having had connections with the Wilson Lab through meeting Skye a long long time ago, and share housing with two other Wilson Lab gems (Gwen and Candice), I had always thought what an awesome bunch of peeps and work environment they had (lots of beers and socialising!). Now I am very lucky to be a part of it and experience the wonders of Groote Eylandt. I am very much looking forward to putting my experience in both science and working with children into practice on the island.
If its outdoors, I’ll probably like it… hiking, camping, 4WDing, boating, diving, beaching, exploring the world etc.
It had always been a dream in the back of my head to one day own a property where everything was in harmony with nature. Over the years I have spent countless hours scrolling (dreaming) through realestate.com, until one day I found a gem… could the dream really come true? A year ago my husband Angus and I have embarked on the challenge of starting our own permaculture venture in the Mary Valley. Shipping container house, micro brewery, kitchen garden, food forest, mandala garden, yoga retreat, weddings, cabin accommodation, eco education are just a few of the ideas floating around at the moment.......