Dana is a Principal Research with over 30 years experience in the field of Antarctic applied ecology. She was Chair of the Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research, Australian Academy of Science (2011- 14) and Australian Delegate to the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (2011-14). Her research seeks to reduce human impacts through actively applying evidence-based conservation principles including identifying the problem, providing the scientific basis for the solution and then developing practical solutions.
She has played major roles in initiating and driving international Antarctic science programs including Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change and the Evolution and Biodiversity of Antarctica. The most successful has been International Polar Year’s,
Aliens in Antarctica Program, which altered the way all visitors to Antarctica behave and been instrumental in developing world-leading Antarctic biosecurity practices for the Antarctic Treaty. Her work has also contributed to the development of the Treaty’s
Antarctic Conservation Bioregions. She has edited three books and published over 80 scientific papers and reports. She recently initiated the international program ANTOS, which will be an Antarctic -wide Near-shore and Terrestrial Observing System to track environmental change in ice-free ecosystems. In 2017, she was awarded a Boden Award from the Australian Academy of Sciences, for which she ran a conference on ecosystem collapse at Canberra’s Shine Dome in May 2018.
She has a passion for communicating the significance of Antarctic science to the rest of the world. In 2016, the world premier of the musical ANTARCTICA co-written by Dana, opened at the Theatre Royal, Hobart, Tasmania. The production (a collaboration between Sundog Productions, Tasmanian Theatre Company and leading Australian theatre practitioners), followed the journey of a young scientist on her first expedition to Antarctica. Dana established the not-for-profit, Pure Antarctic Foundation in 2014.