Dr Jonica Newby is a science reporter, author, speaker, TV presenter and director, best known for her two decades on ABC TV’s popular weekly science program, Catalyst. She has twice won Australia’s most prestigious science journalism award, the Eureka Prize, and is recipient of a World TV Award.
Originally trained as a veterinarian, Jonica took her love of animals, biology, neuroscience and psychology into the field of science communication. Her first book, The Animal Attraction, charted how our domestic animal companions made modern civilisation possible. It became a TV series which launched her science broadcasting career. In 2000, she became a founding member of Australia’s premier TV science program, Catalyst. Since then, she has reported on everything from nanotechnology to battery powered homes to the emotional lives of dogs, establishing a reputation for telling stories with a rare honesty and intimacy. She shared her partner’s cancer struggles for a feature on cancer and exercise, broke taboos discussing the science of the female sex drive, and jumped out of a plane to demonstrate how parts of our brains shut down during danger. But her own brain almost shut down when, after researching what global warming will do to the snow country she loves, she plummeted into a personal reckoning with climate grief. Her new book, and the quest for answers she undertook in the apocalypse-tinged summer of 2019 – 2020, is the result. Dr Newby has also been a regular contributor to radio, print and News 24, and a popular speaker and MC. When not in the snow, Jonica lives on the NSW south coast, writing, practicing her surfing, and relishing every moment of joy in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.