CFA researcher paves the way for women in STEM

Member News image Dr Tegan Brown, CFA research scientist


Dr Tegan Brown is one of many incredible women researchers paving the way for women and girls who are looking to take on careers in STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics). 


As part of International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), CFA is recognising Dr Tegan Brown’s work which uses climate models and landscape data to predict future fuel types. This data is then used in her work to predict future fire activity and model the number of fire management resources Victorian fire agencies will need in coming years. 

Growing up in the Latrobe Valley, fire was synonymous with summer for her family. For as long as she can remember, Tegan loved the outdoors and the environment. This laid the foundations for what is an incredibly meaningful career in research and land and fire management. 

After school Tegan enrolled in a general science degree which led her to taking subjects in fire, some taught by the late Professor Kevin Tolhurst. Tegan then completed the Science Graduate program through the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) which opened her eyes to the importance of research in the emergency and land management space.  

Reflecting on her own experiences and looking to the future, Tegan is passionate about ensuring we continue to recognise and encourage women from all walks of life to pursue careers in science. 

“My parents really encouraged my pursuit of higher education which I am very grateful for,” Tegan said. 

“I recognise my privileged position in not having faced hurdles in my career that can be present for women in science. 

“That said, I have frequently been the only woman in the room, which can be challenging.

“There are incredible women working in land and fire management and research. It’s all of our responsibility to support their development and leadership. 

“I would love to see us continue to encourage more women and people with a range of lived experiences to pursue careers in science and for organisations to continue opening those doors for the next generation of science leaders.” 

She said that science needs diversity to better the knowledge that is created to help serve the community.  

Data isn't neutral, it is interpreted by scientists through a lens built from context and lived experiences, Tegan said. 

“Having more diverse people contributing to and making decisions in land, forest and fire management will enhance our organisations and our contribution to communities.” 

Tegan’s found an incredibly rewarding experience through her life in science and now with CFA. 

The environment is something that people interact with every day, and I love being able to work in an area that facilitates getting people into the outdoors and managing the landscape we live in,” she said. 


  • Member News imageTegan as a child exploring the outdoors with her family
  • Member News image Tegan supporting planned burns
Submitted by Courtney Walker