Associate Professor Pecl is a local Tasmanian, starting her undergraduate degree at UTAS before transferring to James Cook University for Honours and then to undertake a PhD. Her PhD project examined the life history of several cephalopod species and populations along the east coast of Australia. This work was extended through an FRDC project at UTAS and then an ARC post-doctoral fellowship, examining the movements and population connectivity of southern calamari using a range of techniques including acoustic tracking and trace element analysis.
Most of Gretta's early field work at UTAS concentrated on waters off the east coast of Tasmania. This is a region experiencing a high rate of ocean warming, and consequently, many species and population responses to this, leading her to become more interested in the potential impacts of marine climate change. In 2010 Gretta extended this work to the warming waters of Alaska with a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (based in Juneau), researching the impacts of climate change on red king crab. Now, Gretta is one of a team of scientists developing the Global Marine Hotspots Network.
After several shorter-term projects funded with external grants, Gretta was successful with an ARC Future Fellowship, exploring the physiological and ecological mechanisms underpinning the large-scale redistribution of species occurring throughout our marine systems. Much of her work is interdisciplinary in nature, aimed at addressing questions critical to both ecological understanding of our marine systems and sustainable management of resources. Gretta also has a strong commitment to science communication with the public, particularly through the Redmap Australia citizen science project she developed.
Gretta has been the Editor-in-Chief of Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, and a Deputy Associate Dean of Research at IMAS, since the start of 2014.