Zinnia Jothi Kumar is a Scientist in the fields of Ecology & Environmental Science, Human Evolutionary Biology & Anthropology. She is passionate about Conservation, Diversity Activism & Children’s Access to Education.
Zinnia has always had a flair for science and academia, graduating at the top of her high school class as DUX, then onto a Bachelor of Advanced Science in Ecology & Human Evolutionary Biology with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales. As a Field Ecologist and Conservationist Zinnia has worked in the Australian outback on Wetland Birds, Aquatic Invertebrates and wild Little Blue Penguins.
Zinnia is a researcher in human evolutionary biology (the study of human attraction) and anthropology. Whilst at the UNSW Sex Lab, Zinnia produced a viral research paper on Beards and how attractiveness varies with frequency of facial hair, coining a new social term “Peak Beard”, a new well-referenced aspect in human evolution and social media (as seen in Forbes, BBC, CNN, The Guardian + more). Her scientific human attraction expertise is further complemented by her background working as an artist & fashion model in the media industry, giving her deep insights into the creation & production of human attraction marketing content. Zinnia has appeared on Channel 7’s Daily Edition (Australia), RTE Radio and featured in print & digital media as a human attraction academic. She has presented her work at the Australasian Evolution Society conference in 2013. She brings a unique twist to the study of beauty combining science with real life perspectives, experiences and insights giving her powerful perceptive and in-depth knowledge into beauty and human attractiveness, as we know it today. She is currently undertaking a postgraduate research degree at the University of Oxford focusing on skin tone discrimination, skin lightening products, media advertising and women’s dis-empowerment in a South Asian Context.
Zinnia believes social responsibility is at the core of everything that she does was awarded a Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Zinnia believes in the importance of education and for the past 9 years she has been an avid humanitarian worker being a literacy tutor and motivational speaker for refugee and disadvantaged children. Zinnia was selected as an Australian Thai Youth Ambassador and spent a month in Thailand with disadvantaged children and victims of child sex trafficking whilst liaising with Thai diplomats.
Having suffered from social phobia, a lack of self-confidence and self-belief when she was younger. Zinnia now also aims to empower women through true inner beauty, positivity and body image with her motivational talks. A professional public speaker and Toastmaster for the past 4 years. Zinnia was recently invited as a keynote speaker to South Australia for a Cancer Council event to empower a group of women many of which were ex breast cancer survivors and was well received.