Senior geneticist, Biopsier, Photo-ID and Observer: Australian Antarctic Division
January 2015 – March 2015 (3 months) The Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters
New Zealand – Australia Antarctic Ecosystems voyage to undertake ecological studies of Ross Sea marine foodwebs of importance to top predators. The work was centred on the feeding areas of cetaceans (primarily blue whales and humpback whales), and in the Ross Sea slope area where there is highest fishing intensity for toothfish.
Whales were located using passive acoustics and visual observations with behavioural, photo-ID and genetic data obtained to assess population abundance, individual movement and population structure.
Field biologist: Blue Planet Marine
January 2014 – March 2014 (3 months) Enderby Island, Auckland Islands
Employed by Blue Planet Marine and NZ Department of Conservation to assist in the monitoring of NZ sea-lions on Enderby Island, Dundas Island and Figure of Eight Island in the Auckland Islands group. Responsibilities included tagging and micro-chipping pups and resighting tagged and chipped adults, sub-adults and juveniles. Attaching and retrieving radio trackers from Yellow-eyed penguins was also undertaken.
Whale population geneticist for Australian led court case against Japan for scientific whaling: Australian Marine Mammal Centre
April 2013 – July 2013 (4 months)
Large scale literature review of cetacean population genetic papers for the Australian-led court case against Japan on scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean sanctuary.
Geneticist, biopsier and photo ID expeditioner on Antarctic blue whale voyage: The Australian Marine Mammal Centre
January 2013 – March 2013 (3 months) The Southern Ocean south of eastern Australia and New Zealand
This voyage involved using acoustic methods to locate and track Antarctic blue whales in the Southern Ocean. My role on this voyage was in biopsying (collecting small skin samples for DNA analysis), managing and processing the skin samples for analysis and collecting identification photographs of the whales. A lot of the work was from small ridged-hulled inflatable vessels.
Humpback whale aerial survey observer: Murdoch University
August 2012 – October 2012 (3 months)The Great Barrier Reef
My role was as an observer in aerial surveys to look at the abundance of humpback whales along the Great Barrier Reef.
PhD student in humpback whale genetics: The Australian National University and Australian Antarctic Division
February 2008 – October 2012 (4 years 9 months) Hobart, Tasmania
My thesis is titled “Patterns of population genetic structure among Australian and South Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)”. The project involved biopsy field work along the east and west coast of Australia, parts of the South Pacific and in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica.
Observer and biopsier for Pygmy Blue whale acoustic trials off Victoria: Australian Marine Mammal Centre
January 2012 – February 2012 (2 months) Off Portland, Victoria
In preparation for the Antarctic blue whale voyage in 2013, this voyage tested the acoustic methods for locating blue whales, on pygmy blue whales. My role on the voyage was as observer and biopsier.
Photographer and data collector on humpback whale Antarctic Whale Expedition:The Australian Marine Mammal Centre
January 2010 – March 2010 (3 months) The Southern Ocean south of eastern Australia and New Zealand
This voyage focused on the non-lethal research of humpback whales in the Southern Ocean and was part of my PhD field work. My focus was on the mixing of humpback whale breeding populations in Australia and the South Pacific on their feeding grounds near Antarctica.
Documentary film maker and presenter – “Devils in Danger”: Storyteller Media
September 2005 – December 2006 (1 year 4 months) Tasmania, Australia
This documentary involved trudging around the Tasmanian wilderness and filming Devils in their natural habitat using camera traps and a number of handheld large and small cameras. This was primarily a documentary about the Devil Facial Tumour disease and the people that are going to great efforts to save the largest living marsupial carnivors. My role was both behind the small cameras and in front of the camera as the scientific investigator.
Presenter and Scientific Investigator on “Animal X” TV Series: Storyteller Media and Animal Planet (USA)
June 2004 – August 2005 (1 year 3 months) Worldwide
This 10 part documentary series for US Animal Planet and Discovery Channel involving travelling worldwide, looking at the feasibility of various animal mysteries such as Big Foot and El Chupacabra. My role was presenter and scientific investigator.
Scientist and presenter: Storyteller Media
February 2004 – April 2004 (3 months) Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
My role was as one of only two scientists to conduct a biological survey of a small island in the Mergui Archipelago and train Myanmar forestry officials. The survey was filmed as a documentary.
Project Manager: University of Western Australia
January 1998 – December 2001 (4 years) University of Western Australia, Perth WA
My role was as manager for three ongoing projects: the first involved training predator recognition and coping skills in medium-sized wallabies, the second looked at behavioural development in quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) raised in different environments and the third involved 3 months of field research on the copulatory behaviour of the quokka on Rottnest Island, Western Australia.