Evidence-based, purpose-led consulting solutions for Western Australia
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It is amazing the breadth that marine science covers. People think it’s all about talking to dolphins and spending your life on a boat. I also thought that until I started uni, but I quickly discovered there’s a lot more to it!
I come from a background of working with fish and marine reptiles. At the moment I’m working on offshore wind projects, offshore oil and gas environmental approvals, and closer to home we’ve got a long-term little penguin field study, so there is a lot of variety in my day-to-day work.
I was on holiday up in Shark Bay in Western Australia (the most westerly point of mainland Australia) and met some people who were amazingly passionate about marine education. It was seeing how they helped people to care about the environment through education - that's what made me want to do it.
Often there is little understanding of marine life in a particular place, so when offshore wind developers want to start a project, our team will survey the marine environment to understand what species are living there or are passing through, what the water quality is like, what benthic habitats are there.
Sometimes there will be previous studies to draw on, other times we’ll be going into largely unknown territory, and we’ll need to undertake long-term, extensive ecological studies to get a full picture of the environment. Then we can assess what will be affected and devise plans to reduce the impacts.
For example, some of our team members were just over in Victoria doing a survey for pelagic fish - fish that live in the middle of the water column, like tuna and kingfish. The study gives us information about what types of fish are living in a specific zone – we study their habitat, how they interact with the area. This allows us to work with a developer to manage their project design so there’s as little impact from the project to the environment as possible.
I wanted to be a journalist. But I was put off by one of my English teachers!
My first job was working in marine science education and marine reptile rehabilitation.
I like the variety of projects that I have the opportunity to work on, and my fantastic team.
If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it can be infectious. I enjoy getting emails from construction teams telling me about the marine life they’re seeing. It’s great to support others to appreciate and care about the environment in which we live and work.
Senior Marine Scientist
It’s interesting to work in an emerging industry like offshore wind and to be part of the conversation about bringing renewable resources to Australia.
If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it can be infectious. I enjoy getting emails from construction teams, telling me about the marine life they’re seeing. It’s great to support others to appreciate and care about the environment in which we live and work.
I’m fortunate to be working with little penguins on some of the islands south of Perth, monitoring them and their habitat. Some amazing researchers have dedicated their lives to little penguins. It’s been fantastic to learn from them.
Then there’s seagrass surveys. Understanding trends in the seagrass growth is important as it will allow for informed decisions on the environmental management of the area.
I’ve had curious sea snakes wrap around me while diving, been attacked by territorial clownfish (funny) and triggerfish (not so funny) and watched a vessel be scuttled to become a wreck dive site – we followed it down in the water and got to explore as soon it was on the sea floor.