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ACT, then QLD, then back to ACT
James Cook University
Bachelor of Science with Honours (Major in Marine Biology)
I completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours (majoring in Marine Biology) at JCU. At the end of my degree I was offered a position as a Research Assistant in the School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture at JCU. In this role, I assisted on several research projects investigating processing underpinning the resilience of coral reef ecosystems, which also meant I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time at Orpheus and Lizard Islands. While in this role, I was also a tutor for several undergraduate subjects including Marine Ecology and Environmental Assessment, Marine Invertebrate Biology and Fisheries Science.
At the end of my contract, I undertook an Honours project where I investigated the degree of spatial variability in herbivory by fishes on the Great Barrier Reef. During my Honours, I also worked on weekends as a Dive Master and Marine Biologist onboard a Dive Boat on the GBR, and as a safety diver for Careflight's Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Facility. At the end of my Honours, I moved back to Canberra to take up the position in the graduate program.
My first rotation was in the Marine and Biodiversity Division in the Cetacean Policy and Recovery Section. During this rotation, my primary task was to assist in the development and implementation of the Government's election commitment to establish a national network of whale and dolphin sanctuaries. I also prepared briefings for the International Whaling Commission meetings, completed a report for the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and responded to ministerial correspondence.
I negotiated my second rotation in the Ports and Marine Section of the Approvals and Wildlife Division. In this role, my primary task was to assess and regulate industry activities (mainly oil and gas exploration) under the EPBC and Sea Dumping Act. I also assisted in the development of the revised National Ocean Disposal Guidelines for Dredged Material, which included managing a public comment period, organising a workshop for stakeholders and formulating a process to finalise the guidelines.
My third rotation brought me back to the Marine Division and I am currently working in the Marine Protected Areas Transition and Tropical Operations section. My main role here is to undertake a research project for the north team to develop a more strategic approach for future research and monitoring plans and management at Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve. I am also responsible for commissioning a study on ginger ants to gain a greater understanding of their impacts on marine birds and turtles at Ashmore Reserve.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'