Marie grew up in Williamstown, a sea side community of Melbourne. Here is where she discovered a fascination for the ocean environment and a willingness to explore and study everything marine related. On completion of high school, Marie was chosen to participate in a graduate program at Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre Victoria. Wanting to further her education and field experience Marie completed a Science degree at the University of Queensland, specialising in Protected Area Management and Marine Biology.
On completion of her degree, Marie worked as a Ranger on Fraser Island, Kenilworth State Forest and Binna Burra National Park doing field research and participating in community engagement activities.
Marie went to Lady Elliot Island to manage the Marine Education Center where she facilitated the education and research projects and the interpretation resources of the islands ecology, corals, fish species, turtles, manta rays, whales and sea birds. Marie lived on Lady Elliot Island for 3 years and during this time studied with Dr Col Limpus researching Green and Loggerhead turtles and worked with researchers from the University of Queensland for Manta Ray project. Marie worked with marine biology students from the University of New South Wales and many international university students.
In 2002, Marie was presented an amazing opportunity to work in Japan where she travelled the country teaching in high schools and universities on topics related to the Great Barrier Reef, Australian rainforest ecologies and marine protected area management. This adventure allowed extensive travel from the tip of Japan in Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands in the south – fantastic diving!
On returning to Australia, Marie worked at Lizard Island. Here she participated in research projects at the Cod hole, ribbon reefs and surrounding fringing reef systems. Working with a team of biologists, Marie provided data on sea temperature, coral bleaching, species distribution, habitat ecology and island ecology. During this time Marie had the privilege of working with Al Gore assisting his research on the documentary “The Inconvenient Truth”.
Marie’s next adventure was moving to Cairns to work for Reef Magic Cruises as the marine biologist and worked on the Reef Magic Vessel travelling to Norman Reef, Saxon Reef, Hastings Reef, Michaelmas Reef, Flynn Reef, Thetford Reef, Milln Reef and Moore Reef. This position provided adventure and the diversity in interpreting the reef ecology through survey data, education programs and in water activities. Over a number of years, Reef Magic Cruises had evolved to incorporate a pontoon at Moore Reef. During this time, Marie worked with a team of biologists to survey Moore Reef and relocate coral and evaluate coral health during the building stages of the pontoon.
In 2008 Marie started work in the local government sector of Cairns Water as the Education Project Officer for the Strategic Programs Division. In this role, Marie facilitated education field trips, research data, materials and education resources for Cairns Water. The main focus of this position was to foster sustainable behavioural change within the Cairns region. Marie worked with Dr Hilary Whitehouse during this time and completed a Masters of Education for Sustainability at James Cook University. This was a very rewarding role which allowed her to work with stakeholders from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Wet Tropics Management Authority, International Stakeholder groups, AusAid Australia, Indigenous partners, the Torres Strait Council, James Cook University, Tropical North Qld TAFE, local educators and leading environmental groups.
On completion of her Masters, Marie has now taken on the new and exciting position of Reef Community Education Coordinator at Reef Magic Cruises. This role will focus on connecting students to local reef systems in a series of ongoing field research and education programs specialising in place based learning pathways.
Contact Marie firstname.lastname@example.org