Leo’s PhD thesis investigated the effects commercial fisheries capture has on the survival, behaviour and reproduction of bycaught sharks and rays. Since finishing his studies, Leo is continuing to build Wild Melbourne, a non-profit he co-founded in 2013, inspiring people to reconnect with nature and enhance conservation efforts by providing educational and promotional services to the broader community.
Dr Derek Dapp
Derek’s PhD thesis investigated the operational, environmental, and biological causes of bycatch mortality in a wide range of shark species. Since completing his studies he moved back to the United States and is working for the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife as a quantitative fisheries biologist. His primary duties are to develop population and fishery models for Chinook salmon.
Dr Lynette Plenderleith
Lynette studied the ecology of native Australian frogs for her Ph.D. She is now a researcher for the ABC and spends her spare time in science communication.
Dr Nicole Kowalczyk
Nicole’s research focused on the foraging and reproductive ecology of the iconic St Kilda little penguin colony. Dietary and GPS tracking analyses were used to track where penguins forage, what they consume and how this translated to their breeding performance. This research was important to identifying key foraging locations and key prey species within Port Phillip Bay. Currently, Nicole works at the Port Phillip EcoCentre and manages a Litter and microplastic awareness and prevention campaign. She monitors litter hotspots around Melbourne’s waterways and works with various partners to prevent litter from entering Port Phillip Bay.
Dr Brian Kearney
Brian investigated the effects of secondary salinisation on species richness, survival and stress of native frog species Since completing his thesis and graduating, Brian has been dividing his time between teaching undergraduate students, publishing his remaining thesis chapters and smaller research projects.
Dr Diego AmorochoWWF Species Programme Manager
Diego studied the foraging ecology and genetics of sea turtles at Isla Gorgona, Colombia. He completed his PhD in 2009 and won the Mollie Holman award for the best thesis in the Science Faculty that year. Diego is now at WWF and is the Species Programme Manager for Latin America and Caribbean, as well as Executive Director of the Research Center for Environmental Management and Development in Colombia.
Dr Lorenz FrickBasel Zoo Curator
Lorenz investigated the stress of fisheries capture and native sharks. He developed the protocols for simulating gillnet, longline and trawl capture in the lab and discovered the major physiological effects of capture and recovery. Lorenz is now back in Switzerland working as the curator at the Basel Zoo, developing an oceanarium.
Dr Tiana PrestonWaterwatch Coordinator
Tiana spent her PhD studying the foraging and reproductive ecology of little penguins at the colony at St Kilda in Melbourne. She investigated their foraging strategies using satellite and fine-scale GPS technology. Tiana now works for Melbourne Water as a Waterwatch Coordinator to manage citizen science programs to monitor water quality in the Yarra River catchment and conserve platypus throughout Melbourne.
Dr Christopher JohnstoneAssociate lecturer
Chris investigated the role of habitat fragmentation as a cause of stress of the native marsupial antechinus in the Strzlecki Ranges in eastern Victoria. He now works at Monash University as an associate lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, teaching undergraduate students.
Dr Anthony Rafferty
After completing his PhD on turtle reproduction and development, Anthony worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in newborn health research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, specialising in natal cardiovascular health. He is now studying Medicine at Sheffield University in the UK.