Cathy’s PhD research determined prey species abundance and availability within northwest Bass Strait, using an iconic top predator- the little penguin. Cathy’s research is helping to inform ecosystem models of the area, providing for better ecosystem management and conservation. Cathy now works as the Operations Manager for Remember the Wild an Australian nature-connection charity.
Dr Sonia Sanchez
Sonia’s PhD research focused on finding the feeding hotspots of an iconic endemic Australian top-predator, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor) in the Bass Strait. Sonia now works as the Beach-nesting Birds Project Officer for BirdLife Australia and continues to teach at Monash.
Dr Franciscus Scheelings
Fran’s PhD research investigated the microbiome of sea turtles and examined how the microbial community influences the fitness of its host. Fran is now looking for full-time work and working casually as a veterinarian, wildlife photographer and as the owner of Wildvet Photography
Dr Sean Williamson
Sean studied the ecophysiology of embryonic development in crocodiles and turtles for his PhD. Afterwards he worked in Costa Rica and Mexico for Upwell, a Californian conservation NGO. He has recently returned to us here at Monash to work as a postdoc on the shark and recreational fishers project.
Dr Leo Guida
After finishing his studies, Leo continued 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. Leo finished with Wild Melbourne in 2018 to take a role as a Senior Shark Campaigner for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
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 FrickMarine Biologist
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 then went back to Switzerland working as the curator at the Basel Zoo, developing an oceanarium. Now Lorenz is working as a Marine Biologist in the ecotourism industry in South-East Asia.
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.