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Melissa Bos, Chief Executive Officer
Melissa Bos is a global leader and pioneer in marine conservation finance. With 15 years experience in coral reef science, management, and finance across Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and the Caribbean, Melissa brings a grounded yet innovative perspective on the future of coral reef conservation. Melissa has worked across the sectors including academia, non-profits, governments, and private firms.
Melissa built, funded, and directed the $10 million Hawaii Fish Trust for Conservation International, which united traditional fishing communities with governments and other interests for common goals. She was also the Director of the Global Marine Partnership Fund for CI where she worked on sustainable funding and the development of new seascapes. Melissa's first exposures to Reef Check were teaching survey methods in both Hawaii and Fiji, and she believes in the power of citizen science.
Melissa has a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Marine Science from the University of Miami, a Masters of Science in Oceanography (Coral Reef Biogeochemistry) from the University of Hawaii, and she is nearing the completion of a PhD in Marine Conservation Finance from James Cook University. Melissa's full biography can be viewed at www.marineconservationfinance.com.
Jennifer Loder, General Manager
Jenn has been working on environmental science, community engagement and science communication for more than a decade. Her professional experience encompasses training volunteers to talk about everything from armadillos to zebras at the Smithsonian's National Zoo; launching science communication strategies for the Miami Museum of Science; investigating effective approaches to conservation behaviour change for local marine issues in South Florida and developing and implementing marine citizen science programs in Australia. Jenn holds a Graduate Diploma in Marine Biology from James Cook University and a Masters of Science in Environmental Science from Florida International University.
Inspired by her first Indo-Pacific experience in Palau, Jenn moved to Australia to pursue a career that unites science and education to protect our oceans and has been involved with Reef Check Australia since 2008. She has successfully implemented the RCA subtropical rocky reef monitoring program in South East Queensland; seen the expansion of monitoring coverage to more than 40 new reef sites; managed of more than $800,000 of project funds; developed citizen science training and data resources; expanded new partnership networks; and orchestrated the development of the REEFSearch concept to expand public participation opportunities.
Jodi Salmond, Community Engagement Officer
Jodi is a marine biologist, completing her degree, with honours in Marine Parasitology, at James Cook University in Townsville. She started diving and helping with reef surveys on the Great Barrier Reef, before following her passion to a variety of new and exciting places. She spent three years at Underwater World on the Sunshine Coast in between two nesting seasons tagging turtles on Lady Musgrave Island, before moving to Christmas Island where she studied a myriad of amazing animals, and returned to reef surveys once more. She has recently returned from completing her DM whilst in Tofo, Mozambique, studying whale sharks and turtles, and helping with a new reef check program for the Mozambican coastline as part of a research team for All Out Africa.
Jodi started with Reef Check Australia as a volunteer Project Officer in 2010 and came aboard as staff in 2012 through a coveted placement with the Vodafone World of Difference program. Since that time, Jodi has been instrumental in developing and delivering school education programs, expanding community outreach efforts, training volunteers and coordinating reef survey projects.
Gemma Molinaro, GBR Project Coordinator
Originally from the South East Queensland, Gemma had a lifelong fascination with the ocean and learnt to dive at 16. After embarking on travels after school working as a photographer, she became a Dive master in Egypt and later an Instructor in the Dominican Republic. Combining dive instructing with underwater photography Gemma not only experienced living in other cultures but also fortunate enough to thoroughly explore different reef systems. Spending much time on and under the water Gemma saw first hand some of the threats face by marine organisms and coral reefs.
With desire to learn more and start a career in marine science and conservation she returned to Australia where she is currently studying Marine Biology at James Cook University. Gaining valuable experience Gemma has volunteered as a scientific diver with different research projects, participating in reef monitoring and in marine education. Joining the Reef Check team in 2015 Gemma hopes to help monitor and protect the Great Barrier Reef using citizen science, education and marine conservation.
Rebekka Pentti, SEQ Project Coordinator
Rebekka Pentti is currently completing her Bachelor of Marine Science at Griffith University, majoring in Ecology. Originally from Finland, Rebekka is a traveller with a strong passion for the ocean. She has lived in Dubai and Thailand, working as a scuba diving instructor. As a dive professional, Rebekka found that sharing her enthusiasm and love for the ocean was extremely rewarding, especially when introducing people to the fascinating underwater world for the first time. Having lived and worked in some of the world's fastest growing infrastructure hubs, Rebekka has witnessed how human impacts, in particular coastal development and dredging, can upset the health of the marine ecosystems and habitats. Rebekka has since been an active advocate for the conservation of the marine systems, volunteering for various projects and organisations and gaining valuable experience while contributing to important causes.
In 2014, Rebekka moved to Australia in order to further pursue her dream of studying marine science, surrounded by some of the richest and diverse marine systems in the world. Joining the Reef Check Australia team in 2015, Rebekka strives to contribute to the valuable research and monitoring of reefs in South East Queensland, while continuing to pursue her passion for marine conservation, citizen science and education.
Our Professional Volunteers
David Glover, Dive Officer
David has been training Reef Check volunteers since 2007 and worked with RCA founder, Jos Hill and SEQ Survey Coordinator, Kris Boody to help establish the Reef Check program in South East Queensland. He has worked at the University of the Sunshine Coast for 9 years. As the Techinical Officer and Dive Officer for the University, David is responsible for supporting the delivery of the Faculty's academic programs and research initiatives, providing technical services and support in teaching laboratories and boating/diving fieldwork and supervising all diving operations within USC as Diving Officer. David is also currently enrolled in a marine-based PhD titled: "Biophysical change in freshwater streams and climate change". His diverse experience in marine surveys, coral recruitment studies of natural and artificial reefs allow him to provide excellent guidance on safe and scientifically valid procedures for Reef Check.
Jody Kreuger, Dive Officer
Jody is a PADI, DAN & SSI Dive Instructor with Commercial Scientific Diving experience. He holds a degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from the Queensland University of Technology, and presently works as a Boating and Diving Officer in Brisbane. Jody's work experience has included a wide range of marine research and conservation activities including whale, dolphin, dugong & shark monitoring projects in Qld and NT, reef fish surveys on the GBR, coral and seagrass monitoring projects within the GBR and sea water and marine sediment monitoring in the Arabian Gulf.
Jody spent over a decade supervising diving & boating activities and was the diving officer for the School of Marine Biology whilst employed at James Cook University, Townsville. It was here the Jody first became involved in ReefCheck Australia as a volunteer diver, carrying out surveys along the GBR. Jody moved to Brisbane in 2010 and became involved in the training of Scientific Divers at the University of Queensland and continued his involvement with RCA, carrying out surveys within the SEQ region. Jody is passionate about marine conservation and has a particular interest in coastal development and its impact on marine ecosystems.
Tania Kenyon, Reef Check Ambassador Coordinator
Tania is a keen lover of all things marine (especially sharks!) After completing a Science degree with Honours at UQ, Tania spent 18 months travelling and volunteering in Central and South America. Here, she visited the Galapagos Islands and fell even more in love with the ocean (and Galapagos sea lions in particular!) Seeing conservation issues such as shark finning and illegal fishing present even in one of the world's most pristine National Parks, her commitment to marine conservation strengthened. After returning from travel, Tania worked as an Environmental Consultant and now plans on commencing a PhD next year. When not volunteering for Reef Check or making ends meet, she can usually be found diving or rock climbing.
Santiago in an oceanographer who graduated from Baja California State University. His thesis research focused on the diet of the blue whale in waters of the Gulf of California, Mexico. He co-founded Research and Conservation of Marine Mammals of Ensenada - ICMME, a non-for-profit organization that contributes to its conservation efforts through research, public awareness and education. He then returned to his home country Ecuador to work as a divemaster and cruise director in the Galapagos Islands.
After attaining an MBA and four years experience of project management and coordination regarding water resources and social development projects in Peru, Santiago decided to pursue his passion and moved to Australia in order to become engaged with marine resources management and conservation, with a special interest in marine debris. Just a few weeks after arriving in Brisbane, he joined the Reef Check Australia team as a volunteer.
Alena Pribyl, Science Communication Officer
Alena is a fisheries biologist who has worked in the U.S. Pacific Northwest for over ten years. She also spent over three years working in science communication and marine policy. Her specialty is stress physiology and investigating how fish respond to physical and environmental stressors. She holds a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University, where her doctoral research helped show that overfished species of Pacific rockfish can recover from pressure-related injuries called barotrauma if recompressed. For several years, she conducted outreach efforts to inform anglers, policymakers and fishery managers of the benefits of recompression, including producing a video on the topic. This experience led Alena to pursue further opportunities to work in science communication to promote science-informed decision making. She worked at the California Legislature as a Science Policy Fellow and later at a boundary organization called the California Ocean Science Trust.
Recently, she and her husband decided to take some time off and explore the marine environment they both love. They fixed up an old sailboat and sailed across the Pacific Ocean, exploring and snorkeling remote islands and coral atolls. Eventually they landed in Brisbane, Australia. Alena joined Reef Check to assist with communication and outreach projects.
Adriana Robayo, Assistant Engagement Officer
Adriana is a Marine Biologist, who graduated from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia, where her thesis was in nurse shark behavior in captivity. After finishing her studies, she moved her focus to environmental projects with community engagement applications. For two years, she worked on an environmental education project to protect coastal wetlands working with an Indigenous community in La Guajira, Colombia.
In 2011, Adriana moved to Australia and complete her Masters in Environment with specialization in water resources at Griffith University and is currently undertratking a Graduate Certificate Diploma in Management through Central Queensland University. She is volunteering with Reef Check Australia weekly to assist with the REEFSearch program and other community outreach activities.
Michelle Triana, Graphic Designer
Michelle Triana is a "design-a-holic" who lives and breathes design. Her role is to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings into digital expressions- no easy task! She started her career in Colombia in 2004 when she started helping local music bands promote themselves both locally and abroad. In 2007 Michelle moved to Australia to follow her dream of becoming a designer and currently works as a volunteer for Reef Check Australia assisting in the area of design. Michelle is also actively engaged with a variety of different businesses helping them improve their design processes and online presence while completing her degree in design.
Our Company Consultants
Jodi Davison, Company Treasurer
Jodi joined as Reef Check Australia's accountant in 2009 and takes care of all the everyday accounting and financial management. In 2010 Jodi agreed to join the Board as Company Treasurer further fulfilling Reef Check Australia's financial and accounting needs. She has a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Economics and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.
Krystal Stubbs, Company Secretary
Krystal joined Reef Check Australia as Company Secretary in September 2008 and now acts as one of the Company's named representatives on legal documents as well as maintaining the company records. She also practises as a lawyer at Ross Lawyers in Townsville. Her specialities include general commercial law, company law, property law and wills and estates. This means she can ensure that Reef Check Australia complies with relevant legislation and regulations, as well as keeping the board members informed of their legal responsibilities.
Krystal has always had a keen interest in environmental conservation and chose environmental law and environmental studies while completing a Bachelor of Laws degree at James Cook University (Australia). Becoming a PADI certified open water diver in 2008, Krystal hopes to further her scuba diving skills by getting more dives under her belt and completing the PADI Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver courses before joining the Reef Check Australia training course so that she can become more actively involved in helping monitor the reef.