This project is coordinated by Dr Carley Bansemer, with the database hosted by Reef Check Australia.
Dr Carley Bansemer is the research coordinator for the program and has been involved in GNS research and management since 2000. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2009 under Professor Mike Bennett on the "Population biology, distribution, movement patterns and conservation requirements of the Grey Nurse Shark". Working for the Queensland Government (focusing mostly on marine park management) since 1998 she is dedicated to forging stronger links between research and conservation management.
Dr Bansemer and Professor Bennett have published several peer reviewed scientific papers and reports on the east coast GNS population that led to the acceptance of photo-identification as a robust and effective method to monitor the GNS population status and trends. Carley is passionate about research and monitoring relevant to GNS management being continued through a publicly available, independent community based photo-identification program that is scientifically robust and cost efficient.
Photos taken by Carley and provided to her by the diving community led to a photographic catalogue of nearly 1000 individually identified GNS that forms the base library for the GNSW program to build upon. Dr Bansemer and Professor Bennett are also supervising PhD candidate Deborah Bowden who they hope will lead them closer to identifying where the ‘missing' 50 % of mature females (that do not reside at Wolf Rock during most of their pregnancy) congregate. This challenging quest is the other core research focus of the GNSRCEP known as ‘Missing in Action'.