In addition to the highly valued volunteer divers collecting and contributing their grey nurse shark photos and visual counts, GNSW also requires help ‘behind the scenes’ to process photos for identification, developing annual reports, education, social media and website materials, funding applications and fundraising initiatives. 


Niamh McSweeney

Niamh is a marine biologist from Ireland who has a great interest in nature and conservation. She is currently on a working holiday in Australia where she hopes to encounter new and amazing experiences. So far Australia has exceeded her expectations!

From grape picking in WA to dairy farming in New South Wales to scuba diving with grey nurse sharks and photo id-ing them in QLD, she feels it has been an awesome adventure so far. Getting the chance to volunteer for GNSW she thinks it is an exciting opportunity for her to expand her knowledge and skills. She is delighted that she gets to help conserve a species that she thinks is beautiful and very important for the ecosystem of the East Coast of Australia.  


Michaela Rathbone

Michaela is a second year undergraduate at the University of Queensland, majoring in marine biology and zoology. Having worked in the diving industry for several years, she has been lucky enough to experience many amazing encounters with Australia’s grey nurse sharks. She is interested in animal behaviour and conservation, but has always had a love for pelagic sharks. Michaela hopes to progress into shark conservation and behaviour research on completing her undergraduate degree and make a career out of her passion for marine life. 


Morgan Rubanow

Morgan is originally from Long Island, New York and has recently completed her Masters in Conservation Science degree at the University of Queensland. Although she is from the States, she considers Australia as her 'second home' and has a special place in her heart for the Great Barrier Reef and sharks. Volunteering for Grey Nurse Shark Watch has provided her with an opportunity to combine her love for sharks with the skills she has learned from her Masters to make a difference for Australia's marine environment. She is particularly keen to use her skills in photographic identification to help reveal information about Grey Nurse Shark ecology and to use her enthusiasm to promote Grey Nurse Shark education. She hopes that organisations like Grey Nurse Shark Watch can change the fear that people have towards sharks to excitement and fascination that will lead to further protection for this species.