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Empowering people to save our reefs and oceans

Our Team 

Jennifer Loder, Director of Programs & Partnerships

Jenn Loder

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 Manager

Jodi Salmond

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 was 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 faced 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.

Rory Mulloy, Brisbane Project Coordinator

Rory learned to dive while on a citizen science project in Tobago, conducting reef surveys shortly after a significant bleaching event. Despite the bleaching, the beauty of the reef and the lure of the underwater world was enough to drive Rory towards a career in marine conservation.

Since coming to Australia in 2014 Rory has conducted numerous expeditions to the Neptune Islands in South Australia, helping documentary makers, photographers and researchers record and study great white sharks. During his time in Australia he has assisted in tagging and data collection projects for white shark monitoring, and shark repellent studies. In 2017 Rory completed a Masters in Protected Area Management from James Cook University, which included a research project into shark repellents and shark management technologies.

In his work as marine biologist and diver Rory has participated in several expeditions to South America, the Arctic, and Antarctica to record the marine environment, and promote marine conservation.

Rory is incredibly proud to have joined Reef Check Australia, and to be part of a team working towards the protection of our reefs and marine environments.

Claire Fryer, Communications Coordinator

Claire has a long history working in NGOs both in Australia and internationally. She specialises in communication and outreach, and promotes the importance of scientific understanding in order to bring about meaningful change.

Her ongoing work with the Animal Welfare Standards project at the University of Queensland has allowed her to develop a unique set of skills based around social science and communication. She is experienced in working with a variety of stakeholders and believes each individual has an important part to play in protecting our environment.

As a recreational diver with a strong desire to protect the reef and marine environments for future generations, Claire is excited to be a part of Reef Check Australia and their citizen science program.Claire has a long history working in NGOs both in Australia and internationally. She specialises in communication and outreach, and promotes the importance of scientific understanding in order to bring about meaningful change.

Her ongoing work with the Animal Welfare Standards project at the University of Queensland has allowed her to develop a unique set of skills based around social science and communication. She is experienced in working with a variety of stakeholders and believes each individual has an important part to play in protecting our environment. As a recreational diver with a strong desire to protect the reef and marine environments for future generations, Claire is excited to be a part of Reef Check Australia and their citizen science program. 

 

Our Professional Volunteers

Nathan Caromel, Project Officer SE QLD

Having grown up in New Caledonia, a small pacific island renowned for its lagoon and reefs, Nathan has always been passionate about the marine environment. He holds a bachelor of sciences with honours in biogeochemistry from Griffith University, and currently works as a Science Officer for the Department of Education. After graduating, he obtained his commercial diving licence and worked on a diverse range of marine science projects across Queensland, including shark migratory patterns, crustose coralline algae growth rate, corals trophodynamics, and sponge-microbe interactions.

Nathan joined Reef Check Australia in 2015. He has undertaken field activities, including SE QLD surveys, projects on Heron Island and reef habitat mapping in Moreton Bay and Great Sandy Strait. Nathan also helps to get the word out by participating in community engagement events across the region. Nathan enjoys sharing his passion with others and educating the community about the value of coral reefs and the crisis facing them. 

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. 

Gemma Francis, Project Officer Ningaloo

Gemma is a marine scientist with a focus on conservation and a passion for citizen science involvement. Hailing from a small coastal city in Western Australia, she learnt to dive and appreciate the ocean at a young age. She completed a degree in Marine Science from Murdoch University Western Australia in 2013. During this time she also became a team leader for a NGO, Reach Out Volunteers, leading expeditions in Koh Rong, Cambodia, making artificial reef pods, conducting community awareness and education programs on plastic pollution, beach clean ups and community assistance projects. 

Having a history with NGOs both in Australia and internationally, she has gained a range of experiences in outreach, community involvement and scientific methodologies. 

She currently resides in Exmouth and works within the Whale Shark Industry. She is a committee member of the Cape Conservationist Group, Exmouth and is working with Reef Check to help strengthen and widen the Ningaloo network. She is incredibly proud to be apart of the Reef Check Australia team, and is eager to see citizen science development within the Ningaloo region. 

 

Tania Kenyon, Reef Ambassador Officer (Moreton Bay)

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.

Monica Silva Astorga, Communication Officer 

Monica always felt the need to cross The Andes Mountain range, and go out into the world to get to know other cultures. This affinity for travelling, led her to study journalism to follow her travel urge. She wasn't wrong, as when she finished university she studied in Barcelona, then continued her adventure in Italy.

On her return to Chile, she worked in corporate communications, where for 15 years, she worked with foreign companies as a communication consultant oversaw teams developing communication strategies, always empowering others.

But she knew that something was missing. After seeing a documentary called Before the Flood, Monica felt inspired to rethink climate change, realising that she needed to work and communicate to raise awareness for climate change.

So, when life gave her another opportunity to expand her vision of the world moving to Australia, one of the reasons to choose Queensland was to live near The Great Barrier Reef to dive. The first time she went there, she realised she needs to do something to help the reef health to survive. Finding Reef Check was a unique opportunity to immerse herself in the world of corals and make a difference. 

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.

Megan Welch, Science Engagement Officer

Megan is a marine biologist with a focus on climate change and a passion for community engagement. After completing her BSc (Hons) at Duke University, Megan moved to across the globe to focus her postgraduate research on the Great Barrier Reef. She holds a Ph.D. in fish behaviour and climate change from James Cook University, where her research demonstrated prolonged behavioural changes after cross-generational exposure to ocean acidification. After 3 years of salty and sunny field work on the GBR, Megan is excited to spark new and great love for the marine environment by communicating scientific data and methods for reef sustainability with her surrounding community. Megan joined the RCA team in 2016, where she assists with reports, website streamlining and community engagement. When not buried in data, Megan can be found in or on the water diving, swimming, surfing or paddle boarding and enjoys documenting the world through her camera lens.

 

 

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