For a nature lover such as Kate Berry, growing up in Moreton Bay was almost like living in a giant playground.
Kate, who is researching marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands with USC, says her love of animals came from growing up on a five-acre property in Cashmere.
“My family has always been very animal orientated,” Kate says. “We had a multitude of different pets growing up and there were always a plethora of different animals coming onto our property.
“I think being surrounded by nature and animals in such sheer numbers makes you love it just that much more.”
After completing a Bachelor of Animal Ecology at USC in 2018, Kate started an honours degree research project focusing marine iguanas.
As part of the project, the wildlife photographer has travelled to the Galapagos Islands, where she scrambles across rocks to catch the lizards to compare different ways the reptiles move.
When she’s not studying the world around us, Kate works as a photographer at the world-famous Australia Zoo in Beerwah.
“It’s the perfect job for me because I get to help inspire passion towards the natural world with my camera, turn fears into fascination and contribute to conservation,” Kate said.
“As a photographer at Australia Zoo, I get to take our patrons on close-up animal encounters, which Steve Irwin believed helped people to fall in love with a species and prompt them to join him on his journey to save them.”
For Kate, working in the same region she grew up was important to her.
“It’s nice to stay connected to the community where I grew up, with opportunities to contribute back in different ways,” Kate says.
“For me, I try to give back with conservation work and photography to showcase all the natural wonders and help people appreciate the region a little bit more.
“I feel like I have a good connection with the local environment in Moreton Bay. And that’s a nice feeling to have.”