Our students

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Our students


Susan Anstey

I graduated as a vet from the University of Queensland and have worked as a veterinarian in mixed-animal practice in some beautiful rural locations in Australia. The Sunshine Coast is now home and I live there with my family on a farm in the Obi Obi valley. I love everything about our Sunny Coast lifestyle. In 2018, my research at USC is just starting but I am looking forward to my time here. The team I work with are awesome.

Kate Berry

I am passionate about photography, conservation and research, and broadening my horizons through adventure and travel. I am determined to promote conservation by capturing the beauty and mystery of the natural world through my camera lens and research.

I have been lucky enough to receive an early career grant from National Geographic Society, which I plan to use to undertake my honours research project in the Galapagos Islands in December 2018 to investigate marine iguana performance and the evolutionary transition to water in reptiles.

I am now working at Australia Zoo as a photographer, where I get to inspire passion towards the natural world, turn fears into fascination and contribute to the zoo's conservation missions.

Ellen Bingham

I grew up around Noosa and enjoy all aspects of exploring nature, including hiking, swimming, observing wildlife, and assisting in rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured native species. I have recently completed a dual Bachelor of Science/Business, majoring in Animal Ecology and International Business, and an honours project where I investigated the influence of invasive species in coastal food webs. My super power is to swiftly traverse through densely vegetated dunes during challenging field surveys.

Makeely Blandford

I recently completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and an Honours in Environmental Microbiology. In February 2018 I started my PhD, researching the molecular biology of a gill disease in fish. When I am not catching mullets or working in the microbiology laboratory, I enjoy music and being outdoors.

Sankhya Bommana

I am an early career microbiologist, with a special interest in Chlamydia pathogenesis, infection dynamics, vaccine immunology, and molecular serology. While most of my research has dealt with intracellular bacteria, Chlamydia, I’ve worked in clinical settings on projects related to HIV and Chikungunya virus pathogenesis and epidemiology during my pre-doctoral studies. I am also an active advocate for a range of issues such as women’s health and equity.

Hayden Borland

I come from Yamba, a small town in northern New South Wales and have a keen interest in rugby league, cricket and soccer, and playing the guitar. Growing up in a coastal community, where the ocean and estuaries are heavily fished, has given me a desire to make a tangible contribution to conservation and environmental management aimed at having healthy populations of fish for all to enjoy into the future.

Cassandra Duncan

I recently completed my Bachelor in Animal Ecology and have received the Dean’s Medal for academic excellence. I come from Hervey Bay and have a close connection with the ocean, a passion for wildlife, and a keen interest in marine ecology. I love fieldwork, making underwater videos, and pride myself to be an innovative problem solver in the field and in the lab.

Nicole Galea

I love nature and all the creatures that live in wild places. My hobbies include gardening, keeping bees (apiarist), and drawing animals, which I sell the prints to raise money for animal protection, welfare, and research. My research is directed towards domestic cat management through education, cat owner involvement, and reducing the impacts on native wildlife species, by investgating biomechanical changes to hunting and movement behaviours with the use of a prey protector device.

Bob Gorissen

I play in several sports teams, including field hockey and basketball. I also love wildlife photography and enjoy the Coast’s fantastic beaches, and fishing in the Coral Sea and its abutting estuaries.

Felicity Hardcastle

I am a recent Bachelor of Animal Ecology graduate with a minor in marine and coastal conservation. I love fish, marine conservation and being out in our beautiful coastal systems. I am excited to properly start my research journey.

Abby Hine

I’m one of the newest members of USC’s ecology team. I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and I’m grateful that for the past three years I’ve had the opportunity to undertake research on our amazing coasts and species that surrounded me while growing up – the environment that inspired a great love for nature to begin with. I enjoy being in the field observing real ecological interactions but also enjoy reading published research because every article or book gives me with the opportunity to learn something fascinating.

Md.Mominul Islam

I am a PhD student at USC. I love working hard and thinking outside the box. My passion and enthusiasm for science has fuelled my academic and research career.

Olivia Kimber

I’m a keen hiker and love exploring remote and pristine areas. On one flooded, earthquake ridden, and stormy expedition to the South Island of New Zealand my attention was drawn to the unique animals thriving in such remote areas. Finding that these ‘untouched’ areas also harbour introduced predators that threaten the existence of such species led me to study the complex relationships between introduced predators and their environment. I’ve since completed a Bachelor in Animal Ecology and I am currently completing my honours project. I plan to continue with introduced predator research into the future.

Kirralee Mallett

Growing up in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt, coastal sojourns were a rare treat. Moving to the Sunshine Coast has changed all that and has made me a budding marine scientist. I enjoy listening to music, travelling, and can be found walking along the beach.

Catherine Miller

I have recently completed the Bachelor of Environmental Science, with minors in Animal Ecology, Restoration and Conservation, and Geospatial Analysis. When I have time to spare, I enjoy environmental volunteering. In the past year, I have participated in caring for a local forest, feral coastal fox monitoring, and rubbish surveys of the Maroochy River. I particularly enjoy projects concerning the health of the waterways and oceans for the well-being of marine life.

Jesse Mosman

I am 22 years old and come from Glen Innes in NSW. May passion is the conservation of coastal ecosystems and I want to make a real contribution to better environmental protection.

Nicholas L Ortodossi

I am an outdoor enthusiast and adrenaline junkie. I love extreme sports, such as surfing and snowboarding. Being out on the ocean and trekking through the bush is where I’m most content. Surprisingly, I snow-ski backwards very well. My research super power is an ability to “get the work done”.

Sara Perrott

I am passionate about the ocean, spending my spare time snorkelling and scuba-diving. Since going for an evening snorkel while travelling overseas years ago, I have become awe struck at the beauty of manta rays. I am now very luck to research these amazing creatures. My long-term goal is to be involved in manta ray research, coral reef restoration, and crown-of-thorns starfish monitoring.

Alyce Taylor-Brown

I completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2011, which fostered my interest in microbiology. I then went on to study honours, where I investigated koala immunological responses to chlamydial infection and disease, developing novel assays to characterise these responses. I then embarked on my PhD, investigating chlamydial biology, pathogenesis and evolution at the genomic level in novel, uncultivated chlamydial species from animals such as snakes and fish. In my spare time I enjoy preparing, eating and discussing food, and working it off in the gym, if I’m not at the beach.

Sarah Thackwray

I have a great passion for wildlife and conservation. From a young age I have been drawn to the ocean and its inhabitants, snorkelling before I could swim and exploring this ‘new world’. Throughout the years I have been fortunate enough to snorkel and dive in a range of ecosystems, encountering an array of species. This has fuelled my desire to study marine organisms.

Isaac Witten

I come from Barraba, a small country town in NSW. I enjoy playing golf, photography, the beach and ocean, SCUBA and free diving, and generally all things outdoors and underwater. If I could wish for a research super power it would be to have the ability to speak to animals.

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