Our Staff

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Carmen Bishop 

Director 

Carmen began her journey with the Marine Discovery Centre in May 2019, initially serving as the Partnerships and Marketing Manager and then as Director. A seasoned marketing professional, Carmen brings 25 years of experience in educational and non-profit sectors, delivering strategic and impactful results. She has a strong background in organising community engagement events, driven by a lifelong passion for environmental education. This passion was sparked during her teenage years when her family acquired a coastal recycling centre, where she gained hands-on experience in environmental stewardship. Carmen is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to understand and mitigate their environmental impact.

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Georgie Kenning 

Marine Scientist 

Georgie grew up in the Adelaide Hills and has always had an interest in the natural world. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at the University of Adelaide before progressing with an honours project focussing on juvenile fish populations around South Australia. Georgie began volunteering at the Marine Discovery Centre in 2016, and has since developed a love for teaching others about South Australia's unique and beautiful marine environment. She also volunteers with the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Action Group and attends beach cleans and other activities that benefit the dolphins and their habitat. In her spare time, Georgie enjoys swimming and snorkelling in summer, spending time with family and cooking. 

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Karno Martin 

Cultural Educator 

Karno grew up in Aldinga and has always been intrigued by all forms of life. This is where his love for the Marine Discovery Centre and what it does for South Australian schools comes in. Karno has been a part of the Marine Discovery Centre and the Star of The Sea School since 2016. Assisting the MDC on its marine trails and helping with the maintenance of Aquariums.

Karno is of Aboriginal background being both Kaurna and Narungga, the Kaurna Meyunna (People) are the traditional landowners of the Adelaide plains and the Narungga people from Yorke peninsula.

Karno has been employed by the Catholic education department and the Star of the Sea Primary school as an Aboriginal Cultural Educator/Marine Trainee. Karno does a great job of sharing his knowledge of the traditional ways of living, from teachings he has had by his uncle and patron to the Marine Discovery Centre Karl Telfer.

Karno teaches a wide variety of knowledge, this includes the traditional language of the Kaurna Meyunna, geographic mapping, hunting techniques, music playing, storytelling and dancing.

Karno does a great job of tying all of this and weaving together the understanding from the traditional people of Australia, they’re deep connection with the spirit of the land, all that live on it and the ways the people lived in a highly sustainable way.  

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Jessica Leopold 

Marine Scientist 

Jess has always had such a strong connection and passion for the ocean and keeping our planet clean, healthy, and beautiful. She has completed a Bachelor of Marine Biology and Wildlife Conservation at the University of Adelaide. Through her studies, she completed an internship here at the Marine Discovery Centre, and continued in a volunteer role until gaining employment with us in 2023. Through the Marine Discovery Centre Jess utilises her passion of educating others and sharing her knowledge of the marine world, sustainability and protecting our environment. In her free time, she loves to be camping by the beach, swimming in the ocean, or hanging out in her boat. Some of her favourite experiences have been swimming with sealions, turtles, rays, cuttlefish, and cage shark diving with Great Whites.

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Chris Daniels 

Patron 

Prof Chris Daniels PhD DSc FAICD is currently the Director of Cleland Wildlife Park and is adjunct professor of Biology in the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences at UniSA. He is focused on conserving wildlife and connecting people with nature. Chris Daniels' was Prof. of Urban Ecology at UniSA, Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute at UniSA and the presiding member of the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board.
Chris has published 9 books published and over 250 scientific and community publications. Books include Adelaide Nature of a City (2005) and Adelaide Water of a City (2010). Book awards include the Whitley Award, and awards from the Planning Institute of Aust, Stormwater Industry and Aust Institute of Landscape Architects. Other books include The Possum-tail Tree, The Fearsome Flute players, and Guide to Urban Wildlife. in Oct 2018 Adelaide University awarded him a Doctor of Science (DSc) for his research into "The lives of animals and animals in our lives".
Chris has held fortnightly sessions on 891 ABC Radio since 2002 conducted field trips with ABC listeners and has run “Citizen Science” initiatives with the ABC since 2007.
Chris won the South Australian Premiers Science award for communication (2007) and the Medal for natural history from the Field Naturalists Soc SA (2010). Chris gave the CONASTA oration on citizen science in 2014.
Chris is a Governor of the World Wildlife Fund and was Patron of Unley City Council Adopt a Tree Program. He was chair of the Board of Nature Play SA (2016-2018).

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Dr Zoe Doubleday 

Patron 

Zoe is a marine ecologist and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of South Australia. Her research spans marine and fisheries ecology, geochemistry, and animal biology with outcomes that support conservation, sustainable seafood production and food security. Zoe is a passionate advocate for accessible science and everything she does is underpinned by her mission to ensure science is communicated to the media and public.

Zoe has received multiple awards for her innovative marine research including the 2022 Agrifood Award from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2021, Zoe became a Superstar of STEM – a title awarded by Science and Technology Australia. Superstars of STEM are high-profile, visible role models that support their community through public engagement and fostering an inclusive STEM community. 

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Karl Telfer 

Patron 

Karl Winda Telfer is a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region who has worked closely with the MDC developing an interactive website game featuring Kaurna knowledge and understanding about coastal life. He has also provided his advice with our Kaurna Learning Station.

He is a senior custodian of ceremony, a cultural educator, designer and artist. He has been involved in Aboriginal cultural and spiritual renewal all his life, coming from a family of strong cultural and political activity. He is known in the community as knowledge holder of the Spirit Fire - the peace lore fire of Tjirbruki - a great creation ancestor within his country. Karl founded the Paitya Dance Group which has toured internationally. He was invited to participate in The Tracking Project (www.thetrackingproject.org), a forum of international educators and Native Elders from around the world to design a series of teachings, which connect individuals directly to the natural world.

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John Schutz 

Patron 

John has over 40 years’ experience in the environment, water, and natural resource management sectors with almost 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in the South Australian public service. He started his career in production nurseries and vineyard management, then joined the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide as a horticulturalist at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in 1983.  In 1988 he was appointed Curator of the National Rhododendron Garden at Olinda in Victoria, moving back to South Australia and the Botanic Gardens in 1990, working in a range of positions across all three Botanic Garden. After almost 6 years as Head of Gardens, John left the Botanic Gardens in 2006 to take up an executive position leading the Department statewide regional operations. John has held a range of senior executive positions in the department including Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Executive.

John has served on numerous boards and committees over his career, both Government and NGO’s, highlights being Nature Play SA, inaugural chair of the Ikara, Flinders Rangers National Park Co management Board, Friends of Parks of South Australia Inc and Parks Forum Australia and New Zealand.  He is currently a Board member for the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia.  

 

 

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Nichole Lindsay 

Volunteer 

Meet Nichole, a dedicated advocate for marine education and conservation. With a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Conservation, specialising in ecology, and a Diploma in Education Studies, Nichole brings a wealth of knowledge to the Marine Discovery Centre. Having undertaken a meaningful internship at the centre, she is fueled by a profound passion for marine conservation and restoration projects. As an advanced diver, Nichole actively engages with the local environment, embodying a commitment to ongoing learning and fostering a deeper connection with our marine ecosystems

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Hannah Nunn 

Volunteer 

Hannah recently graduated from The University of Adelaide with a degree in Marine Biology. With a love for scuba diving and conducting experiments for ocean conservation research, she wants to travel and learn about marine environments all around the world. Working on the newly restored Glenelg oyster reef, her Honours project researched how we can combine multiple native species to increase restoration success! She found that using species that naturally occur together, like kelp, seagrass, abalone and oysters, improves restoration outcomes. She wants to share her love of the ocean and inspire the next generation that will inherit the Earth.

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Olive Allert 

Volunteer 

Olive is a current student at the University of Adelaide studying a Bachelor of Marine and Wildlife Conservation. Olive has a love and passion for all things conservation, nature, ocean and animals. Doing most of high school education in Perth she has grown up loving the beach and wanting to teach others about its beauty and how we can protect and care for our oceans and environment. She have been lucky enough to go snorkelling in some incredible places such as swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth and with reef sharks and turtles in the Maldives.

Olive loves engaging with people and being able to share her interests with the younger generations, she is a bubbly friendly person with plenty to talk about. Her spare time is spent at the beach, going on camping trips and spending time with her horse.

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Dr Janice Vaz 

Volunteer 

Janice, a wildlife biologist and a recent Ph.D. graduate, is passionate about improving human-animal relationships. Raised in Mumbai, she watched her family share a love for animals and her fascination with the natural world and wildlife began through nature TV shows, storybooks, and her teachers. Having relocated to Australia for her Ph.D., Janice's research aimed to understand the welfare of rescued big cats but further delves into social aspects of people's current perceptions of big cats. Her past commitment to conservation education and awareness led her to work in zoos, rescue centres, NGOs, research projects, and animal hospitals. In her free time, she actively volunteers with wildlife organisations and channels her passion into creating wildlife art and science communication awareness on social media.

Janice is dedicated to engaging with the community and sharing her enthusiasm for caring for nature. She loves exploring the Australian outback and wildlife. In her current role at the Port Environment Centre, she aspires to cultivate a strong connection between people and nature, fostering curiosity and appreciation for all living creatures.

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Nomes Demour 

Volunteer 

Nomes is an ocean lover who just wanted to learn more about the marine life so she started volunteering at the MDC in 2023. As a child, her mother could never get her out of the ocean and she called her a mermaid. You’ll find Nomes swimming at any time of the year with her dog who is her merdog. Her favourite ocean creatures are the Narwhal, whale sharks and manta rays. She also has mad love for the strongest marine species - sharks.

Nomes also has her own business 'The Comfort Box' which is a self care business where her logo is inspired by the ocean. If Nomes is not at the MDC she is most likely working on the business or at the beach . Nomes loves learning and teaching others about the marine life and now every time she's at beach she's beachcombing. The ocean is different everyday and that’s why she loves it. 

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Donna Lehmann 

Volunteer 

Donna joined us as a volunteer mid-2019.  She is passionate about the marine environment and sustainability.  Donna studied Marine Biology at Flinders University and has worked in invasive species management and Science Communications.  Donna is an avid diver and has spent many hours underwater on the South Australian coastline.  She enjoys talking about the animals at the discovery centre with visiting school groups and sharing her enthusiasm for our unique marine environment.

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Chelsea Foubister 

Volunteer 

Chelsea is studying a bachelor's degree in geology at the University of Adelaide. Not only does she enjoy looking at evidence of ancient seabeds and marine life in the geological record, but she also loves to visit the beautiful coastlines we have today and marvel at the amazing marine life that has since evolved. Chelsea believes that sharing an appreciation for the marine environment with the wider community and inspiring them to help protect it is the most powerful way we can look after our precious oceans.

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Mark Pierson 

Volunteer 

Mark grew up at Henley Square beachcombing in winter and snorkelling around the jetty in summer.  They were different times then and he had the run of the place from Grange to the Torrens Outlet.  He can still hear his Mum’s words…“just be home for dinner”. Mark was an inaugural member of Henley & Grange Dunecare and the Tennyson Dunes Group.  He was a member of the Festival of the Coast Steering Committee, which included putting on a natural history display at the Henley Town Hall.  Mark is interested in marine ecology, having dived Kangaroo Island, the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef.  He has swum with dolphins, seals and sea lions, whale sharks, great white sharks, tuna and cuttlefish.  He is also interested in dune ecology, sand movement, stormwater runoff, jetties, seagrasses, boat harbours, offshore reefs and marine protected areas. 

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Nicholas Moi 

Volunteer 

Nicholas is an International student from Malaysia. He is currently studying at the University of Adelaide for a Bachelor of Marine Biology. "I like marine creatures and would love to find ways to preserve our ocean. This is the reason why I study marine biology. In my spare time, I would like to do some sport for example swimming, basketball and hiking. I like the view of the hill so I will go hiking every week. I enjoy my internship at a marine discovery centre because I can teach school-age children on how to preserve our marine life"

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Gavin Maynard 

Volunteer 

Gavin has always had a fascination for the marine world and was fortunate enough to experience first-hand the wonders of ocean, while snorkelling among the Polynesian islands and having the amazing chance to see a reef shark and sea snake. These experiences inspired Gavin to pursue a Bachelor of Marine Biology at the University of Adelaide. Through his academic journey and internship experience at the Marine Discovery Centre he realised the importance of conservation and reducing anthropogenic impacts to keep the oceans healthy. In his spare time, he is often participating in social badminton and exploring different cultures through cooking, languages and travelling.

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Hannah Aitchison 

Volunteer 

Hannah currently holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Certificate 3 in Business and Government, plus experience in childcare and running children's church. She is now currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Animal Behaviour following her passion for animals, wildlife, and teaching others to understand and appreciate nature. 

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Janice Shackley 

Volunteer 

Janice joined us as a volunteer in late 2020. Growing up near the beach in WA she developed a love of the ocean from a very early age.

A keen diver, swimmer and walker Janice likes to spend every spare minute on the beach. She and her dog Ivy can be found walking between Henley and Grange in all weathers!

Since moving to Adelaide in 2020 she is thoroughly enjoying exploring the beautiful and diverse coastal environment of South Australia.

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Madeleine Johnston 

Volunteer 

Maddie joined the Marine Discovery Centre in September of 2020, and is a pre service teacher specialising in Humanities and Social Sciences at Uni SA. 

Maddie loves being involved with the Marine Discovery Centre, as it allows her to learn and contribute to teaching and empowering the school groups who visit the centre. She is passionate about preserving our local coastline, learning about sustainably and understanding the diversity of our marine life here in Adelaide.  

Maddie is a part of the 2021 Coastal Ambassador program for Green Adelaide, becoming more involved with the wider marine community in Adelaide is something she enjoys most. 

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Lucy-Rose Seeary 

Volunteer 

Lucy has been volunteering at the MDC since 2019. She has an honours degree from Flinders University in Biodiversity and Conservation and has a particular interest in marine biology. She has a strong background in marine mammals, having completed a thesis on humpback whales, and also has participated in an overseas internship for sea turtle conservation. Her favourite thing about volunteering at the MDC is seeing the children’s excitement, attentiveness and enthusiasm when teaching them about the marine environment. 

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Lauren Duif 

Volunteer 

Lauren started volunteering in July 2020 and works in Disability Support. Lauren joined the Marine Discovery team because of her love for marine life and the environment, and also to gain experience working with children.

Practically growing up at the beach, Lauren would spend hours swimming, surfing, diving- you couldn’t drag her away! Her favourite sea creature is the Leafy Sea Dragon, followed closely by the Seahorse, and is always super excited when the MDC Seahorses have babies! 

In her spare time, when she’s not underwater, Lauren enjoys baking and macrame. 

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Tiffany Aplin 

Volunteer 

Tiff is currently working in disability support for children with autism. Her passion for marine life began as a child when she had the luxury of living in Coffin Bay. Rather than hanging out with other kids and playing she would stroll down to the beach, observe the jellies from the jetty, stingrays in the rock pools and the little baby crabs on the beach. Growing up in small country towns gave her the time to learn all about the sea life. To this day she still spends her free time at the beach! Her favourite saying is “all you need is a good dose of vitamin sea”

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Tamika Heath 

Volunteer 

Tamika is currently studying Marine Biology at the University of Adelaide. She has always had a strong love for the ocean, but the experience of swimming with Manta rays in Hawaii really encouraged her to study Marine Biology. She has a keen interest in shark science and conservation, as well as an admiration for nudibranchs. 

She grew up travelling parts of Australia with her family, which is where her love for nature and the ocean stems from. She love's being outdoors and in the water, with her favourite activities being camping, scuba diving, free diving and surfing. She also enjoys underwater photography.

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Tegan Lee 

Volunteer 

Tegan has been volunteering at the Marine Discovery Centre since mid 2018. Tegan grew up by the beach, and spent many hours combing through the rock pools for interesting sea creatures. As she grew older and learned more about the ocean, sharks and rays steadily became her favourite animals, and so she went to university and completed an honours degree in marine science in 2019. In Tegan's spare time she enjoys diving, playing the piano, and bush walking. Tegan is passionate about volunteering at the Marine Discovery Centre as it allows her to help educate and inspire others to find the joy in caring for the marine environment.