Our Team

Marine Solutions offers a broad base of highly skilled contractors to deliver innovative, rigorous and affordable outcomes in each challenge it accepts. Staff biographies can be found on this page.

Sam Ibbott

Sam has been consulting in marine ecology and environmental assessments since 1996, and has been the director and owner of Marine Solutions since its inception in 2003.  He is an experienced project manager and the lead consultant for Marine Solutions. Sam has worked on many consultancy projects throughout Australia and overseas and is familiar with a vast array of ambient monitoring methodologies.  His strong track record of managing multidisciplinary projects to achieve their goals on time and within forecast budgets has resulted in numerous successful partnerships.  Working as a sub-consultant for larger organizations and as director of Marine Solutions, Sam has gained significant experience and expertise in coastal assessments, dredging projects, resources industry requirements and infrastructure development. He has specialist expertise in field assessments, especially water quality, sediments, biological and habitat mapping assessments.  Through his years of work experience in Tasmanian waters Sam has acquired an expert level of local marine flora and fauna identification.  He is also experienced in tropical marine fauna identification and has undertaken a comprehensive corals identification training course.

Ian Cooksey

Ian Cooksey is Marine Solutions’ field and operations manager and has coordinated and implemented numerous marine and estuarine field surveys across Australia and South East Asia.  Ian is proficient at implementing a wide range of remote sampling methodologies.  Ian has particular experience relating to water quality and sediment assessment, having conducted environmental assessments for effluent outfalls and aquaculture developments across Tasmania.  Ian manages Marine Solutions scientific and field equipment as well as the competency and currency register.  In his career as a diver, dive master, instructor and commercial diver/supervisor he has spent considerable time working as an interpretive guide on coral reefs, and developed tropical species identification guides.  Ian’s remote first aid and O2 resuscitation training combined with his fantastic knowledge of servicing and repairing diving equipment make him a valuable team member in any remote location.

Laura Smith

Laura has over 9 years’ experience in marine research, and 5 years’ experience in environmental consultancy with Marine Solutions. Laura undertakes a project management role at Marine Solutions. She manages all aspects of some contracts, from budget through personnel and field work, to data management and analysis/reporting.  Laura is a confident and capable ADAS-qualified Part 1 Scientific Diver and Coxswain (unrestricted) and deckhand.  She has a strong working knowledge of marine species identification including fish and benthic fauna, having worked as a trainer in reef fishes field identification, completed a multi-day corals field identification course and volunteered in ongoing fish surveys for Reef Life Survey in northern Australia.  Laura prides a methodical approach resulting in great data integrity and high level Quality Assurance and Quality Control.  Her field experience in conducting many varied techniques, and then in collating diverse types of data, ensures database management which allows efficient interpretation of datasets.


Carly Giosio

Carly has completed a Masters in Marine and Antarctic Science.  She currently holds a PADI Rescue Diver Certificate and a Coxswain (restricted) ticket and is a certified ADAS Scientific Diver. In 2015, Carly undertook 3 volunteer trips in northern Australia, partaking in ongoing fish surveys with Reef Life Survey, servicing weather stations with AIMS on the Great Barrier Reef, and assisting a PhD student at the Lizard Island research station. This added to Carly’s experience in the identification of coral genera, tropical life forms, benthic organisms and substrate types. Carly is experienced in water quality monitoring, sediment assessments and bathymetric seabed mapping around Tasmania.

Coco Cullen-Knox

Coco completed her Honours research in marine governance and has over 3 years’ of experience in environmental science and consulting. This experience has been in a range of different environments and has included assisting in the development of a marine research project in the South-Pacific. As project officer with Marine Solutions, Coco adds valuable experience in environmental quality monitoring, data collection and analysis, approvals and compliance, social and community research and engagement, scientific, technical and policy research and underwater surveys.

Annie Ford

Annie holds an Honours and a Masters degree in Marine and Antarctic Science and has over 8 years’ experience in marine research. Having joined the team in 2016 she is currently gaining her Coxswain (unrestricted) and is a qualified open water diver. Annie has worked on coastal and marine research projects nationally and internationally, and has particular experience in modelling species distributions, conventional sampling techniques, integrated management, and operation of vessels. In 2015, Annie sailed a yacht half way around the world including the remote tropics and high latitudes, increasing her knowledge of broad scale marine systems, technical operations and international maritime systems.

Sarah Castine

Dr. Sarah Castine has been working with Marine Solutions for over a year, and has experience in national and international consultancies in environmental impact assessment and human health in relation to aquaculture production. She held a two year post-doctoral position at WorldFish (CGIAR) and completed an industry-based Ph.D. in aquaculture wastewater treatment from James Cook University in 2012. Underpinning both her Ph.D. and post-doctoral work was the need to enhance food production while reducing the strain on natural resources and improving human health. Her work has demonstrated the great potential and many avenues for operating sustainably on land and marine environments, and she is an advocate for environmental conservation and the growth of sustainable and healthy food production systems.



David Watson

Dave joins the Marine Solutions team after working in the marine industry for 25 years as master of vessels in eco-tourism around the Great Barrier Reef, Aquaculture, International yacht deliveries, and Offshore Oil/Gas.
Projects have included commercial diving, and Environmental surveys using a variety of survey equipment.
This experience has developed a strong understanding of what is required to work with a range of stakeholders to develop successful outcomes for projects and the importance of work being carried out adhering to strict Quality and Environmental Management systems, meeting objectives incident and injury free.

David O’Gorman

David holds a Master’s degree in integrated Coastal Zone Management and has 9 years’ experience in marine research and management for government agencies and consulting firms, including GHD and Marine Solutions. David has particular expertise in nearshore hydrodynamics and processes and has delivered coastal erosion hazard identification and management projects for local government within Queensland. He has also spent time working on the Great Barrier Reef, undertaking environmental impact assessments for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. David is proficient with the design and implementation of offshore monitoring equipment including telemetry water quality monitoring buoys and acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCP). Furthermore, he has spent most of his career operating commercial vessels for marine research purposes, holds a Coxswain (unrestricted) and is a qualified open water diver.


Joanna Smart

Joanna holds a bachelor’s Degree in marine and Antarctic Science from the University of Tasmania and is a qualified ADAS part 1 scientific diver, scuba instructor and deckhand. Joanna has experience in a wide range of scientific diving and field activities, both locally and overseas and has undertaken volunteer research trips on the Great Barrier Reef and Palau. Joanna has experience in underwater experimental design, temperate reef species identification, laboratory work and underwater photography. She provides support to the team in both field operations and office logistics. Joanna is currently completing her honours thesis examining ammonium uptake rates in Tasmanian seaweeds and their applications to integrated multi-trophic aquaculture.


Carryn Manicom

Carryn joined the Marine Solutions team as a project officer early in 2018, using her skills in environmental data collection, analysis and management, and reporting. Carryn has a PhD in Ecology, and over 10 years experience in field-based research and ecological monitoring of marine, estuarine, freshwater and terrestrial systems in Tasmania, Queensland and South Africa. Her PhD focused on food web ecology and the impact of the loss of top predators from ecosystems, and her expertise lies in assessing connectivity among species and communities within ecosystems and in science communication: peer-reviewed publications, community engagement and undergraduate teaching. Carryn is a keen sailor and qualified advanced open water diver.

Anna James

Anna has a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and joined Marine Solutions as logistic manager in 2017.  She manages logistics for multiple large statewide projects including ordering, labeling, packing and shipping equipment. She works closely with various stakeholders and maintains strong partnerships with laboratory personnel, field operation and site managers and her colleagues. Since commencing at Marine Solutions, Anna has been instrumental in the upgrading of essential logistical processes and systems and in redesigning office, laboratory and storage space for improved efficiency.