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, to the mid sized organisation it is today. He is an experienced project manager and the principal consultant for Marine Solutions. As an industry focussed consultant, Sam has worked on numerous projects throughout Australia and overseas. He is familiar with a vast array of ambient monitoring methodologies. Working alongside larger organisations 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 Sam has acquired an expert level of local marine flora and fauna identification.

Sam is adept at bringing people from a range of backgrounds together to form specialised and cohesive teams. His strong track record of managing diverse multidisciplinary projects that achieve their goals on time and within forecast budgets has resulted in numerous successful partnerships and outcomes.

Laura Smith

Laura joined Marine Solutions in 2011 while completing a Master’s degree at the University of Tasmania. As Project Manager with Marine Solutions, Laura manages a diverse portfolio of projects, with broad experience in a variety of private enterprise, not-for-profit, academic and government projects throughout Tasmania and interstate. Laura oversees projects from procurement to final reporting, including budgeting, personnel, field work and data management/analysis. Laura specialises in marine environmental impact assessment, with a particular interest in protected species/communities. She has a strong working knowledge of marine species identification including fish and benthic fauna. With previous experience in protected area management, Laura has managed environmental assessments and approvals under state and federal legislation, including major projects within the infrastructure, tourism, waste and urban development sectors, as well as not-for-profit, academic and government projects. Laura is a confident and capable ADAS-qualified Part 1 Scientific Diver and Coxswain (unrestricted).

Dr 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 15 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.

David Watson

Dave joined 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.

Dr Matthew Cameron

Matt has over 10 years experience in marine and coastal ecological research and consultancy with a specific background and interests in marine spatial planning effects, quantitative community ecology, species-habitat modelling and trophic interactions of temperate marine fish. Matt fulfills a Project Officer role at Marine Solutions, carrying out field work, data management and analysis and report production across all areas of our business. Matt possesses strong practical field capabilities and experience; he is a qualified ADAS Occupational Scientific Diver (Part 6) and AMSA Coxswain (Grade 1) with extensive experience operating, working aboard and coordinating diving operations from small coastal research vessels and extensive coastal and offshore skipper experience. He possesses extensive experience carrying out fish and benthic community sampling, plankton and water quality sampling, baited underwater video and underwater visual survey techniques. Matt has worked in various environmental consultancies in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and has been involved in research investigating species-habitat interactions of marine fish and environmental feedback systems of kelp-reef habitats.

Joanna Smart

Joanna joined the Marine Solutions team in early 2018. Joanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine and Antarctic Science with first class Honours from the University of Tasmania and a Master’s in Quantitative Biology from the University of Queensland. Joanna has a Coxswain grade 1 (unrestricted) and is an ADAS Part 1 occupational diver and open water scuba instructor with more than 1,000 hours working underwater. Joanna has been working in marine research and consulting for over 8 years and her experience spans across both local and international projects, with experience in Australia, the South Pacific, Europe and North America. Joanna’s experience includes a variety of sectors including aquaculture, temperate and tropical reef ecology, environmental monitoring, and impact assessment. Joanna is involved in projects at Marine Solutions from project development and research through to field work, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.

Dr Tim Alexander

Tim holds a PhD in marine ecology from the University of Tasmania and has over 20 years’ experience working in marine and freshwater environments. Tim has been involved in monitoring programs in intertidal shores, rocky reef, estuarine, river and lake ecosystems. He has extensive experience in marine sediment sampling and analysis, as well as the use of video to collect habitat and behavioural data, including with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), airborne drones and baited remote underwater video (BRUVs). Tim holds a Coxswain boat license and dive controller certificate with over 250 hours working underwater.

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 state-wide projects including ordering, labelling, 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.

Isobel Thomas

Isobel has a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from the University of Tasmania, holds a Coxswain (restricted) ticket and has completed ADAS Part 1 Scientific Diver training. Isobel has worked extensively in coastal Tasmanian environments in the commercial fishing industry and adventure tourism, and also has over 5 years’ experience in marine research and environmental consulting. Isobel has experience as a consultant in the offshore Oil and Gas industry both as a marine fauna observer and in environmental monitoring using a variety of equipment and techniques to achieve successful outcomes whilst adhering to strict quality and environmental management protocols. Isobel joined the Marine Solutions team in September 2018, and has added valuable experience in environmental quality monitoring, data collection and analysis, sediment assessments and bathymetric seabed mapping around Tasmania.

Dr Coco Cullen-Knox

Coco is an Environmental Sociologist with over ten years of experience in research, consulting, government, and non-government sectors. She is uniquely skilled and qualified in both the social and environmental sciences. Her proficiency lies in qualitative data collection, analysis, and reporting, environmental and social impact assessments and management plans, stakeholder analysis and engagement, knowledge brokering and extension, and various aspects of natural resource governance.

Coco has worked with a wide range of clients spanning local to global scales and across various topic areas, ranging from the seafood industry, offshore oil and gas, marine protected areas and climate change. Her outputs have been integral in guiding policy development, research direction, and fostering public and stakeholder engagement and consultation. Coco holds a Bachelor in Integrated Resource Management, Honours in Marine Governance, PhD in Environmental Communication, IAP2 Stakeholder Engagement, Certificate in Project Management, Coxswains Grade 2 NC certificate, and Scientific Diver.

Evie Callander

Evie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from the University of Western Australia, is a qualified Recreational Dive Instructor and Coxswains (unrestricted). She has over five years experience working in both the aquaculture and eco-tourism industries in Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania and two years experience in environmental consulting in Tasmania. Her consulting experience extends to the offshore Oil and Gas industry where she worked as part of a project team coordinating environmental surveys for the decommissioning of oil and gas rigs in the Bass Strait.

Evie joined the Marine Solutions team in May 2021 as a Project Officer, and has added value to the team in both field operations and office logistics with skills in environmental data collection, data analysis and management, and reporting.

Isabella Declerck

Isabella joined the Marine Solutions team in 2019. Since then Isabella has had a vast amount of field experience in environmental quality monitoring, data collection and sediment assessment around Tasmania. Isabella holds a Coxswains (restricted) and deckhand. She also has immense experience in motorboats and dinghies because of her sailing and coaching background.

Claire Butler

Claire completed an Honours degree in Marine Science at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart. Her background is in seaweed ecology, collation and analysis of spatial data and statistical modeling. She now has over 5 years experience working in marine research and industry and has experience in project management, environmental impact assessments and threatened and protected species surveying. She is also a qualified ADAS scientific diver and holds a Coxswains NC certificate.  

Guy Williams

Guy enthusiastically joined the Marine Solutions team in November 2022. Originally from Sydney, he completed a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering and Graduate Diploma in Object-Oriented Programming (C/C++) while working in the fledgling internet industry. A growing passion for the outdoors (the colder and whiter the better) led Guy to switch gears in 1998 and move to Tasmania to complete Honours in Heard Island glaciology and then a PhD in polar oceanography. After initially working as mixed-layer biological oceanographer, Guy moved to Sapporo, Japan and then Paris, France to focus on his passion for cold, salty bottom water production in Antarctic coastal polynyas. He then returned to Tasmania in 2011 and was an ARC Future Fellow specialising in autonomous underwater vehicles and drones for polar research from 2014-2019. Guy has spent over two years on polar icebreakers across 10 research expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic. He has a Coxswains (NC1), multi-rotor/fixed wing drone qualifications (<25 kg, BVLOS) and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment specialising in AUV training.

Tyson Jones

Tyson is a marine ecologist who joined Marine Solutions in 2022. Holding an Honours Degree in Marine Science and currently undertaking a PhD specialising in temperate and tropical reef faunal communities at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Tyson has over 8 years of extensive field experience and species identification skills. Tyson is an unrestricted Coxswain vessel operator and holds an ADAS Part-1 (restricted) Scientific Diver certification. With an excess of 500 logged scientific dives, Tyson has conducted scientific diving expeditions in all waters surrounding Australia accumulating over 500 hours of underwater work. Beyond diving, he also has extensive experience in Baited and Unbaited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUV/RUVS) systems, a myriad of coastal habitat monitoring techniques (Motion activated video, small mammal trapping, fish mapping) and invasive species surveys (electrofishing).

Annabelle Erskine

Annabelle joined the Marine Solutions team as a Project Officer in March 2022, following completion of the Master of Marine and Antarctic Studies degree at the University of Tasmania. She has a comprehensive skillset reflecting five years of scientific study and participation in various marine research programs across Australia, including an extended research voyage on the Investigator. Annabelle’s consulting experience extends to the offshore Oil and Gas industry where she worked as part of a project team coordinating environmental surveys for the decommissioning of oil and gas rigs in the Bass Strait. She holds a Coxswains Grade 2 NC certificate and PADI Open Water Dive certification.

Erica Johnson

Erica first joined Marine Solutions as an intern in 2019 while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Lund University, Sweden. Since then, Erica has completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and in 2022 she returned to Marine Solutions as a Project Officer. Erica holds a Coxswains Grade 2 NC certificate and is currently working towards a Coxswains Grade 1 NC. She has experience working in both the private and the public sector evaluating environmental impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This has given her strong skills in field operations, data analysis and reporting.

Ellie Foster

Ellie joined Marine Solutions as a Technical and Field Officer in May 2022 and has since gained significant experience working in marine and estuarine environments across Tasmania. Ellie provides crucial support in field operations, including in data collection, boat operations, equipment maintenance and general logistics. She is a competent motorboat operator, holding a Coxswains Grade 2 NC certificate. Ellie is proficient in water safety and trailer handling due to her experience as a surf instructor.

Kate Ward

Kate completed her Masters of Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability majoring in the Science and Management of Global Change at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.  Her research was centered around equitable access to water, using QGIS to map water poverty in high-income areas. Prior to that, she completed a Bachelors of International Studies which gave her a strong understanding of policy and governance.  Kate works across a wide range of different projects including environmental impact statements, water quality monitoring and natural values assessments. Previously, she has worked in fish habitat restoration, social research and education. Kate also holds a Diploma of Languages, Cert IV in Training and Assessment, CELTA, Coxswains Grade 2 NC and is a certified PADI Rescue Diver. 

Joel Watling

Joel joined the Marine Solutions team in 2023 as a Technical Officer. Joel has great experience driving commercial and recreational vessels and holds his Certificate 1 in maritime operations, coxswain deck, coxswain navigation, coxswain engineering and Coxswains Grade 2 NC and has also completed his elements of shipboard safety (ESS). Joel also holds his PADI open water diver certificate and has accumulated a high amount of sea time and dive hours. Joel contributes data collection, vessel and equipment maintenance and boat handling to the team. As well as general field tasks.

Kirsten MacAdie

Kirsten joined Marine Solutions as a Project Officer in September 2022 while completing her Master of Marine and Antarctic Studies degree at the University of Tasmania. Her research involved offshore wind project understanding around Australia and she is passionate about renewable energy, particularly at sea. Kirsten has a unique science, policy and economic background with special interest in sustainable and shared use of the oceans. She holds a coxswains Grade 2 NC certificate and PADI Open Water Dive certification.

Ally King

Ally joined Marine Solutions in 2022 whilst finishing up her bachelor’s degree in Marine and Antarctic Science at the University of Tasmania. Ally holds her Coxswains Grade 1 licence and has gained boating experience by working in eco tourism around Tasmania. Ally has experience in consulting in both the public and private sector, a lot of this work has focused on commercial and recreational fisheries management which Ally is very passionate about.

Olivia Johnson

Liv holds first-class honours in Marine & Antarctic Science from the University of Tasmania, and is currently undertaking her PhD at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (UTAS), investigating how we can safeguard threatened reef species. She is a qualified PADI open water instructor and holds a Part 1 ADAS scientific diver and a Coxswains NC certificate. Liv has over 9 years experience working in marine research and the dive related industry, partaking in a range of projects locally, interstate and internationally, from temperate to tropical reefs, all the way down to Antarctica. Her experience and skills are in the fields of marine ecology, remote field research, scientific diving, environmental monitoring, laboratory research (including at sea), data analysis and reporting, underwater photography and science communication.