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. 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.
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.

Laura Smith

Laura joined Marine Solutions in 2011 while completing a Masters 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).

Annie Ford

Annie holds an Honours and a Masters degree in Science and has over 10 years’ experience conducting marine research. Annie holds a Coxswain (unrestricted) and is a qualified open water diver. She has worked offshore throughout Australia, and has experience in marine, estuarine and freshwater aquaculture systems, water quality monitoring, threatened and protected species assessments, hydrography, modelling distributions, and operation of various commercial vessels. Annie has sailed in the remote tropics and has worked in Antarctica as an expedition sailor, research assistant and watercraft operator. In 2019, she received a Professional Development Exchange Scholarship from Rotary International to learn about aquaculture and tourism in New Zealand.

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 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.

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.

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 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. Joanna is the 2019 Australasian Rolex scholar.


Dr Tim Alexander

Tim holds a PhD in marine ecology from the University of Tasmania and has over 15 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 is also experienced in the use of video to collect habitat and behavioral 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.

Coco Cullen-Knox

Coco is an environmental sociologist who is passionate about understanding and facilitating positive interactions between society and the natural environment. She is experienced in project coordination with a demonstrated history of working in research, consulting, and non-government sectors. Uniquely skilled and qualified in both the environmental and social sciences she can develop and implement stakeholder engagement whilst also having a fundamental understanding of the environmental elements of a project.

Coco is proficient 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. Her work has been conducted for a range of clients operating on local through to global scales across a range of topic areas. Outputs underpin and facilitate policy development and public engagement. Coco is a strong researcher and consulting professional with first class Honours and is completing her PhD.

Evie Callander

Evie joined the Marine Solutions team in May 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from the University of Western Australia and is a qualified Recreational Dive Instructor and Coxswains (unrestricted). Evie has over five years experience working in both the aquaculture and eco-tourism industries in Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. She provides support to the team in field operations and office logistics with skills in environmental data collection, analysis and management, and reporting.

Isabella Declerck

Isabella joined the Marine solutions team 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 Coxwains NC certificate.