The conservation impact team

The Team

Research Assistants

Whitney Goodell, MSc. Fulbright Scholar

Whitney is a thoughtful and focused fisheries scientist who aspires to directly apply her work towards ecosystem conservation and management by investigating how natural ecosystem processes can most effectively be conserved. We are working in West-Maui to evaluate cost-effective management actions for reducing land-based pollution.


Rebecca Diggins, MSc. 

Rebecca is a passionate ecologist and conservation scientist with a keen interest in bridging the gap between society and the environment through maximising the efficiency of protected areas. We are working on a project that highlights shortfalls in policies to expand protected area networks globally.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Stephanie Borrelle, Smith Fellow

Steph is a seabird ecologist whose mission is to save seabirds and us, from the mountain of plastic waste we produce by influencing global policy. We are working together to do just that, by evaluating the utility of policy and management actions for mitigating global plastic pollution, a project for which was recently awarded the

      PhD Students



Leslie Roberson, PhD Candidate, UQ

Leslie is a smart, motivated marine biologist always quick with a smile, that loves all things weird and forgotten in Island and Ocean Ecosystems. We are working on effective conservation and monitoring for Data Deficient species, and investigating the role of compliance in selecting conservation strategies.



Lindsay Veazey, PhD Candidate, UH

Lindsay builds species distribution models to forecast how marine communities will change due to anthropogenic pressures. We are working together on a project using spatial models to effectively implement Marine Protected Areas in Maui Nui, Hawai’i.


Steph Hernandez PhD Candidate, JCU

Steph works on incorporating theories of impact evaluation into strategic terrestrial protected area acquisition to maximise the benefits of conservation initiatives in Queensland. We are working together on evaluating avoided deforestation in Queensland’s protected areas.

Masters Students


Siobhan Threllfall, JCU

Originally from the NSW South Coast, Siobhan has long been interested in the management and conservation of marine ecosystems. Originally focused on the biological and geological components, she has become much passionate about the important role of social science in the effective management of our marine environments.

Siobhan is currently completing her minor project supervised by Amy Diedrich, Stephanie Duce, and myself!


Megan Fraser, JCU

Originally from Philadelphia, USA, Megan’s previous work spans marine disease, genomics and population genetics. Motivated by the increasing need for public awareness and targeted action to meet our oceans’ most pressing challenges, has shifted focus has shifted to management and conservation initiatives in social-ecological systems. Her other marine-related interests include: coral reef restoration, marine biomedicine and marine resource sustainability.