Meet our Crew


UNSW & Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences


A/Prof Adriana Vergés

Adriana is a marine ecologist based at UNSW Australia and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. She hails from the Mediterranean, where she grew up surrounded by lush meadows of Posidonia oceanica, the only Posidonia species found outside of Australia. She’s one of the lead investigators of sister-project Operation Crayweed, which is restoring another important species, crayweed, in Sydney reefs.


A/Prof Alistair Poore

Alistair is a marine ecologist from UNSW with research interests in seagrasses, seaweeds and the fauna that lives in vegetated marine habitats.

He specialises in plant-herbivore interactions and the responses of marine plants and animals to environmental change. �


Derrick Cruz

Derrick grew up snorkeling and exploring the estuaries and seagrass meadows of NSW. He is now a passionate fish ecologist and holds particular interests in range-shifting species, habitat restoration and the enhancement of wild fisheries.

He has worked with DPI and UNSW on various field-intensive projects and enjoys promoting sustainable practices to younger generations.


Sophie Powell

Sophie is a research assistant at UNSW and has a background in marine and fish ecology. She came to Operation Posidonia from Western Australia, where she spent much of her time diving, fishing and swimming in the extensive Posidonia meadows along the west coast. She has worked in many marine education and outreach programs and is an experienced diver and skipper, preferring to spend her days in and on the water when possible.


Giulia Ferretto

Giulia has always loved the sea and looking after the marine environment has been her dream since she was a child. She became a SCUBA diver at a very young age and from that moment her passion for the sea increased, so she decided to study marine biology. Giulia is currently a PhD student at UNSW and her research project focuses on the ecological aspect of seagrass restoration.  She is working on understanding the factors that can improve restoration success and enhance the biodiversity of Posidonia-associated community. She is also passionate about science communication to raise awareness about the ecological importance of amazing seagrasses.


Lana Kajlich

Lana Kajlich's work explores innovative science outreach via citizen science, education and the power of the arts (including storytelling).  She is interested in exploring the links between the social and ecological with respect to the large-scale restoration of marine habitat across Port Stephens and Sydney. Her background is in both education and ecological restoration.  She is also an avid fan of the marine diversity of the eastern Australian coastline.

NSW DPI - Fisheries


Dr Tim Glasby

Tim is a marine ecologist based at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute with over 20 years’ experience working in temperate marine systems. He coordinates research on seagrass ecology and distribution, human impacts on marine biodiversity, and impacts of marine pests. Tim conducted the early Posidonia restoration work in Botany Bay that is the basis for our current 'Operation Posidonia' restoration efforts in Port Stephens.


Graham Housefield

Graham is a widely experienced technician currently at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, primarily managing research aquaria systems for the study of various organisms from invertebrates to fish and various species of seagrass. Previously he has had well over 30 years’ experience in aquatic chemistry and ecology at CSIRO, Sydney University and now Fisheries. He worked with Tim on many projects over the last 20 years including the Botany Bay project, studies into Posidonia seedlings and other aspects of seagrass communities. He has been instrumental in the collection and care of donor Posidonia shoots for restoration trials and has a veritable wealth of knowledge about local Port Stephens waterways and estuaries.




Dr John Statton

John has a deep love for the marine environment and aquaculture. He has developed new methods for the cultivation of seagrasses and has developed seed-based restoration for Australian seagrasses. John has developed a highly successful seagrass tank culture program in the Seagrass Research Facility at the University of Western Australia where he has successfully grown 6 of the 12 seagrass genera so far.


Dr Elizabeth Sinclair

Liz is an evolutionary biologist. She uses molecular approaches to understand patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity at different spatial scales in temperate Australian seagrasses. Her current research focuses on genomic and physiological adaptation of seagrass in changing climates. Her research contributes to an understanding of the processes impacting on marine connectivity across the Australian continental shelf ecosystems and makes an important contribution to the development of benthic biodiversity conservation planning and restoration.

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Professor Gary Kendrick

Gary is a marine plant ecologist who is passionate about understanding how we both can protect and use our rich marine environments. He has multiple interests including understanding biodiversity and ecology of temperate and tropical seagrass meadows and reefs, conservation and restoration of marine foundation species, and educating people about coastal and marine ecosystems. Gary's experimental work on the ecology of seagrass meadows