PhD scholar assisting with the EcoAdapt project
Maggie was inspired by British naturalist and writer Gerald Durrell. She started her career at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation trust in Jersey, where she worked as a mammal keeper; looking after primates, bears and bats.
Maggie then traded her captive management experience for field work and started work as a research assistant with sea turtles in Costa Rica. Afterwards, she worked as research coordinator and project coordinator for a British organisation in Nicaragua, and helped set up management plans and sea turtle projects in 3 protected nature reserves in the Northwest of the country. She conducted biodiversity surveys in areas without knowledge of its flora and fauna and identified biodiversity new to the existing species list.
In Indonesia Maggie created a sea turtle conservation and monitoring program in Sumatra, in close collaboration with the community of Pulau Banyak, to protect the endangered turtles nesting and foraging in the archipelago. The project included eco-tourism development, poverty alleviation projects and environmental education.
Maggie’s work towards conservation and environmental work was awarded by the internationally acknowledged Future for Nature award in 2009 (given to her by David Attenborough) and the Woman of the Earth award in 2011. She also received the Griffith University's vice chancellor award for excellence in community engagement and service in 2018.
Her experience extends to developing and delivering environmental education programmes in developing countries as well as teaching primary, secondary and tertiary students in the UK, Malaysia, Vanuatu and Australia. Maggie currently holds a seasonal lecturer position at the University of Queensland, works as a researcher and lecturer at the Yunus centre at Griffith University and is conducting a PhD on community engagement for nature conservation for small communities in a developing country context.
Maggie also co-founded Ocean Connect Incorporated. A non-profit organisation that focuses on environmental education and citizen science for the Gold Coast marine environment.