Banner image by James Sherwood



Associate Professor Adriana Vergés 
Adriana is a marine ecologist based at UNSW Australia and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and is leading the crowd-funding campaign. Her research focuses on the ecology and conservation of algal forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. Besides being passionate about science and the underwater world, she is also very interested in science communication and storytelling in all its forms.

Professor Melinda Coleman
Melinda is a Principal Research Scientist
with the
Department of Primary Industries (DPI), NSW Fisheries based at the National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour. Melinda's current research centres on connectivity and population genetics of habitat forming seaweeds with a focus
on implications for conservation both
now and under future climate scenarios.


Georgina Wood
George is a PhD candidate at UNSW Australia and has a background in marine ecology and assessment of marine management strategies. Her work is focused on how ecological measures (such as ecosystem function and biodiversity of seaweed-associated communities) and population genetics may be used to aid and assess the success of the crayweed restoration project. George is also passionate about public outreach through direct outdoor experience and
citizen science.

DCruz photo.jpg

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.

Dr Alexandra Campbell
Alex is fascinated by habitat-forming organisms such as seaweeds and things that eat, infect and live on them. She is also interested in how environmental change (e.g. due to ocean warming and pollution) influences these interactions. She is based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and her background is in marine ecology, environmental microbiology and environmental science. Check our her own website here.

Professor Brendan Kelaher
Brendan is a marine biologist with ~20 years field experience based at the National Marine Science Centre, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour.

His principle research aim is to understand processes that create, maintain and impact marine biodiversity.


Lana Kajlich
Lana’s work explores informed and innovative science communication via citizen science, education and the power of the arts. She is interested in exploring the links between the social and ecological with respect to the large scale restoration of crayweed across Sydney.

Her background is in both education and in ecological restoration. She is also an avid fan of the marine diversity of Sydney. 


Maddy Langley

Maddy is a research assistant at UNSW. She grew up exploring the beaches of the east coast, and continues to work, study, and play in the ocean wherever possible.

During her honours degree, Maddy studied the microbial communities of kelp forests in tropicalising sections of the east Australian coast, incorporating the fields of microbiology and marine ecology


Dr Ezequiel Marzinelli
 Ezequiel, aka Ziggy, leads the crayweed restoration research from the University of Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.
He is a marine ecologist that studies how interactions with marine creatures and microbes affect seaweed forests in natural and urban environments. His goal is to use this information for conservation and management practices, particularly ecological restoration.

Professor Peter Steinberg
Peter is a distinguished researcher with more than 165 international publications and multiple patents. He is a world renowned seaweed expert and his research interests include seaweed ecology, diseases of marine organisms, biofouling and antifouling, bacterial biofilm biology, marine chemical ecology and marine biotechnology. He is Professor of Biology at UNSW Australia and Director of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Dr Damon Bolton
Damon loves all things marine and is nearly more comfortable underwater than out of it. He is an Associate lecturer at UNSW in environmental impact and natural resource management. His PhD research investigated how urban marine environments can alter predator-prey interactions. He currently works with both us at Operation Crayweed and with the UNSW aquaculture team, using aquaculture for sustainable livelihoods
and creating better feed alternatives
for industry.


Past students

Adam Camilleri - Adam finished his Honours degree with Operation Crayweed in June 2017, and his work showed that the black sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii prefers eating kelp than crayweed, which is good news for our restoration project! He also investigated multiple mechanisms driving urchin feeding patterns.

Dr Tamsin Peters  - Tamsin finished her PhD degree in 2016, working on environmental stress and disease in crayweed. She has dived and sampled crayweed forests all the way from Port Macquarie in NSW to the depths of Tasmania. She is unmatched in her ability to tell apart male from female crayweed plants and was the first to describe an important fungal disease that affects high proportions of crayweed populations.  

Nigel Coombes - Nige finished his honours in 2016, and did a series of super-challenging experiments in Cape Banks to work out whether herbivores can limit the success of our restoration efforts. Adam designed a set of 'herbivore-exclusion' cages using fish nets that stopped all big critters from eating our experimental crayweed mats. His thesis concluded that herbivory can indeed strongly influence restoration success and he identified both fish and urchins as responsible for eating crayweed.




Jim Parry

Lou Pay
Marketing and Strategy Guru

James Hodgson

Alicia Lloyd
Aquarist & Researcher

Claudette Rechtorik
Sea Life Trust Advisor

Steve Oliver
Film Director

Shannon Ruddock
Film Maker

Nige Coombes
Honours student @ UNSW

Tamsin Peters
Research associate @ UNSW

James Sherwood
Photographer and camera work

The Acid
Movie soundtrack

John Turnbull

Justin Gilligan

Berta Companys
Volunteer extraordinaire

Sophie Powell
Research Assistant