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Work experience

Jun 2011Present

Packard Environment Fellow

Environmental Defense Fund: California Fisheries Fund

The overall aim of this position is to move the Fund from "start up" mode to an established entity. Activities include:
  • Establishing a system to measure the financial, social and conservation outcomes of the Fund.
  • Designing administrative systems to facilitate the loan application process for applicants and Fund managers.
Jun 2010Aug 2010

Packard Environment Fellow

Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Examined the business drivers that motivate and influence participation in sustainability initiatives for 47 North American seafood businesses.
  • Advised the Aquarium how to generate winning solutions for seafood businesses and conservation. This information will inform the future strategy for Seafood Watch corporate partnerships and the Center for the Future of the Oceans in general.
Jan 2001Mar 2009

Managing Director

Reef Check Foundation Limited

Founded Reef Check Foundation Limited (Australia), a non-profit company. Activities included:

  • Designed, established and managed 4 successful coral reef monitoring projects that covered 50 survey sites.
  • Developed a coral reef monitoring training course that standardized and increased the quality of data our volunteers collected. The course framework was adopted in 2006 as the international standard for Reef Check International.
  • Project managed the development of an online spatial database and contacts management system, which enabled public use of reef health data, integration with national research databases and increased overall company efficiency.
  • Co-designed coral reef monitoring education materials that were immediately adopted by 200 schools in Australia.
  • Secured funding for the organization and projects, which totaled A$500,000 in 2009.
  • Established a network of 80 partner organizations to maximize program outputs at minimal cost.
  • Recruited and managed staff, volunteers, the Board of Directors & various advisory committees.
Jan 2004Jan 2007

Asia Pacific Reef Check Coordinator

United Nations Environment Program

  • Delivered 7 capacity-building workshops in Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu, Tonga and Mexico on using Reef Check monitoring for community-based coral reef management.
  • Co-developed the Reef Check EcoAction Education Program with the International Reef Check team.
  • Provided advice and support for Reef Check project development in Vanuatu, Fiji, Chuuk and Timor-Leste.
Aug 2003Apr 2004

Principal author

Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network

I developed a popular resource book for managers on coral reef monitoring (Hill and Wilkinson, 2004). This document was launched at the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, 2004 and used around the world by coral reef managers.


Masters of Applied Science

James Cook University

Focus on integrated coastal zone & protected area management, environmental impact assessment, conservation biology, coral reef ecology, participatory coral reef management, stakeholder engagement, geographic information systems and fishery management. Thesis research focused on the role of training to reduce inter-observer error for volunteer coral reef monitoring programs. 

Aug 2009Jun 2011

MBA in Sustainable Management

Presidio Graduate School

Focus on connecting rigorous management theory and practice with social responsibility, ecological awareness, systems thinking, climate change mitigation planning and leadership within an integrated framework of sustainable management.

Final Capstone Business Plan

My team developed a business plan for a private equity firm and its first fund that invests in clean energy plants in India. The purpose of the fund is to bring energy to people who currently live without.

Experiential Learning Projects

These projects are designed to engage student teams with companies and organizations in order to solve real-time challenges at a professional level and in a professional manner.  The projects are examined through the lens of sustainability and seek to address issues involving operations, strategic management, financial planning, and marketing.

Marine Ecosystem Services Program, Forest Trends

Led a team to develop a finance and marketing plan to promote a "payment for ecosystem service" (PES) with the Colombian tourism industry in collaboration with the Marine Ecosystem Services Program (MARES). This deal will secure up to 20% of the marine protected area management plan for San Andrés Island in return for protecting the environmental services relied upon by local businesses.

  • Analyzed existing economic research around the affects of coral reef health on adjacent tourism businesses;
  • Identified suitable ecosystem services to use in a PES deal;
  • Conducted in-depth financial analysis of five investment options to enhance profits for the local hotel industry that included coral reef protection;
  • Developed creative strategic marketing recommendations to guide MARES on how to make the business case for protecting the coral reef to the hotel industry.

Led the development of a strategic plan for the Marine Ecosystem Services Program's work within the marine conservation markets landscape.

  • Incorporated creative suggestions to enable sustainable program financing and dynamic recommendations for various future scenarios. 
  • Utilized scenario planning techniques to develop focused yet adaptable strategies in order to maximize the effectiveness of the program and mitigate the uncertainties of nascent conservation markets.

Cadena's Fresh Fish

Led an MBA team to assess current business development goals and provided operations plan for the effective use of resources and the expansion of operations for a start-up sustainable seafood distribution business in Santa Barbara. This plan included recommendations about:

  • Streamlining work processes;
  • Setting realistic cash flow goals given the potential market;
  • Selecting optimal target markets to efficiently realize cash flow goals;
  • Enhancing sustainability achievements.

Client deliverables included an analysis of break-even points for two expansion options and a financial model to help manage recommended growth targets.

Sep 1995Jun 1999

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Leeds University

Focus on conservation biology, community ecology, animal behaviour and adaptive evolution.Honours thesis research focused on bat wing aerodynamics.

Sep 1997Jun 1998

Minor Degree (International component of Bachelor Degree)

Autonoma University

Focus on marine oceanography, biology and ecology; as well as anthropology.


Group Fitness Instructor
Group fitness instructor with >7 years experience teaching Les Mills Program classes to include: Body Pump Body Balance/Flow RPM
Passed Intermediate level Spanish at Autonoma University in Spain during 1998. Participated in Spanish classes to brush up skills and passed Intermediate tests in Mexico and Spain during 2006 and 2009.
Coral Reef Monitoring
Experienced with many underwater quadrat, transect, video and photo surveying techniques for coral reefs; Taxonomy and identification of Indo-Pacific and Caribbean fish, coral and other invertebrates to family/genus; Principal Author for a popular resource book for managers on coral reef monitoring (Hill and Wilkinson, 2004). 
Trainer in coral reef monitoring methods
Instructor Trainer for Reef Check volunteer coral reef monitoring. Trained over 200 lay people and scientists in Reef Check monitoring methods. Authored Reef Check Australia's Volunteer Training Program nd Instructor Trainer Program; Co-authored Reef Check International's EcoDiver Volunteer Training Program and Instructor Trainer Program.  
Scuba Dive Instructor and Certified Commercial Diver
ADAS Commercial Scuba Level 1 and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with > 1000 dives.

Writing Samples

Conference Presentations

Delivered presentations to a scientific audience about Reef Check Australia projects and data quality research at the following conferences:

  • International Coral Reef Symposium, USA, 2008;
  • Australian Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility Conference, 2006, 2007 and 2008;
  • Australian Coral Reef Society Conference, 2007;
  • International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium, Mexico, 2006;
  • International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium, Philippines, 2003.


A versatile and independent professional with a dedicated focus on sustainable business markets, social entrepreneurialism, marine conservation and international development. Over ten years of international experience with demonstrated excellence in communication, developing collaborative alliances, business development and project management. Passionate about finding innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

Select Volunteer Experience

Reef Check Foundation Limited (Australia)

  • Science and Business Advisor, Townsville, Australia
  • 2009 to Present

Dwarf Minke Whale Research Project

  • Volunteer Researcher, Townsville, Australia
  • 2001 to 2008

The Reef-World Foundation

  • Volunteer Reef Check Coordinator, Phuket, Thailand
  • February to May, 2000


  • Volunteer Marine Research Officer, Puerto Princessa, Philippines
  • January to February, 2000

Coral Cay Conservation Limited

  • Volunteer Science Officer, Palawan, Philippines
  • July to December, 1999

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