Our Team

“A wonderful opportunity for our students to explore the possibilities of marine science.”

– Ms. Natalie Howard, Community Education Counsellor at William Ross High


F. Joseph Pollock – Founding Director – Joe is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Pennsylvania State University where he helps lead the Global Coral Microbiome Project. In 2015, he completed his PhD at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science where he investigated the drivers of coral diseases on Australia’s coral reefs. He has led field-based marine science courses on Thursday Island, Lady Elliott Island, and Orpheus Island for Australian and international students ranging from the primary to postgraduate level.


Carolyn Luder – Program Coordinator – Carolyn has a background in marine biology and zoology and a Masters in Protected Area Management from James Cook University. She is passionate about facilitating behaviour change to encourage active global communities. This includes developing and implementing unique educational programs that help to foster reconciliation and protect the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.


Jess Courtney – ATSIMS Project Officer – Jess was a pioneering member of ATSIMS’ inaugural 2013 cohort at William Ross State High School. The program sparked Jess’ interest in the study and conservation of marine life and influenced her decision to pursue business management. Descendant from Fraser Island and Torres Strait Islands, Jess is the 1st child in her family to go to University out of 39 grandchildren. She is doing a Bachelor Degree at James Cook University. As a program mentor, Jess is able to share her experience and knowledge and provide new ATSIMS scholars of an idea of how marine life plays a valuable part in our society.


Gabrielle Wrigley– ATSIMS Project Officer – Gabrielle moved from Perth to study Marine Biology at James Cook University, she is now studying a Masters in Teaching and Learning. Gabrielle is passionate in educating students on the conservation of our marine environment and helping students realise their ability and potential to achieve their goals.


Thomas Pearson – ATSIMS Ambassador – Thomas is from the Hammond Island, Torres Strait. He grew up consuming resources that the ocean provided for the community. He has gained a lot of traditional knowledge passed down from generations about sea country. The sea country inspired and gave Thomas the passion to seek out more information about the ocean and organisms. He is currently studying a Diploma of Higher Education in Science at James Cook University. He has his sights set on transferring to either a Bachelor or Marine Science or Marine Biology when he graduates from his Diploma. He wants to become a marine scientist to educate Torres Strait elders and future leaders about impacts on the ocean and how we can avoid negative outcomes. Thomas is excited to share his knowledge with ATSIMS students and encourage them to seize opportunities with Australia’s Marine Organizations.


Gemma Molinaro – ATSIMS Ambassador – Gemma’s background as a dive instructor and underwater photographer inspired her learn more about ocean conservation. She completed a Bachelor of Marine Biology and is currently working on her Masters in Protected Area Management. Gemma also gets out of the classroom to coordinate reef health surveys on the GBR for Reef Check Australia, leading a team of enthusiastic dive volunteers to monitor the reef with help from local tourism partners. She was drawn to the ATSIMS program to learn traditional knowledge about the Great Barrier Reef and to share her marine skills and experiences with Indigenous students to hopefully inspire future careers in the marine field.


Tyler-Jaye Cossor – ATSIMS Mentor – Tyler is currently studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at James Cook University. She was a member of the inaugural 2013 cohort of ATSIMS students whilst in year 9 at Kirwan State High School. Tyler found the ATSIMS program an unforgettable experience, and as an ATSIMS mentor would like to share her experiences and help students get the most out of the program.

Jennifer Gulson – ATSIMS Mentor – Jennifer had recently accepted a position at JCU to study nursing and midwifery. She was one of the inaugural members of the ATSIMS program whilst in year 9 at Pimlico State High School. Jen found the experience and knowledge she learnt from the program unforgettable, which made her wish to share her passion and enthusiasm with other students as an ATSIMS mentor. Jens family is from Roma, and she belongs to the Gunggari people. She hopes to introduce marine science to students in a fun and educational way.


Calistie Souey – ATSIMS Volunteer – Calistie participated in the ATSIMS program in year 10 whilst studying at Thuringowa State High School. Before the program, Calistie never thought she would take a science subject during her senior year. Through ATSIMS, Calistie found that science does not have to be boring. She enrolled in senior chemistry and biology during high school. She is now undertaking a diploma of higher education (Science) at JCU with the aim of enrolling in a Bachelor Degree in Geology in 2017.

Mitchell Baum – ATSIMS Volunteer – Mitchell is an Aboriginal man of the Larrakia Nation, and a recent graduate of James Cook University's Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours) degree. His research focused on the response of a small tidal inlet to seasonal variation of environmental conditions (wind, waves, tides etc.). Before this, Mitchell completed a Bachelor of Marine Science at JCU in 2015 and he is hoping to return to JCU in the near future to complete post graduate studies. Mitchell’s passion for science and the marine environment drew him to ATSIMS. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about the marine environment to inspire Indigenous students to pursue their interests in science.

Wilfred Reuben – ATSIMS Mentor – Wilfred has Aboriginal ties to the Daly River area in the Northern Territory and Torres Strait ties to Darnley Island. Wilfred participated in the inaugural 2013 ATSIMS program, which fueled his passion for marine and climate sciences. Wilfred is now a leader in climate advocacy, fighting the climate crisis of today while inspiring other young people to continue the fight into the future. As well as ATSIMS, he is actively involved in SEED – Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network.

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Sarah Sutcliffe – ATSIMS Ambassador – Sarah is an Honours Candidate in Marine Biology at James Cook University. She was drawn to the ATSIMS program due to her drive to ensure that everyone has the chance to get involved in the field she loves, as well as the knowledge that Indigenous Australians have so much to offer in terms of passion for the environment and innovative ideas for how we can best use and preserve coastal ecosystems.

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Andrew Chin – ATSIMS Ambassador – Andrew is a researcher at James Cook University who has extensive experience studying sharks and fisheries across northern Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. This involves tagging and tracking sharks and rays as well as exploring Indigenous knowledge about important marine species. Dr. Chin firmly believes that this information is vital for meeting pressing sustainability challenges. He looks forward to helping Indigenous youth become the next generation of scientists and science brokers.