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About the OI

The OI Membership


About the UWA Oceans Institute

The UWA Oceans Institute brings together the University’s multidisciplinary research strengths across areas including oceanography, ecology, engineering, resource management and governance to address key ocean challenges.

We work with local, state and federal governments, industry and business, research institutions and the community to help generate solutions towards the sustainable use of ocean resources.


Meet the OI Team

Christophe Gaudin

Professor Christophe Gaudin


Christophe is an offshore geotechnical engineer and scientist with a focus on supporting and developing marine renewable energy using multidisciplinary approaches. Christophe has held several leadership roles, including Head of the Oceans Graduate School, Director of the National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facilities, Director of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, and Director of Marine Energy Research Australia, which he founded to support industry, scientists and government in developing innovative offshore renewable energy technology and in defining the future energy landscape in Australia and worldwide.
Christophe is passionate about all things associated with the marine environment, and notably in bringing together all stakeholders to address the scientific and social challenges currently faced by our oceans. 

Nicki Mitchell

A/Professor Nicki Mitchell

Deputy Director

Nicki is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background studying the physiological ecology of reptiles and amphibians. She works across marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments to explore the capacity of threatened species to survive rapid environmental change, and to offer management solutions. Nicki has a long-term research program on the impact of climate change on sea turtles, and has a scientific advisory role in biodiversity conservation and policy with the Commonwealth government.

Emily Glover

Emily Glover

Business Support Manager

Emily’s background is in strategic communications and multi-stakeholder engagement. She works alongside the team to design and implement projects and initiatives that advance the goals of the Institute and drive successful business outcomes.

Cora Castens

Cora Castens

Executive Assistant

Cora is a professional EA with a diverse career at executive and senior management levels in corporate, government and higher education sectors for over 21 years, having worked across Australia.

vivienne white

Vivienne White

Communications Officer

Viv has a background in environmental biology and science communication, with a passion for sharing science in interesting ways to wide ranging audiences. She promotes engagement within the WA community and beyond to raise science awareness.

Josh Bonesso

Joshua Bonesso

Communications Support Officer

Josh is a multi-disciplinary Coral Reef Scientist who uses coral reef ecology, sedimentology and geomorphology to study the resilience and sensitivity of coral reefs and their islands to global climate change. He has extensive technical, field and laboratory experience, and is particularly interested in applying his research to the development and implementation of conservation management outcomes within marginal ecosystems.

External Advisory Board

Made up of senior representatives from major research institutions, industry and government, the Oceans Institute External Advisory Board provides independent, high-level advice on industry and policy needs, as well as trends in the Indian Ocean region, to guide our strategic planning.

Mr Jock Clough

Mr Jock Clough

Chair, UWA Oceans Institute Advisory Board

Jock has an extensive background in the engineering, finance and aquaculture industries. He is also an advisory board member at The Nature Conservancy (Australia), is on the advisory committee of the WA Maritime Museum and is a co-trustee of The Jock Clough Marine Foundation.

Adjunct Professor Luke Smith

Adjunct Professor Luke Smith

Chief Environmental Scientist, Woodside Energy

Luke has worked on several major oil and gas developments both in Australia and internationally. He has over 20 years of experience in managing large marine research programs focused on understanding oil and gas-based environmental science and management and has authored two books.

Professor Carmen Lawrence

Professor Carmen Lawrence

Professor Emerita, School of Psychology, UWA

After training as a research psychologist, Carmen entered politics in 1986, serving at both state and federal levels for 21 years. After shifting to federal politics in 1994 she became Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. Carmen retired from politics in 2007.

Professor John Chandler

Professor John Chandler


John has specialised in mining and petroleum development law for more than 30 years, as a partner in leading law firms such as Freehills, and as a company director. Now a professor in the Law School at UWA, John specialises in oil and gas law and is the co-author of Australia's leading textbook in the area as well as numerous articles on oil and gas regulation. His current focus is how Australia can improve the sustainability of offshore oil and gas operations and minimise their impact on oceans.

Dr Larry Madin

Dr Larry Madin

Senior Science Advisor, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

An American marine biologist, Larry began researching plankton in the 1970s and was a pioneer of in situ methods, including open ocean SCUBA diving and the use of submersibles and remote vehicles. Larry has served on over 70 ocean expeditions across the globe. He was VP for research for 13 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

Matthias Leopold

A/Professor Mattias Leopold

Head of School, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

Matthias is a soil geomorphologist focussing on soils and their properties for a better understanding of landscape evolution and soil functions. He integrates knowledge from pedology and geoscience to study and to understand near surface processes at various scales and environments. Matthias serves on the Future Farm Committee as well as the Teaching & Learning Committee.

Annette George

Professor Annette George

Head of School, UWA School of Earth Sciences

Annette is a Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences, at The University of Western Australia, working in ancient and modern sedimentary basins.

Paul Low

Professor Paul Low

Head of School, UWA School of Molecular Sciences

Paul is a Professor of Chemistry, completing his PhD in 1997. Paul serves on numerous review and advisory committees and groups within the University, has participated in various review groups for the Australian Research Council and provides advice and recommendation to funding bodies and research agencies world-wide. 

Patrick Finnegan

Professor Patrick Finnegan

Head of School, UWA SCHOOL of Biological Sciences

Patrick is a Professor and Head of School of Biological Sciences at UWA. He has a PhD in plant molecular biology with research expertise in various areas of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Conleth OLoughlin

Professor Conleth O'Loughlin

Rep. for Head of School, UWA Oceans Graduate school

Conleth is a geotechnical engineer and scientist, with extensive research and industry experience, specialising in geotechnical aspects of offshore energy developments. He is the Director of the National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility, and has held several positions on local and international organising committees for various international conferences.


Bright minds helping us solve
big problems

Experts working to solve the biggest ocean issues of our time
Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle
Looking for a Subject Matter Expert?
Contact us or search the UWA profile database to connect with our network of researchers, who are experts in their field. The OI network is always looking for consulting, research and partnership opportunities.
WA Fish and Reefs
WA Fish and Reefs
Are you a UWA Researcher?
Contact us to discuss opportunities to join the Oceans Institute research network.
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