Guest Speaker Date Topic
Prof. Jonti Horner 24 – 27 March 2023 Astronomy
Alice Forest 13 – 15 April 2023 Plastic Pollution & Marine Mammals
Azri Saparwan 8 – 11 May 2023 Master Reef Guide, Coral Reef Restoration
Prof. Jonti Horner 1 – 6 June 2023 Astronomy
Leaf to Reef  7 – 21 June 2023 Researchers
Scott Smithers Date TBC – July 2023 Geomorphologist – Great Barrier Reef Formation
Jasper De Bie 5 – 7 August 2023 Humpback Whales
Prof. Jonti Horner 15 – 18 September 2023 Astronomy
Richard Fitzpatrick 15 – 18 September 2023 Underwater Cinematographer & Shark Researcher
Leaf to Reef  14 – 28 October 2023 Researchers 
Gareth Phillips Date TBC – November 2023 Master Reef Guide and CEO of AMPTO, Great Barrier Reef and Coral Spawning
Lighthouse Week 14 November 2023 150 Years of Lighthouse History Celebration
Prof. Jonti Horner 13 – 16 December 2023 Astronomy

*Subject to change

Leaf to Reef

Leaf to Reef: Biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island is a research group apart of the Reef Islands initiative, which aims to establish a network of climate change refuges by protecting critical habitats in the Great Barrier Reef and use citizen science to quantify the biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island and surrounding waters.

Jonti Horner

Professor Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist at the University of Southern Queensland. He first became interested in astronomy at the age of five, and has been hooked ever since. After spending his youth observing the night sky, and going to lectures at his local astronomical society, Jonti went to the University of Durham, where he spent four years studying towards a Masters’ degree in Physics and Astronomy. He then moved to the University of Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate for a thesis entitled ‘The Behaviour of Small Bodies in the Outer Solar System.’. Once his studies were complete, he moved to the University of Bern, in Switzerland, where he spent three years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Spells at the UK’s Open University and the University of Durham followed, before he moved to Australia in 2010, to take up a position at the University of New South Wales. In 2014, Jonti accepted a position at the University of Southern Queensland, where he became the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow.

Jonti is a passionate and enthusiastic science communicator. He gives regular talks to a wide variety of community groups, schools, and astronomical societies, and makes monthly appearances on ABC Queensland’s Evenings program, with Trevor Jackson. His research covers topics ranging from the formation and evolution of our Solar system to the search for planets around other stars. He is particularly interested in understanding the different factors that could make some of those planets more (or less) suitable for the development of life, and is looking forward to seeing the next generation of astronomical telescopes make a serious effort at answering the question “Are We Alone?”.

Jonti writes regular articles for the Australian research news website The Conversation, which can be found at: . His Twitter handle is @JontiHorner, and his personal webpage is located at

Alice Forest

An avid ocean lover from the east coast of Australia, Alice has a passion for the natural world and the creatures who inhabit it. As a researcher and diver, she has a firm belief in communicating both the science and the intrinsic magic of the ocean and what lies beneath the surface. She has a Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity & Conservation) and Bachelor of Marine & Antarctic Science (with Honours). You’ll usually find Alice driving a Zodiac in Antarctica, freediving with whales, campaigning for ocean protection or adventuring outdoors.

Jasper De Bie

Jasper received his MScs in Marine biology and Climate physics at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht (the Netherlands).

With a keen interest in fish ecology, he joined the University of Southampton (UK), where he started his PhD in Environmental Engineering, studying fish behavioural response to hydrodynamics in the context of freshwater fish migration. After completion of his PhD he worked as a Research Fellow on a research project where, through an experimental and modelling approach, European eel migratory routes through tidal areas and rivers could be predicted.

He is currently working at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre at Griffith University on the Gold Coast as a Research Fellow studying the effects of climate change on humpback whale migration. When he’s not busy with science, he enjoys outdoors sporting activities, and is trying to improve his underwater photography skills.