Guest Speaker Date Topic
Prof Jonti Horner 5-8 January 2024
Stars & Staff Training
Ali Hammond 15-17 February 2024
secret life of sea cucumbers & turtles in trouble
Leaf to Reef 3-10 February 2024
Leaf to Reef research, mantas, poss sharks
Alice Forrest 4-6 March 2024
Ocean plastic pollution & deep diving adaptations of marine mammals
Prof Jonti Horner 5-8 April 2024
Stars & Staff Training
Pacific Whale Foundation TBC 
Whales & marine mammal research in local region
Leaf to Reef 3-17 June 2024
Leaf to Reef research, mantas, poss sharks
Prof Jonti Horner 26-29 July 2024
Stars & Staff Training
Richard Fitzpatrick 7-19 August 2024 Sharks    
Prof Sean Ulm 20-23rd September 2024
Deep History of The Great Barrier Reef
Prof Jonti Horner 25-28th October 2024
Stars & Staff Training
Celmara Pocock 16-18 November 2024 TBC    

*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.