Guest Speakers





Yvette Miles

Environmental Consultant, Marine Biologist

12th July


Jonti Horner

Professor (Astrophysics), University of Queensland

13th – 16th December


Yvette Miles - Environmental Consultant, Marine Biologist

12th July

An experienced and respected Marine Mammal Observer and environmental consultant, I have more than 19 years’ experience in marine wildlife biology and marine mammal offshore and shoreline work.

As the Managing Director of Scanning Ocean Sectors I lead a team of specialist trainers, consultants and facilitators to deliver consultancy and training for the marine sector. My company trains Marine Mammal Observers, Marine Fauna Observers and Passive Acoustic Monitor operators and provides personnel for projects around the globe.

Specialising in international marine legislation and guidelines, I help clients and contractors understand their obligations and support them in following industry best practice.

I also lead ecotours and marine wildlife watching expeditions within Australia and overseas.

I am a JNCC-recognised Marine Mammal Observer and hold a Bachelor of Science (Biology).

Professor Jonti Horner (Astrophysics), University of Queensland

13th – 16th December

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 Kelly Higgins-Devine. Her 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