Network Ten and CSIRO


Biology, Environment, Natural Sciences and Related Areas

Craig Adams and Jacqui Adams-Maher, Keepers, Australian Reptile Park - Venomous Creatures Episode

Craig AdamsCraig thinks the right job comes to you when you do the things you love, but you also need a certain amount of luck. That is what happened to Jackie and Craig when they responded to an ad for a roving reptile show that goes to schools... 4 years and many thousands of kilometres later and they both took full time positions at Australian Reptile Park. 

Craig's favourite part of his job isn't the animals, but in fact the people he works with that make this the best job for him. He also gets to travel to cool places when he is involved in making documentaries. 

Ingrid Albion, Education Officer, Parks and Wildlife Service - Marsupials Episode

Ingrid AlbionIngrid has university qualifications in zoology and education, which makes her ideally suited to her current job with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife. Initially she worked as a volunteer assisting with trapping of Tassie devils and then moved onto caring for our devils in captivity and setting up an orphaned devil program. She loves getting to know individual devils, keeping records on their health and working out new things to make their captive life more interesting, and watching the young devils play. Even at home she is still involved with wildlife, as her family cares for orphaned wildlife such as pademelons and possums.

Hing Ang, Marine Scientist - Young Scientists Episode

Hing AngHing's association with Underwater World began as a researcher, using the facilities and animals here to perform behavioural experiments for his honours and PhD projects. He also had several years experience in the retail aquarium industry and his knowledge of aquarium husbandry helped him get the job. His ability to communicate his knowledge to others was also a big factor in getting the job.

In this job, he is always learning and he loves the chance to test his knowledge in a real world atmosphere. A typical day for Hing is quite varied. All the education staff are multiskilled so they work in all areas. Duties include - literature research for signs, talks and education programs, taking school excursions, staff training, graphic design and photography, aquarium husbandry, food preparation and feeding, display design and construction and animal training.

David Abrego, Ph D Student, School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University - Great Barrier Reef Episode

David AbregoDavid is originally from Mexico, and he studied a Marine Biology degree in California. After travelling the world, and working for a couple of years in Mexico, he came to Australia on a scholarship to study for a PhD at James Cook University. His favourite part about the research he does is that he gets to work close to the ocean, and more importantly, close to the amazing ecosystem that is a coral reef. David is also a keen scuba diver, which is pretty handy in his job.

Claire Baker, Entomologist - Insects Episode

Claire BakerClaire is an entomologist with an unusual job - she is the manager of the Tambourine Mountain Glow-worm Caves! The caves have only been open since March 2005, but Claire started work with them about eight months before that, to create the perfect glow-worm environment from the artificial concrete caves. Glow-worms like to live in a wet environment (the glow-worm caves have a misting system) and they need the right texture on the walls (it's a trade secret!) - Claire gets to exercise her creativity as well as her knowledge of glow-worms

As the manager, Claire makes sure the glow-worms are happy and healthy; she feeds them insects each day and makes sure they are safe from predators such as spiders and beetles.

Claire has always been interested in insects, but didn't realise she could have a career as an entomologist until she got to university. Now she loves her work. "I never get sick of taking people into the caves - it's pretty magical."

Ian Bell, Conservation Officer - Turtles Episode

Ian BellIan started with Parks and Wildlife about 17 years ago as a Ranger helping to look after terrestrial and marine parks in central Queensland.  After completing an associate diploma, BSc and a Masters degree he "evolved" into the position of trying to find out what is happening with turtle populations in North Queensland. Luckily for him, these turtles like to live in nice places, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York Peninsula.

His fieldwork involves either walking around a beach half the night looking for nesting turtles during nesting season or driving around in boats trying to jump on and catch turtles in their foraging areas.  It's not all field work though, he has to try and put all the valuable data together too.

"These animals have been around for 120 million years, and it's only in the last few years that their populations have dramatically declined, it's critical that people work towards keeping them around."

Rochelle Bishop, Entomologist - Insects Episode

Rochelle BishopRochelle has the job that most kids probably dream of, working at a zoo and teaching students about the fascinating world of animals.

She has worked as the Education Officer at Taronga Zoo. Rochelle says that the best thing about her job is "seeing how kids start to understand and appreciate the animals that they share their world with, after just one hour!"

Rochelle completed her degree in Education at the University of Western Sydney and taught at a school for 8 years, before starting work at the Taronga Zoo.

Her favourite animal is the echidna, which can have a tongue that reaches 18cm long! "Echidnas have such a unique design, they look prehistoric. It is incredible to watch them interact", she says.

Rochelle believes that anyone interested in working at a zoo needs to have a passion for not just animals, but the environment and conservation.

Rosie Booth, Principle Conservation Officer - Marsupials Episode

Rosie BoothRosie started working as a vet looking after domestic animals and then decided to care for native wildlife. After 15 years in the zoo industry, and a Masters degree on koalas, she has landed as her ideal job looking after threatened species in Queensland . The best part is working directly with animals and breeding them for release back into the wild. Rosie looks after five major threatened species projects, and each one requires some input each day. For example, every Wednesday, her team measure and photograph their Mahogany Glider pouch young as part of an ongoing research project into their reproductive biology.

Kristy Bresolin, Big Cat Handler, Australia Zoo - Predator and Prey Episode

Kristy Bresolin

Kristy has a job which most people would envy. She has been working at Australia Zoo in Queensland for two years and has been with the Big Cats department for about half that time.

With four cheetahs currently at Australia Zoo, Kristy already has a hectic schedule. She is assisting in developing a bigger and better cheetah exhibit which will include breeding facilities and room for up to 14 cheetahs. Also in the plans for the future is a cheetah run track which will be similar to a greyhound race track with a lure system, enabling the cheetahs to reach their full speed potential. With the fastest cheetah ever recorded reaching 127km/hour, the cheetah run track will be a sight to see!

Kristy's goal at Australia Zoo is to assist in conservation programs, primarily cheetah conservation. Kristy says the best part of her job is the special relationships that she has with one of the world's most highly endangered species.

Teresa Carrette, Venom Zoologist, School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University - Venomous Creatures Episode

Teresa CarretteTeresa studied Science at JCU in Cairns , and having grown up in the area, became fascinated by the cutting edge box jellyfish research being undertaken right on her doorstep. She is still at JCU, but is now completing a PhD, specialising on box jellyfish.

Her favourite part of her research is the field work, getting out on the water and diving with these animals you are learning first hand about their world and how they live in it. Every time you discover something new, even something small, it is such a buzz! In the peak jellyfish season (in the warm summer months) she'll spend most of her time out on the boat and beaches collecting and studying the animals. The winter months are mainly spent working in the laboratory or at a computer sorting out all the collections and processing all the information from the summer. And practising on her guitar.

Janelle Clapton, Healesville Sanctuary - Predator and Prey Episode

Janelle Clapton

Janelle works in the birds of prey section of the Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria. Her work involves a mix of caring for the predatory birds and presenting shows in which the birds fly free over the heads of the audience. Why don't they just fly away? Janelle says the arena where they perform is their territory, plus some food treats like bits of mice keep them coming back! According to Janelle, the work is not all glamorous but she loves the bond she develops with the birds.

When Janelle was very young, she wanted to be a farmer's wife! As she grew up, her career plans changed, but she always knew she wanted to work with animals. When she finished high school she studied animal care at TAFE while doing volunteer work at a children's farm to gain experience, a combination she recommends. "Volunteer work helped me to learn that I could do the job well, and helped demonstrate this to future employers too."

Dr Alex Cook, Senior Curator, Palaeontology and Geology Department , Queensland Museum - Dinosaurs Episode

Alex CookDr Alex Cook studied at the University of Wollongong , then at James Cook University . He joined the Museum in 1992 as an assistant and worked his way up from there. When he started he was assistant to the very famous Dr Mary Wade, who taught him a great deal.

He loves seeing fossils that no-one else has ever seen, discovering new fossils in many parts of the world, and going on field work. He enjoys studying the large number and variety of fossils and making the pieces of a bigger puzzle of the history of life piece together. Outside of work, he likes playing computer games, reading, and spending time with his family. He also likes old movies.

A typical day in the office might involve identifying fossils, answering public enquiries, studying new fossils that have arrived in from field work. In addition, helping to sort new fossil material and writing scientific papers on new finds and their importance.

If he is in the field he would be digging, recording site information, helping our volunteers excavate dinosaur bones, packing bones in plaster jackets, using the excavator; perhaps even cooking the meals.

David Donnelly, Aquarist - Turtles Episode

David DonnellyDavid ended up working at the Melbourne Aquarium after many years of voluntary work and getting to know people in the area. He really enjoys being able to work with new and unusual animals as well as being able to attend marine animal strandings in the wild. Most days are spent looking after quarantine animals (including the rehab. turtles featured on SCOPE). He also dives about three times a week and works in a team caring for displays and the animals.

When he is not working at the aquarium, he works with an underwater film maker, filming sharks, whales, dolphins and turtles in the wild. And then there are the trips out to the ocean around the south east coast of Australia in search of all types of marine wildlife.

Lynita Howie, Entomologist - Insects Episode

Lynita HowieWhat's worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm! But don't worry Lynita Howie is on the case.

Lynita is an entomologist who studies Tephritid flies. These flies are the adult version of the 'worms' (which are maggots really) that you sometimes find in your apple. No one wants fruit with 'worms' in it, but we don't want to eat the pesticide used to kill the 'worms' either.

Lynita is trying to minimise the need for pesticide. She is exploring ways to attract the fly AWAY from the fruit. Right now this is done with a delicious fly food similar to Vegemite, but it could be improved. "It is my hope that soon we can all enjoy our fruit without worms or pesticides", says Lynita.

As well as flies, Lynita is passionate about kitesurfing. She spends her spare time surfing in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane and sharing her passion with others by being a kitesurf instructor. "I love kitesurfing because it's exciting and not harmful to the environment".

Dr Steve Johnston, Zoologist - Marsupials Episode

Dr Steve JohnstonIt has been a long road for Steve. He studied biology for a while, followed by a job cutting up dead animals to recover the parasites. He finished his zoology degree part-time while working. Finally he bit the bullet and went full-time for his PhD during which he worked on an artificial insemination program for koalas, successfully producing 18 koala joeys. Currently he lectures at the University of Queensland in wildlife reproduction, and supervises 8 PhD students and lots of honours students, which only leaves time for a couple of hours sleep each night, except when studying nocturnal animals, then it's even less. Outside of work he coaches cricket and is an avid skier, but is quite happy to do things that are not always about science, like mow the lawn. Trouble is, he loves his work so much that he finds it hard to stop thinking about it.

Marayka Kirby, Marine Biologist - Marine Mammals

Marayka KirbyAt the age of 23, Marayka has already found her dream job! She is a marine mammal trainer working at Sea World in Queensland. She spends her days doing the dolphin shows (where she gets to ride dolphins!), training and taking care of the dolphins and cleaning plenty of fishy buckets.

Marayka says that her love of the ocean began with family holidays on the Great Barrier Reef, and as she grew up on a farm she also loved animals. At university she combined both of these interests by studying marine biology and zoology and worked part time at an aquarium. After graduating, she worked with a wild dolphin feeding program, then moved to her current job at Sea World.

For other people wanting to find similar work, she suggests starting to collect experience as early as possible, by volunteering or doing part time work at pet shops, aquariums or universities. What does she like about her job? "What don't I like!"

Dr Col Limpus - Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service - Turtles Episode

Dr Col LimpusDr Col Limpus has studied reptiles for more than 30 years and is a leader in world-wide conservation efforts for endangered turtles. Each summer at Mon Repos near Bundaberg , Queensland , (the same beach where as a boy his own interest in marine creatures began) he trains teams of volunteers to tag nesting turtles, collect data and educate many thousands of visitors.

Cols first job was teaching high school mathematics and science. He then went on to lecture at Kelvin Grove College, and then worked in the State Government as a marine biologist. He established the Queensland Turtle Research Program at Mon Repos in 1968 and has since extended it to other important rookeries. In his efforts to prevent further decline in turtle numbers, Col travels to countries such as Indonesia, Mexico and Papua New Guinea to study conservation efforts, share research techniques and give lectures.

Ronny Ling, President Orrca - Marine Mammals

Ronny LingRonny's passion for sea animals lead him to join Orrca around 16 years ago - he's now the president of the organisation.

Orrca is the Organisation for Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia, which works with all Australian marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs). The organisation has around 300 volunteer members who rescue stranded marine mammals, conduct research to help protect them and raise public awareness of issues related to marine mammals.

Ronny says that they are always looking for new members to help with Orrca's work. Members may find themselves providing first-aid to stranded marine mammals, coordinating whale migration surveys, helping with autopsies on dead animals or staffing Orrca's telephone hotline.

As president, Ronny gets involved in all aspects of Orrca's work, as well as keeping an eye on the organisational side of things and conducting training workshops. In his spare time, he works as a postman in Gosford.

Adrian Mifsud, Healesville Sanctuary - Predator and Prey Episode

Adrian MifsudAdrian is one of the 'Mammal Icon' keepers at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria. He looks after dingos, koalas and other animals, but his main buddies are the platypuses. He keeps them entertained (the official term is 'behavioural enrichment') by giving them floating things to play with, leafy branches to pull apart and insects to catch. Soon the platypuses will move to a new platypusary, and Adrian will start trying to convince them to breed with a female who's moved from Sydney.

Adrian started his career with an apprenticeship in animal technology because he noticed that in his industry experience is often more important than a uni degree. He also spent a lot of time as a volunteer with different organisations (including the Australian Dingo Conservation Association) to gain experience and make contacts.

In the future, Adrian would like to work in a conservation-based role. "We learn a lot about animals in captivity, and I'd like to apply that knowledge to the outside world."

Lynne Milne, Forensic Palynologist - Forensics Episode

Lynne MilneLynne first did an Honours degree in Geology (specialising in Palynology, the study of pollen, spores and other microscopic plant bodies) followed by a PhD. Her main area of expertise is pollen morphology - looking at the fine details of pollen to work out the differences between pollen from different plant species, to help solve crimes and other scientific mysteries.

Palynology is used in geology, geography, archaeology, botany, zoology, immunology and environmental science. Lynne has done work in all of these areas except archaeology - but mostly she works as a forensic palynologist. The first case she worked on was to help solve a murder, and now most of her time is spent working on other criminal cases or teaching forensic science students at the Centre for Forensic Science.

She has also published a book, A Grain of Truth: How pollen brought a murderer to justice to help promote forensic palynology - something which most Australian police do not know about - YET!

Dr Geoff Monteith, Curator of Insects, Queensland Museum - Magnets Episode

Geoff MontiethGeoff is one of a small team of entomologists (scientists who study insect) who look after the collection of about 1 million insects held by the Queensland Museum . This collection is the official reference collection of insects for the state of Queensland and is used by scientists all over the world who are studying and naming new species of Australian insects. Before getting this job he studied entomology at University right up to PhD level.

Geoff says "The most exciting part of the job is going bush on expeditions to new areas of Queensland where insects haven't been sampled before."

Insects are collected using many methods including all sorts of special insect traps. Sorting the thousands of specimens we get is a big job back at the museum and we usually get lots of new species. We also use the Museum's insect collection to help us identify specimens which members of the public bring in.

Averil Muehlenbert, Zookeeper

Averil became a zookeeper after finishing a University degree in zoology. She worked at Healesville Sanctuary as her very first job after university. The best part of her job is the animal contact. She loves learning about the animals' incredible design and amazing adaptations and watching their behaviour. Averil makes sure the animals are fed a balanced diet, she looks after them when they are sick and keeps them entertained. Boredom can be a real problem in some zoo animals, so they are kept occupied by hiding food items in their exhibits or giving them branches and objects to climb on or play with and of course making sure they look and behave nicely for visitors.

Louise O'Carroll, Marine Biologist, Reef Biosearch - Great Barrier Reef Episode

Louise O'CarrollLouise studied marine science and zoology at Sydney University , after which she went to Port Douglas in Queensland to enjoy the warmer weather, and that's where she got her wonderful job with Reef Biosearch/Quicksilver.

She gets to go swimming every day, and sees lots of different marine life.  She really enjoys meeting people from around the world and giving them a once in a life time snorkeling experience.

When not on the reef, she still likes to be in the water wakeboarding or water skiing.

A typical day for her involves lots of jobs, preparing the vessel for its daily trip, maintaining the fish tanks and encouraging guests to participate in an exhilarating snorkel on the edge of the shelf. The snorkeling is an interpretive and educational experience with an emphasis on fun (for the customers and Louise).

Mark Cameron Quigley, Earth scientist, University of Melbourne -

Watch Quigz in the Outback Science Episode

Mark Cameron QuigleyMark was born in Canada and developed an interest in earth science while exploring the Canadian wilderness. He moved to the USA to conduct further studies and presently lives in Melbourne where he is a scientist at the University of Melbourne.

He loves the travel and adventure associated with his work - it hardly feels like a job at all. He has ventured into some of the most remote and spectacular places on earth, including the Arctic, the Grand Canyon, Mexico, Tibet , New Zealand , East Timor , and the Australian outback. Of course, he also feel that studying the Earth for a living is a noble cause, because we all have a duty to understand at least some aspects of the planet we live on.

He loves sports - he is an ice hockey and aussie rules football player. I also enjoy hanging out with friends.

As an academic earth scientist, every day is different. A lot of time is spent writing papers on the research he has conducted. He visits with a lot of different kinds of earth scientists and discusses how they might collaborate to better understand the earth. Some days he is on a microscope or in a laboratory, some days he is on the computer, and some days he teaches undergraduates about geology. And of course, he spends a lot of days outside, hiking through the mountains and collecting samples.

Melinda Rekdahl, University of Queensland - Marine Mammals Episode

Melinda RekdahlMelinda's research project at the University of Queensland sounds like a dream job - she gets to spend lots of time on the ocean watching dolphins!

Melinda is in the middle of her honours project studying the vocal behaviour of dolphins. She has already completed a degree in marine biology, which she decided on because of a love of both animal behaviour and the ocean.

Melinda's project involves recording the noises (vocalisations) that dolphins make and matching these with their behaviour. She is looking at three different groups of dolphins - one in captivity, one group of wild dolphins that are feed by humans each day and one completely wild group.

Melinda says she loves getting out on the water, but she is equally excited about the challenging science she is studying. "There's not much known about dolphin behaviour and vocalisations, so it's a fascinating project," she says.

Tim Schulz, Marine Biologist - Turtles Episode

Tim ShulzTim first developed a love for the marine environment and its critters growing up in Kenya where he learnt to snorkel from a very young age. This interest was furthered when he learnt to SCUBA dive and it was at thins point he decided to go to university to study Marine Biology.

The main focus of his job is by-catch, which is looking at the animals that get caught but are not actually wanted by the fishermen (and making sure that fish and chips are still available in years to come). One of the best parts is getting to see some quite rare and exciting animals. When something really special gets caught, he'll even get a photo with it as it is like having a picture taken with a celebrity. Tim has been known to do the odd crazy thing too, like climbing mountains and white-water rafting, but for fun, not research.

Tina Schroeder - Molecular Pharmacologist, University of Queensland - Venomous Creatures Episode

Tina SchroederTina was doing undergraduate studies in Biomedicinal Chemistry in Sweden and an opportunity came up to do a research exchange at the Centre for Drug Design and Development at the University of Queensland . When she met her first cone snail and she realised that she wanted to do her PhD on the therapeutic potential of the cone snail venom.

Every day is different, she is sometimes in the lab or maybe out on the Great Barrier Reef . There are always new things to learn, new papers to read, new techniques to learn and sharing her passion for science by teaching honours and PhD students. Not only, that but her studies and work have allowed her to travel to some spectacular places both in Australia and overseas.

One of Tina's absolute favourite things (outside her research) is cooking and baking. She thinks maybe it is the chemist in her, after all cooking and baking are chemical reactions.

Michael Taylor, Healesville Sanctuary - Predator and Prey Episode

Michael TaylorMichael is the Senior Reptile Keeper at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria. Naturally he's a big fan of all reptiles, though lizards are his favourite. "They have more character than snakes," he says.Michael started keeping reptiles as a kid, and focused on getting work in an animal-related area. He only got halfway through a TAFE course in animal technology before he found a job at Healesville Sanctuary. He says that his weekend volunteer work at the zoo helped him to stand out from the crowds of people wanting to work there.Michael says that his days in the reptile house are less routine than in some other areas of the zoo. He feeds different reptiles each day, presents educational keeper presentations, answers enquiries from the public and works on some conservation projects. He's not planning on moving on anytime soon: "They'll have to put a bomb under me to get me out!"

Lachlan Thompson - Insects Episode

Lachlan ThompsonLachlan admits that he is an aerospace engineer who is "a little bit eccentric". His passion for aircraft and space may have begun as a child when his father took him outside to show him a little dot in the sky that was Sputnik - the world's first artificial satellite.

Lachlan studied both aeronautical and aerospace engineering

and is now researching habitats that can support long-term life in space. He's particularly interested in using ideas and creatures from the natural world to solve engineering problems such as transferring pollen from one plant to another in zero-gravity

Lachlan's first experiment in space was the 'spider experiment' on the Space Shuttle Columbia and he's now working on a follow-up 'bee experiment' to study how plants can be pollinated in space. This is essential if we are to have sustainable, self-sufficient life in space.

Lachlan loves the 'adventure of discovery' in his work. "People climb Mt Everest and walk to the South Pole - that's dramatic, exciting stuff. To me, science discoveries are just as dramatic and exciting."

Visit the website on Bees in Space.

Donna Treby, Masters Student - Marsupials Episode

Donna TrebyAfter school, Donna started work as a veterinarian nurse and eventually started working at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary as a zookeeper and vet nurse. While working she enrolled in a course on Captive Vertebrate Management and during this time she volunteered to assist with some research that was being done with the northern hairy-nosed wombats. This convinced her that she wanted to help critically endangered wildlife and her research specialises on the northern hairy-nosed wombats. In the field she is up early, around 5.30 am and tries to get as much work done before it gets too hot. The middle of the day is spent sorting through data and preparing to go back out to work at about 3 pm , and work through until dark.

Mike Wescombe-Down, Technical Director, SeaChange Technology - Predator and Prey Episode

Mike Wescombe-DownMike has always had a flair for design and an interest in sharks - but not always from a friendly perspective. A friend was attacked by a shark when Mike was young, and Mike spent several years in the 1970s designing ways to kill sharks. Mike feels ashamed of this approach now, "but that was the attitude in those days."

Following several years studying and teaching design at university, Mike eventually designed a more positive solution - the Shark Shield - which uses an electric field to deter sharks without harming them. Mike is now Technical Director of the company, designing new versions of Shark Shield, conducting tests and supervising the manufacturing process.

Mike is pleased to be able to provide peace of mind to swimmers, divers and surfers. "Seeing a 5m shark turn away from me because of a little plastic contraption that I designed - that's pretty impressive."

Joanne Wilkinson, Fossil Restoration, Queensland Museum - Dinosaurs Episode

Joanne WilkinsonExtracting fossils from rock is not easy, but it is very satisfying, says Joanne. She spends her working week cutting, grinding and dissolving away rock so that fossils can be studied. She studied applied science after school, and always preferred working with her hands; so was drawn to the technical side of science from the beginning. After her degree she undertook a cadetship at University in a geology department, and has worked in the Geosciences area ever since. She is also a singer-songwriter, has 2 sheep, 6 chickens and a cat.

Scott Wilkie, Horticulturalist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney - Outback Science Episode

Scott WilkeScott started working in the landscape industry in Adelaide in 1990 doing apprenticeship certificates in both the Landscape and the Amenity Horticulture streams, and then moved around to several other states working and studying in the Horticulture field. In 2000 he was able to gain a contract at the Botanic gardens during the preparations for the Olympics, building new displays and redeveloping old displays and he has since been at the gardens.

He really love the amazing types of adaptations plants have developed through their evolution and the challenge of learning how to cultivate them. Especially when you can provide a great display for others to enjoy and appreciate. 

Outside of his job he loves to go and spend time with my friends, eating good food, and going fishing and bush walks. 

As a gardener at the Royal botanic gardens, Sydney he is required to do general maintenance of collections, weeding, pruning, planting, and fertilising, as well as developing the collection as a whole. This often requires him to research existing plants as well as research into new additions to the collection.

Robbie Wilson, Zoologist, University of Queensland - Predator and Prey Episode

Robbie WilsonRobbie says he's always wanted to be a zoologist - from primary school onwards. He's stuck to his guns, and has now been doing research in zoology for ten years.

Robbie's specialist area is how temperature affects life. He focuses on fish, reptiles and amphibians, and looks at how species have adapted to different temperatures, and also how one species deals with seasonal changes in temperature. He has studied fish in -2C water in Antarctica and tropical freshwater fish in Queensland, as well as frogs in Belgium, fish in Scotland and lizards and frogs in Brazil. He loves field work!

Robbie says that his research might help us understand how animals are affected by climate change, but he's really doing the research because he loves it. As well as achieving his dream of working with animals, Robbie's also finding that he really enjoys working with students in his new role of lecturer at the University of Queensland. "I like making them think" he says.

Leanne Yates, Australia Zoo - Predator and Prey Episode

Leanne YatesLeanne is part of the Wandering Wildlife Team at Australia Zoo in Queensland and says it is a really rewarding job. Leanne has been working at Australia Zoo for four years and is proud to be able to follow the Zoo's motto of 'conservation through exciting education'.

Leanne and other members of the team (including some exciting animals!) greet guests as they arrive at the Zoo. As a rover, Leanne's main duty is to allow the public to get close to a number of animals including a dingo, koala, cockatoo, Tassie devil, snake, lizards and a baby alligator.

Leanne also loves primates and is looking forward to having gorillas and orangutans at Australia Zoo. It is one of Leanne's lifetime dreams to have the opportunity to raise awareness about the threat to these amazing primates.