BLAKE Expeditions Crew

Expedition Director, BLAKE

Jacob is a Programme Manager for BLAKE and manages the BLAKE Inspire for Teachers and BLAKE Ambassador programmes. He coordinated the science communication and outreach for the BLAKE Expeditions to the Sub-Antarctic in 2016 and to Kermadec Islands in 2018. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Earth Science at Massey University and his Master […]

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Programme Manager and Health & Safety Officer, BLAKE

Bhakti is a Programme Manager at BLAKE and works with the team to deliver its environmental education programmes such as BLAKE Inspire, BLAKE Expeditions, and BLAKE Ambassadors. Bhakti obtained her BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Auckland, Leigh Marine Lab specialising in Marine science. Her research focused on snapper physiology. Prior to joining […]

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Snorkel Instructor, BLAKE

Annika is BLAKE’s Senior Virtual Reality Environmental Educator, working with the NZ-VR team of Environmental Educators connecting thousands of young Kiwis with their marine environment. Annika’s involvement with BLAKE began in 2016 when she was selected as the BLAKE Antarctic Ambassador working alongside Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Team down in […]

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Marine Ecologist, Auckland Museum

Tom is Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum, leading the team of curators and collections staff that care for the museum’s fauna and flora collections, and the team records and interprets the biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the regional Pacific. He specialises in the larval stages of marine fishes, and studies the biogeography […]

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Marine Biologist, NIWA

Wendy is a phycologist, a scientist specialising in the study of marine macroalgae or rimurimu.  She is a member of the Joint Graduate School in Coastal and Marine Science at the University of Auckland, and a principal scientist at NIWA, based in Wellington. She has also worked at the Ministry of Fisheries dealing with seaweed […]

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Marine Biologist, NIWA

Roberta is a macroalgal taxonomist based at NIWA in Wellington. She has worked on the New Zealand macroalgae for the last 15 years discovering many new genera and species. Roberta became interested in algal taxonomy in Italy, studying Mediterranean macroalgae and for her PhD studying the macroalgae of Kenya and Tanzania. Her research involves scientific […]

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Oceanographer, NIWA

Joe O’Callaghan is a physical oceanographer based at NIWA. She adopts an observational approach to better understand the parts of the ocean where people work and play. Her research focuses on understanding the biophysics of Aotearoa New Zealand’s coasts and shelf seas. Since over 75% of NZ’s population lives within 10km of the coast my […]

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BLAKE Leader, Technology Entrepreneur and Mentor

With a wide range of interests and skills, Ben Kepes has had a variety of vocations over the years. Ben is a professional board member, a globally-recognized technology commentator, and co-founder of a successful workwear and outdoor equipment brand. Ben has served on the boards of a number of non-profit, privately held and listed companies […]

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PhD candidate (Marine), Massey University

Irene is a PhD candidate at Massey university in Albany, she works together with oceangoing citizen scientists including fishers, divers, underwater photographers and spearfishers to track tropical fishes in New Zealand waters. Irene has previously worked at NIWA as part of the team developing sustainable Kingfish and Hapuka aquaculture and as a marine biosecurity specialist […]

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Marine Ecologist, Massey University

Libby is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University and a Research Associate of the Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Libby was the 2008 BLAKE Antarctic Ambassador and has continued to participate in BLAKE activities including Expeditions to Rangitāhua in 2012 and 2018. She undertook her BSc and MSc at Victoria University of Wellington, and completed […]

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Marine Ecologist, Massey University

David is New Zealander and Associate Professor in marine ecology at Massey University in Auckland. After years living and studying overseas he returned to New Zealand as a Rutherford Foundation New Zealand post-doctoral fellow and is now a Rutherford Discovery fellow focused on making a contribution to advancing our understanding the forces governing the distribution […]

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Expedition Doctor

David is a General Practitioner with over 30 years experience working in Drury, South Auckland. After graduating from Auckland Medical School in 1981 he worked intermittently in the UK for 6 years before returning to Auckland in 1988. David’s post-graduate studies included Specialist Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Family Medicine. He provides teaching for medical […]

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Teacher, Korakonui School

Serita (Ngāti Kurī, Kai Tahu) participated in the BLAKE Inspire for Teachers programme in 2020. Throughout this week she was struck by the vast learning opportunities that were available to students right on their doorsteps. Living and working outside an urban centre, she recognised the vital role the rural community plays in valuing the environment […]

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Teacher, Monrad Intermediate

Niki has been teaching for thirteen years and has developed a passion for Environmental Education for Sustainability.  She is very passionate about te taiao – nature and the environment. Niki’s classroom programme has integrated curriculum concepts that focus on environmental issues. Looking after the environment, and inspiring rangatahi to become empathetic and caring towards nature […]

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Teacher, Wainui Beach School

Nic is a teacher and syndicate leader at Wainui Beach School in Gisborne. He teaches a Year 3-4 class and particularly enjoys focusing on educating and inspiring students using the surrounding environment. He has co-led the Enviroschools Programme at Wainui Beach School driving a number of initiatives and he also attended the BLAKE Inspire for […]

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Teacher, Hobsonville Point Primary School

Hayden is a learning advisor at Hobsonville Point Primary School, working primary with Year 6-8 students. He has been teaching for 8 years through a range of year levels from New Entrants to Year 8’s. Growing up in and around the Waitakere Ranges, Hayden has always been passionate about caring for the environment, particularly involving […]

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Westpac Representative

Luke calls the beautiful Tauranga Moana home. He resides there with his wife Shannen. He has Whakapapa ties to Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pikiao, NgāPuhi and Ngāti Kuri. He is a Commercial Analyst with Westpac NZ and works in a team that assists Commercial and Corporate businesses with various finance needs. He has been […]

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Teacher, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu

Ihaia is a Teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu – a total immersion Māori school based in Hastings. In 2019, Ihaia joined the BLAKE Inspire for Teachers along with 28 other teachers, and returned as a support staff during the BLAKE Inspire for Students in 2020. Since his […]

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Photographer and Videographer

Photo and bio to come.

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Student voyagers

University of Otago

Joel is a student at the University of Otago studying a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Environmental Management and minoring in Ecology. He was a part of BLAKE Inspire in 2019 which took place in the Waikato region. Joel grew up in Ōpunake, Taranaki yet now resides in Ōtepoti/Dunedin. His secondary qualifications took place at Ōpunake High […]

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University of Canterbury

Piper is a Law and Political Science student at the University of Canterbury and a recent graduate of Burnside High School in Christchurch. An enthusiastic community member, Piper is on the Youth Voice Canterbury Management Team and has many years of volunteering behind her. A large portion of her volunteering endeavours was through the Christchurch […]

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Victoria University

Charlotte is an environmental sciences, biology and statistics student, studying at Victoria University of Wellington. She is from Ōtautahi/Christchurch and graduated from Cashmere High School in 2020. Charlotte’s passion for sustainability was sparked at a young age by her love for the outdoors instilled in her by her whānau. She served as the chairperson of […]

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Victoria University

Adam is in his second year at Victoria University of Wellington, pursuing a conjoint degree in Biology and Classical Voice, with a minor in Applied Physics. He has a keen interest in research, especially in animal biology and immunology as it relates to climate change. Adam has a longstanding interest in the environment and sustainable […]

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University of Otago

Lucy is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Otago, completing a Bachelor of Science in geology and geography. From 2015-2019 she attended Otago Girls’ High School where she was a prefect and leader of the school’s environment group. In 2019, she led an application with the group for the Zayed Sustainability Prize focussed […]

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University of Auckland

Kahu whakapapas back to Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti / Ngāti Porou. In 2018, Kahu attended the BLAKE Inspire programme as a year 13 student and then went on to form an enviro-club at his high school. While at high school he used the platform he built to get the school community involved with local initiatives such as […]

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Waiheke Island

Serena was part of the 2019 BLAKE Inspire for Sailors programme. She has grown up on Waiheke island and has been heavily involved as a youth voice in the Waiheke Marine Project over the last two years. She is a part of the 11th hour racing NextGen programme and initiated the Royal New Zealand Yacht […]

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Springbank School

Malindi is 16 years of age. She is of Ngāpuhi decent and is Head Girl at Springbank School in Kerikeri. She is completing her last year of high school and is currently studying Marine Science, Physics and Design and Technology, having gained University Entrance last year. Next year she hopes to study environmental management / […]

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University of Auckland

Ethan is a former student of Howick College where he was Head Boy and Student Trustee. In 2018 he established the Howick College Trapping Programme with a small team of students from the School Enviro group. Supported by The Friends of Mangemangeroa Society and Pest Free Howick, the programme centred its efforts in the nearby […]

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University of Otago

Stella is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Otago studying Ecology and Marine Science. She attended BLAKE Inspire in 2019 where she found her passion for the unique environment of Aotearoa and its conservation. She has a particular interest in the changing ecology of New Zealand, especially in regards to climate change. This […]

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University of Otago

Mahina Walle is passionate about protecting both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and believes that we need to look after our precious planet, not only for ourselves, but also for all the organisms we share it with. She loves being outdoors and tries to get into nature whenever she can whether that be by tramping, mountaineering, […]

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University of Auckland

Inka is currently studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland, majoring in Marine Science and Geography, with a module in Sustainability, aspiring to one day pursue research and tertiary teaching for marine conservation. She has been awarded an Excellence in Geography award by the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Geographical Society […]

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University of Canterbury

Ko Motu-Pōhue te māunga Ko Te Ara a Kiwa te moana Ko Tākitimu te waka Ko Te Rau Aroha te marae Ko Kāi Tahu te iwi Ko Bethany tōku ingoa Bethany is a passionate, energetic, community-minded young leader. Her interest in STEM and her passion for the environment overlap to engage her in the science […]

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Otago Boys' High School

Ben is a Year 13 student at Otago Boys’ High School. In 2019, Ben attended the week-long BLAKE Inspire programme. He was also invited to meet Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, who was visiting New Zealand in 2019, to raise awareness about climate change. He has earned his Bronze and Silver Duke of […]

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Rototuna Senior High School

Vienna is a year 13 Māori student at Rototuna Senior High School, in Hamilton, Waikato, where they hold projects which helps connect students with the community and as Vienna took the tikanga Māori projects, she got to connect with mana whenua of where Rototuna Senior High stands (Ngati Wairere), and local marae (Hukanui Marae). Vienna […]

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