Our Team

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Our team are passionate about protecting New Zealand’s coastal and marine environment. Our members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and share a common goal; to engage and work with local communities, groups and governing agencies to take an active role in protecting the coastal and marine environment. Meet some of our leadership and core team members below:

coordination team

Calvin Quigley

Calvin is a PhD candidate at Victoria University studying genetic connectivity in marine species. He loves scuba and freediving, and still fantasises about living on a sailboat, reef hopping from island to island. Growing up in Florida, his heart still lies in the Atlantic/Caribbean, “but hey man, it’s all one ocean.”

Role: Regional Coordinator – Wellington


Lauren Ellis

Lauren has a diverse background in communications working in sustainable tourism and not-for-profit sectors. Through her work, Lauren has developed skills in communicating sustainability efforts and has a keen interest in engaging with like-minded change-makers to advocate and educate about conservation initiatives. Having moved from London to Wellington in 2019, Lauren enjoys exploring the region’s beautiful coastlines and can often be found running around the South Coast.

Role: Regional Coordinator – Wellington


Laurie Emma Cope

Laurie Emma has a postgraduate degree in oceanography and marine biology and is currently studying human resources management. She is passionate about science communication and education. Naturally curious and adventurous, she is always looking for opportunities to get involved in the community and to share her passion with others. Laurie loves tramping and hiking in the mountains accompanied by a tripod and a camera.

Role: Regional Coordinator – Dunedin


Lesl van der Voorn

Lesl has a background in communications and marketing. She is passionate about driving positive change for marine conservation through meaningful conversation and action, and endeavours to improve and enhance our future environmental ecosystems. Lesl enjoys wandering the coast, and exploring native bush. 

Role: Communications Coordinator


Janice Huang

Janice is passionate about wildlife conservation and sustainability, and currently works in the eco-tourism industry. She has a degree in Zoology and Marine Science from Otago University, and believes that we are instinctively equipped with the ability to care for nature, and the best way to practice this ability is to spend more time in nature. Janice enjoys tramping and the great outdoors in her spare time. 

Role: Social Media Coordinator


Gemma Coutts

Gemma is studying her Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus on the social sciences. She is incredibly passionate about protecting our natural environment, while also ensuring we acknowledge and respect the Treaty of Waitangi and work alongside our treaty partners. In her free time Gemma enjoys painting and exploring the many walks in the South Island.

Role: Policy Coordinator


Project Team

Madeleine Songhurst

Maddy has graduated Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Politics. She has always loved the sea, and grew up living on a peninsula in Auckland surrounded by beautiful beaches of the Hauraki Gulf. She even chose her majors of her degree hoping it would mean more time by or in the water! She has an innate desire to protect the land and sea so people for many generations to come can continue to splash in the waves too.
Role: Events Coordinator – Wellington

Duncan Campbell

Duncan is studies Ecology and Marine Science at the University of Otago. Born and raised in Indonesia, Duncan has witnessed first-hand how environmental negligence can impact marine ecosystems. His goal is to educate the wider community about the issues facing marine environments through fun and interactive outreach events. On the rare sunny days in Dunedin, Duncan likes to spend time on beaches, telling his friends about ocean facts.

Lily Gamson

Lily has a BSc in Oceanography and Philosophy. She loves scuba diving with a goal to rebuild and protect marine ecosystems. Lily aims to provide local communities, especially the younger generation, the tools to fight climate change from the individual level and build a loving relationship with their environments, on land and of course in the ocean. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the precious wildlife around Dunedin.
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Madeleine Humphrey

Maddy graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of
Science in psychology. She has had a love of the ocean since childhood and is passionate
about the preservation and protection of our marine environment. In her free time, she
enjoys scuba diving, skiing and reading.

Role: Policy Advisor


Megan Exton

Megan is studying zoology at the University of Otago and previously worked as an environment lawyer in Tauranga. She is fascinated by marine life and is keen to do her part to protect our oceans. In her free time, she loves exploring nature, volunteering and practicing yoga.

Role: Policy Advisor

Megan exton

Helen Loveridge

Helen has a background in law, history and political science. She is passionate about driving change towards a more sustainable future and enabling people to take action within their communities. Helen loves to read and explore nature in her free time.

Role: Policy Advisor


Sophie Elstone-Sara

Sophie is studying towards a Master’s of Climate Change Science and Policy at Victoria University. Her goal is to make real, substantive change at a policy level. She can be found in the wild cooking, reading, or hooning around Wellington on a Flamingo scooter.

Role: Policy Advisor

Photography by Benjamin + Elise | www.benjaminandelise.com

Michelle villamin

Tanzanian born, Kenyan raised, Australian diplomas and Filipino roots – Michelle has a mixed background that has fuelled her ever-growing curiosity and interest in environmental conservation and wildlife protection. She’s most at peace in the underwater world. With a professional background in marketing and advertising, she is keen on encouraging a cleaner and more sustainable way of living through storytelling and spreading awareness.

Role: Project & Comms Support


Emily Colquhoun

Emily is a current master’s student in science communication at the University of Otago. She is passionate about small critters that often get forgotten about and is trying to work out how to bring them into the spotlight. In her spare time, Emily enjoys playing underwater hockey and exploring all the wildlife Dunedin has to offer.

Role: Social Media Admin


Athena Rhodes

Athena is a wildlife photographer and writer. She can be found hiding in bushes or up a tree with the birds and her trusty camera. When she is not lying in bird poop, trying to get that perfect photo of a swan, she can be found inhaling coffee or reading up on New Zealand flora and fauna. She is deeply passionate about wildlife and conservation and loves to volunteer for these causes.

Role: Social Media Admin


Marlene Youl

Marlene studied Zoology at Otago University with a minor in Marine Science. She passionate about environmental conservation and enjoys volunteering in the community to promote sustainable living. Her other hobbies include hiking, gardening and travelling. 

Role: Social Media Admin


Chris Chick

Chris is wants to see this world become as great and wonderful as we know it can be. He believes life is a gift, and one we should be honouring not only for ourselves, but for others and sentinel beings alike that get to call Earth ‘home’. Chris has a background in Psychology and Ecology and is based in Waimakariri.

Role: Social Media Admin


Yifei Zheng

Yifei graduated with a bachelor degree in creativity. The best thing about design is the opportunity it gives Yifei to express and explore his ideas. It’s a topic that allows him the freedom to experiment and grow as a designer, with each experience giving him a better understanding of visual communication and the design process. In his spare time, Yifei likes to take photos, explore beaches, national parks and baking.
Role: Graphic Design

join our amazing team


Leadership Roles – Is this you?

As part of the OSOF core team, you will be responsible for leading and coordinating environmental education and conservation events, projects, and managing volunteers within your region.You will have a tertiary qualification/s in environmental management or science, with a knowledge of New Zealand environmental conservation issues and environment.

View the volunteer role descriptions.

Support Roles – Is this you?

As part of the OSOF support team, you will be helping our core members in various support roles based on your relevant experience. You will have a tertiary qualification/s or industry experience, with a knowledge of New Zealand environmental conservation issues and environment.

View the volunteer role descriptions.