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

shrestha singh

Shrestha has a postgraduate diploma in Biosecurity and Conservation. She aims to develop sustainable measures to conserve the environment, and to ensure that it will be available for the current and future generation. Shrestha is an active community volunteer, and loves baking, reading and exploring beaches and regional parks around New Zealand. 

Role: Regional Coordinator – Auckland Region.


Jane Gardiner

Jane has a Master’s in marine conservation and a BSc in marine biology and philosophy. She has a great respect for, and is fascinated by, the natural world, and wants do what she can to promote the preservation of marine ecosystems. In her spare time Jane loves to go on seabird research trips, hike through the bush and snorkel among the fishes. 

Role: Regional Coordinator – Hawke’s Bay Region.


Tasmin McCormack

Tasmin has a MSc in Environmental Management focused on fisheries and a BSC in Geography and Environmental Studies. As a keen fisher and diver she is passionate about making sure our marine environment is sustainably managed and maintained for future generations. Tasmin’s other interests include travel cooking and reading.

Role: Regional Coordinator – Wellington Region.


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.


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.


marissa kelderman

Marissa has a graduate diploma in Sustainable Management and a background in working with youth. Her passion is to see NZ waste transformed, including rubbish in our oceans and waterways. She loves to be in the water and spends most of her summers at the beach or a lake. Her other passions include snowboarding, walking, and cooking.

Role: Regional Coordinator – Dunedin.


Shalini Sanjeshni

Shalini has a postgraduate diploma in Environmental Science. She is passionate about understanding environmental regulations and sustainability and while enabling local communities to take action. In her free time she enjoys photography, travelling and baking. Role:

Regional Coordinator – Auckland Region.


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


Michelle Brett

Michelle is currently studying a Bachelor in Professional Communication. She is passionate about sustainability and finding accessible ways to reduce plastic consumption. In her free time she likes to hike around New Zealand and see our amazing wildlife in their natural environment.

Role: Social Media Coordinator


Naomi Simon-Kumar

Naomi has a background in sustainable development, psychology and international relations. She is deeply committed to protecting our natural taonga and passionate about just transitions in moving towards a more socially inclusive and sustainable future. Naomi enjoys nature writing and experimenting with cooking vegan fare in her spare time.

Role: Policy Coordinator


Project Team

Ruby de Grut

Ruby studied environmental management and politics at the university of Otago. Passionate about sustainability and challenging/changing the traditional ways of society, which adversely impact our planet. Lover of the ocean and will happily give you reasons and the tools to cut down on plastic use.

Role: Events Coordinator – Christchurch


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: Events Coordinator – Wellington


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

Dwayne Daly

Dwayne has BSc in Zoology and a MSc in Resource Management with a focus on Marine Spatial Planning. Having grown up next to the coast, he has always been deeply interested in the marine environment and conservation. With a background in resource management legislation, his professional interest is in the management and protection of the marine environment through effective legislation and policy. He also enjoys scuba diving and has taken part in a variety of coral reef monitoring programmes in the Caribbean, Fiji and the Coral Triangle over the last few years.

Role: Policy Advisor


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 Lead – “Straw Free September” Campaign


Meghan ruha

As a mother and aunty, Megs is an advocate for the nourishment and role modelling of healthy relationships with the environment to help promote flourishing of future generations. Terrified of jellyfish and based in Rotorua, Megs is a frequent flyer at nearby beaches in order to revitalise, play and collect litter with her kids. Megs has a professional background in public health and education, and a personal interest in waste minimisation.

Role: Project Lead – “No Butts” Campaign

Megs pic

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


James Nikitine

James is a French and British marine scientist, filmmaker and digital communications expert,
originally from the Léman, French Alps and Geneva region. He is a member of
IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas and an active contributor to its marine young
professionals task force. He now lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and is a Fellow with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship. 

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


Nicole Marinkovich 

Nicole is a creative at heart and has a background working in the Travel Industry. Her true passion however lies in conservation. Nicole is looking to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology & Sustainability to take this a step further. She loves to be actively involved in the community through volunteering. In her spare time Nicole can be found in nature or in her garden growing fruits & veges.

Role: Social Media Admin


Mara Kosac 

Mara has a graduate diploma in advertising creativity and has been working as a graphic designer for the last seven years.
In her spare time she loves to rock climb and mountain bike with her partner and friends. That passion for the outdoors opened her eyes towards sustainability and environment conservation.

Role: Graphic Designer


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.