Our People

Biotropica Australia employs a team of staff with a variety of ecological specialisms.  Our staff are all well qualified, highly skilled professionals with a passion for the environment.

 

Nigel Tucker

Director and Principal Environmental Scientist ADApp Sci, M.Sc

With almost 30 years of experience in tropical ecosystem management, Nigel Tucker is one of Queensland’s most experienced tropical forest ecologists.  Born and raised on the Atherton Tablelands, Nigel was educated at the University of Queensland and James Cook University, before being mentored by Australia’s foremost rainforest ecologists Len Webb and Geoff Tracey.

A specialist in tropical restoration ecology, Nigel established the Qld Parks and Wildlife Service’s Centre for Tropical Restoration in the 1990’s and spent many years undertaking scientific research; in environments ranging from coral cays to wet and dry tropical forests, on topics as diverse as small mammal genetics, pest management and forest succession; and in locations from north Queensland to Indonesia.  He continues to publish within the peer-reviewed literature and lecture at a number of institutions. Nigel is a board member of the Australasian chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration International, an Executive board member of the journal Ecological Management and Restoration, and an Adjunct within James Cook University’s School of Tropical Biology.

As Principal Environmental Scientist Nigel manages Biotropica Australia’s major projects, and his botanical and ecological skills are used extensively in field work.  In particular, Nigel has extensive knowledge of the electricity, oil and gas industry having worked on the environmental management of energy assets since 1996, and intensively since he established Biotropica Australia in 2002.

For more information please download Nigel Tucker’s Curriculum vitae NT.

Tracey Marshall

Director and Finance Officer

Co-director Tracey Marshall has been managing administration for over 20 years and is Biotropica Australia’s Finance Officer since Biotropica Australia’s inception in 2002. Tracey assumes responsibility for all internal and overseas business operations, financial and accounting management, HR management and oversees the internal management of Biotropica’s administration

Sarah Holt

Manager B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc, Adv Dipl. Mgmt Acc

Sarah was raised in London and gained her BSc Zoology from Leeds University gaining an MSc in Environmental Conservation and moving into environmental consulting for a London based corporation.  In the UK her work specialised in riparian mammals, particularly the Water Vole.

Sarah completed her MSc thesis in World Heritage Areas around Cairns and has a great love for the natural environment in this area.

Sarah settled in Australia in 2008 and continued her work in Environmental Consulting gaining a good understanding of Australian flora, fauna, and legislation and developed her Geospatial Information System (GIS) skills.  Sarah joined Biotropica in 2011 where she utilises her ecological and project management skills to assist in the growth and management of the company.

For more information please download Sarah Holt’s Curriculum vitae SH.

Gemma Horner

Senior Environmental Scientist B.Sc

Gemma Horner completed a Bachelor of Science with majors in Ecology and Conservation at James Cook University in Cairns in 2014. She regularly undertakes botanical surveys throughout far north Queensland and is a Suitably Qualified Person under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, which allows her to lead detailed field surveys in search for threatened plants. Gemma has an excellent knowledge of flora species in the region and has experience in undertaking comprehensive ecological assessments.

Gemma’s role at Biotropica Australia along with her experience working in tropical environments has taken her to Papua New Guinea where she has been able to apply her knowledge when undertaking surveys between the savannah landscapes around Port Moresby, to the mountain-top rainforests of the Southern Highlands. In 2017 Gemma helped to develop the book: Exotic Plants of the Kikori River Basin.

Gemma is a keen student of tropical botany and continuously aims to expand her knowledge of local tropical flora. She is actively involved in local botanical groups and continues to increase her botanical knowledge through travelling and exploring the natural environments of Far North Queensland. Gemma is currently undertaking a post-graduate research project which considers the use of traditional ecological knowledge in conservation and restoration practices in Australia.

For more information please download Gemma Horner’s Curriculum vitae GH.

Elliot Dunn

Environmental Scientist

Elliot gained his Bachelor of Sustainability with an Ecology major from James Cook University in Cairns. Originating from New Zealand, he moved to Cairns to study the ecology of the Wet Tropics bioregion. He has a background in invasive species and biosecurity, and joined the Biotropica team in 2020, starting with a grueling assignment in remote escarpment surveys north of Cooktown. Currently on client-secondment, Elliot is well versed across a range of disciplines.

Elliot’s curiosity of the natural world has led him to explore forests of Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. He also spends some of his free time volunteering for local animal rescue and restoration groups within the Cairns region.

Adam Northover

Land Management Supervisor

Adam joined Biotropica in April 2012 and was promoted to Land Management Team Leader in 2013. Adam supervises a crew of experienced land management staff and co-ordinates Biotropica field projects including ecological restoration, weed control, rare plants management, and hazard reduction burns, in Australia and Papua New Guinea.  Adam is also our fully qualified and experienced spotter catcher, responsible for protecting and preserving wildlife during land clearing. He uses his extensive knowledge of natural habitats and wildlife handling to ensure animals are recovered efficiently and safely. Adam has an extensive background in landscaping, weeds management, and significant experience in small and large plant and equipment operation.

Julian Pitcher

Spotter Catcher

Julian completed his Diploma in Conservation and Land Management in 2008 and has since been actively engaged in the environmental industry as both a professional and citizen scientist. As a result, he possesses a diverse range of skills in land management, film production, flying remote piloted aircraft, digital data collection, and ecological survey.

After spending several years in training and conducting restoration works, Julian worked for Biosecurity Queensland. During this time, he identified and collected additional data on various orchids and saprophytes, assisting Australian Tropical Herbarium and international botanists. He continues these relationships today by contributing data to ongoing projects.

A keen orchid enthusiast, Julian has been successful in attaining funding from the Australian Orchid Foundation and producing a series of films promoting native orchids, their conservation issues and the stakeholders supporting them.

Amanda James

Accounts and Administration Officer

Amanda joined the administration team at Biotropica in August 2016 and brings with her a range of clerical skills. Amanda has recently moved to the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns and has owned her own businesses for the past 9 years.