Brochures Brochures Xplorers Club Xplorers Club
1800079545
1800 079 545 Australia +61 7 4040 9999
Coral Expeditions Mobile menu
Close

Our expedition team, combined with our ship’s expedition equipment, are at the heart of your experience.

ExpeditionTeam

Coral Expeditions was one of the first cruise operators to employ interpretive guides on our cruises.  This tradition continues today.  Each trip includes a mix of our full-time expedition team and guest lecturers chosen for specific local knowledge.  The expedition team uses our ship’s shallow draft quick disembarkation capabilities, our special tender equipment such as the Xplorer vessel and Zodiacs, and our open deck spaces onboard, to take you up close to the places we visit.

Our Kimberley and Cape York & Arnhem Land expeditions have a renowned Australian team of our own Expedition Leaders and regular guest lecturers who have a wealth of knowledge of the unique landscapes, flora and fauna and indigenous cultures of the region. With over decades of operations in the region, we know the nooks and crannies others don’t. Our Tasmanian cruises feature a State Parks and Wildlife Ranger on-board. The Ranger compliments our Expedition Team in providing local expertise especially on guided nature walks and with bird and wildlife spotting.

On each voyage, our Expedition Leaders bring guests the depth of experience required to put together daily programmes given prevailing weather and local conditions.
They are complemented by a Guest Lecturer,  who is an expert in the geology, history or flora and fauna of the region.

Meet the Expedition Team

Steve Cox - Senior Expedition Leader

Steve, our company’s Senior Expedition Leader, has been at Coral Expeditions for over seven years having previously worked as a Tour Guide, a Dive Instructor and a professional cricketer.

Originally from Sydney, but now based in Exmouth, Western Australia, David Keech has spent the past 9 years working in some of Australia’s most renowned wilderness and marine areas such as El Questro, Ningaloo Reef and Freycinet. He is passionate about nature, the environment and conservation, and loves sharing his knowledge about how to care for our most precious areas with our guests. For David Keech, one of his favourite memories was “Watching Green Turtles mating at the Lacepedes Islands without a breath of wind while Eagle Rays were jumping out of the water in the background.” Dave loves leading our guests through Tasmania and the Kimberley, and his favourite species is Humpback Whales.

Bec Finlayson - Trip Director, Marine Biologist

Originally from Victoria, Bec joined the team a year ago after completing her degree in Marine Biology up in Far North Queensland. Bec, has always been interested in the marine world and animals in general so working for Coral Expeditions has been a great opportunity for her to spread her knowledge, doing Marine Biology presentations as well as informative Glass Bottom Boat coral viewing excursion whilst on board Coral Expeditions II.

“This job has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, especially on the history of the islands we visit on the Great Barrier Reef cruise. I enjoy the one on one time with guests and getting to know each guest is a real highlight of the job” says Bec.

Jamie Anderson - Expedition Leader

Jamie has been working with the company for 14 years now, he is very well known with majority of our guests that have travelled with us in the Kimberley and across the top of Australia on our Cape York and Arnhem Land expedition and as our qualified Marine Biologist on the Great Barrier Reef

Tom Collis - Guest Lecturer

Tom previously worked at Tropical North Queensland TAFE initially as a teacher and then co-ordinator of the Conservation and Land Management Program. He has delivered courses for Park Rangers, Tour Guides and Conservation Workers and spent three years doing a Science degree at the Northern Territory University.

As Tom would say working with Coral Expeditions cruises ‘ticks all the boxes’ for him. “Interpreting the natural world is something I really love and sharing this with guests is very fulfilling. There are so many amazing sights and being able to do so in such comfort by small ship is an added bonus. Hearing some of the ‘great stories’ guests bring with them and learning more about the sites we visit. I enjoy collating lists of plant and animal species we have seen and giving these to guests as well as sharing my photographs taken over many voyages with Coral Expeditions” Tom said.

Kathy Gatenby - Guest Lecturer

Kathy Gatenby enjoyed an adventurous childhood in some of Tasmania’s most beautiful and remote places.  As the daughter of a lighthouse keeper she lived on Tasman Island and Cape Sorell light stations. When her father became a ranger the family moved to Darlington on Maria Island, followed by Port Arthur, two places so rich in cultural heritage that they now hold World Heritage status.

Inspired by a childhood steeped in history and nature Kathy now undertakes research in cultural heritage and loves to share the stories of some of Tasmania’s most intriguing places. She is a creative writer, specialising in the area of thematic interpretation, a valuable tool that provides a deep and meaningful connection to place.

Kathy has post-graduate qualifications in Cultural Heritage and has a particular interest in stories that explore how people shape places, and in turn, places shape people. She is the author of a Tasmanian biography, Viv and Hilda: Meeting the Robeys of Maria Island (2011), has written for local and national magazines, and delivered a range of presentations on place-based interpretation.

She is delighted to join Coral Expeditions to share Tasmania’s outstanding natural and cultural landscapes and assists in creating memorable experiences.

David Keech - Expedtion Leader

David has spent the past 9 years working in some of Australia’s most renowned wilderness areas including 2 previous seasons with Coral Expeditions in Tasmania. He is passionate about the environment and conservation, and loves sharing his knowledge with our guests.

 

Mark Steadman - Expedition Leader

Hailing from country NSW, and now based in Dunedin, Mark Steadman has been with Coral Expeditions since 2011. Mark has lived and worked as a nature guide in amazing places such as the Amazon, Hawaii, North Quensland and New Zealand, and has worked as a zookeeper, a nature guide and a science teacher in various countries.

Holding a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, his favourite species is the Tasmanian Devil, and he was fortunate enough to raise an orphaned baby Devil. A passionate biologist, Mark loves sharing stories with people about how incredibly interesting animals are, especially the not-so-cuddly species.

His best memory with Coral Expeditions? “Watching the hunting strategy of Snub-fin Dolphins in the Kimberley. They often hunt late at night in the muddy waters of the saltwater rivers. The dolphin will spit a stream of water to land in front of the fish they are pursuing, startling it into making a u-turn straight into the dolphin’s mouth.”

Sandy Scott - Guest Lecturer

Holding a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Master of Letters (MLitt) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Sandy Scott has been working with Coral Expeditions since 1998. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, he is now based in Adelaide, South Australia. He is passionate about understanding the geology of the Kimberley coast and how this has led to the development of such an interesting coastline, and sharing this knowledge with guests. Sandy says “As a scientist I never stop learning and have the ability and wide experience to communicate relatively complex and interesting ideas over a wide variety of topics ranging from the history of exploration, the development of the Horizontal Waterfalls to reproduction in Cycads.”

Sandy has published numerous pieces of research relating to the Kimberley coast, and has a long history as an educator at secondary and tertiary levels. Onboard our expeditions, Sandy loves visiting Prince Frederick Harbour for natural history, and Swift Bay for Aboriginal painting in the Kimberley, as well as visiting Aboriginal communities on the Arnhem coast

Sandy’s most beautiful memory?Once I saw a pod of Pilot Whales in Prince Frederick Harbour –magnificent”.

Ian Morris - Guest Lecturer

Zoologist, educator, conservationist, and author, Ian has worked with Coral Expeditions since 1987, and with the Aboriginal traditional owners of Arnhem Land region since his early life as a secondary science teacher. Following a decade in East Arnhem Land, he was engaged as a ranger training officer with the beginning of the federal government’s first indigenous joint land management project – Kakadu National Park.   Today, Ian continues his work promoting the magic of the bush as an NT-based environmental consultant working with schools, universities & nature documentary makers like the BBC Natural History Unit, National Geographic Soc., etc., and continues his conservation work for federal and state governments as a consultant for many national parks across Australia. The public promotion of our natural ecosystems has taken up most of his energy in recent times. He greatly values his association with indigenous peoples across our north, many of whom have been life-long mates.

Incredibly, Ian speaks Djambarrpuyŋu, Warramirri &Gupapuyŋu – all local Indigenous languages visited on the Cape York & Arnhem Land itineraries. Ian says “I was fortunate enough when young to be taught by traditionally-born Arnhem Landers. Passing on what I learned is a privilege.”

A published author and scientist, Ian’s large bibliography includes research on Ghost Bats and terrestrial herpetofauna. Ian is passionate about biogeography & Traditional Aboriginal land management practices & the modern context. He sites his hero as Alfred Russell Wallace and his favourite species is the Northern Quoll.

Terry Done - Guest Lecturer

Born in Townsville, and now basedi n Sydney, Terry has been a part of the Coral Expeditions team for 18 years.

With a PhD in Zoology, he is passionate about marine science and landforms, and names corals as his favourite species. Previously, Terry served as a research scientist specializing in coral reef ecology at JCU (5 yrs) and AIMS (27 years), often presenting at symposia, workshops and seminars. His strong academic background allows him to research on allied relevant topics such as geology, coastal exploration, local cultures. In fact, Terry has over 80 peer reviewed papers in the scientific literature, mainly focused on coral reef ecology including crown-of-thorns starfish, cyclones and climate change. Terry is a member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Reef Check Australia; and a reviewer and subject editor for various scientific journals.

An expert in Australian fauna, Terry names his favourite destinations as “King George Falls from Explorer with morning sun coming into the gorge or cruising into Bathurst Harbour, Tas, in the mist”.