Ian has always had a passion for the natural environment. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in geology from Macquarie University in 1975, he worked as a geologist until the end of the 1970s. His first position saw him move to a bush camp on the edge of the Tanami desert in the Northern Territory. This was followed by roles assessing land stability along Sydney’s northern beaches and then as an underground geologist in Mt Isa in northwest Queensland.
While he remained (and still is!) captivated by geology, Ian came to realize that nature conservation was his real career calling. He moved to Perth where he obtained a Master of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Western Australia in 1983. Following a year teaching science and math in recently independent Zimbabwe, an opportunity arose to take a position in Western Australia’s new conservation agency in 1985, and he grabbed it with both hands.
Ian worked in national parks, reserve, and broader conservation management for the next 32 years, first in operations, later in national park and strategic planning roles and finally as a ‘troubleshooting’ project officer for Parks and Wildlife around the state.
Having initially moved to Albany in 1989 to take up a planning role on Western Australia’s south coast, he still lives there today. Since retiring in 2017, Ian has time to indulge his love of sharing the wonders of the natural world with a wide range of audiences, including schools, universities, and community groups, as well as Coral Expeditions guests since 2021. His presentations and on-site observations are full of fascinating and quirky facts about the natural history of the many places with which he is familiar. At other times, Ian can be found bushwalking, travelling with his wife, Jane, or just beachcombing below his home, which overlooks Albany’s magnificent coastline.