Wreck Reef Expedition… short bios for each team member

Here you will find a short biography on each member of the Wreck Reef expedition. Photos will follow shortly.

Jennifer McKinnon is a Lecturer in the Flinders University Program in Maritime Archaeology, Adelaide, South Australia. Originally from the US, she moved to Australia in 2006 to begin teaching at Flinders. Jennifer’s interests on this project are colonial ship construction and trepang extraction and processing camps.

Grant Luckman is a Senior Program Officer for the Maritime Heritage Section, Australian Government, Department of Environment, Water and Heritage. He administers the historic shipwreck legislation.

Doug McKenzie is a Medical Officer in the Naval Reserve with experience in diving medicine over the last twenty years. He joins the team as a doctor but has a keen interest in naval history.

Paul Hundley is the Senior Curator of the USA Gallery at the Australian National Maritime Museum.  He has a Master’s degree in Maritime Archaeology from Texas A&M University in the United States.  His major interest is in the American-Australian shared maritime heritage.  On the Wreck Reefs project he is particularly interested in the American whaling vessel Lion, wrecked in 1856.

Kieran Hosty is the Curator of Maritime Archaeology and Ship Technology at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Formerly from Western Australia Kieran was the Commonwealth Shipwrecks Officer in Victoria for six years before taking up his position at the Museum. One of his major goals during the Wreck Reefs Project is to search for the unidentified pre-1803 shipwreck reported to be on Porpoise Cay.

David Booth is Professor of Marine Ecology at University of Technology, Sydney and Chair of Scientific Advisory Committee, Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences.  He plans to gather data to supplement ongoing research on coral bleaching and fish distributions, and on range edges and demography of reef fish species (Nemo project).

Warren Delaney is an ex-technical officer with the Maritime Archaeology Section of the Queensland Museum from1986 to 2002. He is now retired. He is a veteran of several expeditions to Wreck Reef.

Xanthe Rivett is a professional underwater photographer who will document the expedition on the behalf of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Silent World Foundation. She worked with the Museum and Silent World on the Mermaid project.

W. Shawn Arnold is a Masters of Maritime Archaeology student at Flinders University researching World War II Amphibious Tracked Landing Craft. He completed a BA in Maritime Studies at the University of West Florida. While at UWF, Shawn worked on numerous projects including the 16th century Spanish wrecks of Emanuel Point.    

Dr Nigel Erskine is Curator of Exploration at the Australian National Maritime Museum and a member of the museum’s maritime archaeology unit. Before joining the ANMM he was Director of the Norfolk Island Museum (2000 – 2004) where he was the Commonwealth delegate for the Historic Shipwrecks Act and led the 2002 HMS Sirius expedition. In 1998/99 he directed the Pitcairn Project undertaking archaeological work on HMAV Bounty and land sites on Pitcairn island in the eastern Pacific.  This work formed the basis of his PhD.  Apart from academic qualifications in archaeology, history and museum studies, Nigel is a qualified shipwright and experienced sailor and navigator. He has published widely on 18th century voyages of exploration, and most recently co-edited with Professor Iain McCalman – In the Wake of the Beagle for UNSW Press.

Ash Fowler is a PhD student at the University of Technology, Sydney. His main aim on this project is to determine the differences in fish assemblages between the wreck sites and adjacent natural reef, in order to understand how different habitats affect the recruitment of young fish.

Toni Massey is a Masters by Research student of Maritime Archaeology at Flinders University. For the past two years she has been working as an Indigenous archaeology consultant. She is the President of the Society for Underwater and Historical Research in South Australia. Her research interests are community archaeology and submerged cultural heritage management.

Lee Graham is part of the archaeological team from the Australian National Maritime Museum. He is the Museum’s shipwright and maintains the museum’s historic fleet. He comes with a wealth of experience in traditional boatbuilding. He also has extensive knowledge on traditional sailing vessels. His role on the project is to assist the archaeologists with all things nautical.

Heather Meihana (Ms Mei) is Chef on Nimrod and Silent World II. She is from New Zealand, and has a military background with the R.N.Z.N where she began her chef career. This experience led her to working in hotels and restaurants in Auckland, and now with her passion of cooking and being on the ocean, to be a freelance chef, on private super yachts based off Florida USA, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. She is thrilled to be part of the expedition team.

Kate Thompson is a Dive Instructor and Marine Biologist from New Zealand.  For the last four years she has been working as a private Dive Instructor/Deckhand on private world cruising super yachts.  She has her Yachtmaster Offshore Certification, is a PWC Instructor, as well as being a Hyperbaric Chamber Technician. She has a passion for all things marine and enjoys life at sea.

Lorien DeBruyn is a student back in the U.S. Her studies are in the health care field and she is finishing up her thesis. She has experience sailing and diving, which has taken her to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and the Philippines. Lorien is currently working as a Stewardess on Nimrod Explorer and has been enjoying her time in Australia. She is thrilled to be part of the expedition.

Nikki McNicol is a Project Manager at Ford Motor Company and is also a qualified diving instructor. She is on this expedition working as a dive master on Nimrod Explorer. She has a passion for wreck diving and was part of the Mermaid crew in January 2009.

Meyric Slimming is presently the master of MV Nimrod Explorer working with the Wreck Reef Expedition. He was also skipper of the Nimrod Explorer on the January 2009 Mermaid Expedition and the April 2009 La Perouse Expedition. He is a master diving instructor with over twenty years experience with more than 6000 dives under his belt.

Fred Pakoa Daniel is from the Tongoa Islands of Vanuatu. Fred is an extremely experienced diver with over 10000 dives under his belt. Fred is also a qualified marine engine driver. Fred has worked on two La Perouse Expeditions, the Mermaid Expedition and now the Wreck Reef Expedition.

Dan Harrison is first mate on the MV Nimrod Explorer. This is his first expedition. He has a marine background in charter fishing and also worked as a commercial crayfish diver for several years.

Brian Finneran is serving as engineer aboard MV Nimrod Explorer.  He is commonly found working as a professional mariner aboard private luxury yachts and enjoys spending his leisure time aboard his own sailing vessel in pursuit of good times and adventures.

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