Meet the team

A photo from an NZ Sea Lion board meeting. Year unknown.

Our mission

Founded in 2003, The New Zealand Sea Lion Trust was established to provide protection to and education about this critically endangered marine mammal species.

We work with the Department of Conservation to identify and monitor the local breeding population centred around the Otago and Southland coasts.

Education is an important part of our activities and we offer education programmes to schools and community groups as well as supporting scientific research.

We are staffed and supported entirely by volunteers and are self-funded by donations from our generous members and donors.

Board Members

Shaun  |  Co-chair/Science Adviser (Trustee)

I started my MSc in Marine Science at Otago University in 1994 by following Katya, the very first pup, around on Otago Peninsula. She got me hooked on sea lions and inspired me to help set up the NZ Sea Lion Trust in 2003 and I have been involved in some capacity ever since.

Bryony  |  Co-chair (Trustee)

I am passionate about conservation in New Zealand and I want to learn more about this amazing species. I’m originally from Australia but came here to study and never left! I have a BSc(Hons) in Ecology and I love being out doing fieldwork.

John  |  Treasurer (Trustee)

I’ll never forget seeing two huge male Sea Lions at Surat Bay when I first arrived from England in 1999. To now be involved in advocating for the protection of both themselves and their environment is a privilege and an honour and the reason I joined the Trust. Sharing our beaches and habitat with sea lions brings joy to locals and visitors alike and I aim to ensure that they have a secure future in New Zealand.

Hanna |  Education Coordinator (Trustee)

I assist the kaupapa of NZSLT through my +15 years profession as a science educator, ecologist and wildlife manager. Aotearoa has a community engagement in conservation filled with passionate people – I am very honoured to work alongside them all, supporting the population health and survival of Pakake / New Zealand Sea Lion.

Hannah |  Social Media (Trustee)

Kia ora, I’m Hannah! Originally from Tāmaki Makaurau, but now call Ōtepoti Dunedin home. I’m an ecology graduate from the University of Otago, currently working at the Department of Conservation and hold a keen interest for pakake as I think we’re so lucky to share our beaches with them! Looking forward to continuing the social media channels, and helping out with the trust in all avenues. 

Catherine  |  Administrator

Hi, my names Catherine and I’m super excited to be joining the NZSLT. I’ve decided to join the trust to help give back! I’ve loved animals since I was young and this was the perfect opportunity to get involved. Super excited for what’s to come in this role and help out!!

Jordana  |  DOC Liasion

I have a background in community development and management of non-profit organisations, as well as a knowledge of the funding landscape in New Zealand. My passion for wildlife, conservation and community runs deep; it’s a privilege to work on behalf of our intelligent and charming New Zealand sea lions and contribute to what makes Dunedin so special.

Giverny  |  Webmaster

I have joined the trust because I am passionate about pinnipeds! I have a keen interest in their conservation and how we can share our shores with them. I have recently finished my master’s on human-leopard seal cohabitation and I hope to apply my skills to support human-pakake (NZ sea lion) relationships. First, I will work on building the sea lion trust website to serve as an amazing resource to develop people’s connection with pakake.

Chloe  |  Legal Advisor/North Island Rep

I became interested in pakake after a trip around the Catlins and Southland a couple of years ago. I’m going to be helping NZSLT with legal and compliance matters, and with spreading some sea lion love up in the North Island through education.

Amanda |  Southland Representative

Based in Southland, with homes in the South Catlins and Invercargill, I’m a writer with a background in journalism. I’ve been walking beaches and photographing sea mammals all my adult life – with a special interest in the NZ Sea Lions from my own backyard.

Lisa  |  Volunteer Coordinator

I was drawn to the trust after studying Marine Science at the University of Otago. I’m very excited to be a part of preserving New Zealand’s unique Sea-lion population. Through my role as the Volunteer Co-Ordinator, I’m hoping to increase opportunities for community involvement by creating more training inductions for sea-lion monitoring.

Mike  |  Education Team/Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

I have been fascinated with sea lions after coming face-to-face with a large male in the dunes at Allen’s Beach many years ago. Utilising my background in teaching and conservation I would like to assist the Trust in ensuring that sea lions retake their rightful place on the beaches of Aotearoa.

Sian  |  Education Team

Tēnā Koutou. I founded Sea Society, an NGO, in 2019, and became a New Zealand sea lion/pakake advocate and educator in June 2020. I was drawn to the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust, because of my passion for pakake conservation.

Glenda  |  Education Team

I became interested in sea lions from a young age growing up around the southern Catlins coast encountering these creatures and in my later working career working as a nature guide in Fiordland Stewart Island and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

Dave  |  Policy Advisor

I have 30 years experience as a researcher and public servant analysing how humans and ecosystems interact. I am interested in understanding how the expansion of the mainland NZ Sea Lion population can be managed in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Elaine |  Policy Advisor

I have 17 years experience designing and implementing innovation, science and small business programs and an academic background in social science, communication and adult education. I support the NZ Sea Lion Trust in developing effective policy and activity.

Bruce  |  Scientific Advisor

My research group and I have researched various aspects of the genetics, behaviour and management of the New Zealand sea lion over the last 20 years. I have also engaged in government processes and provided expert scientific advice and feedback on the management of NZ sea lion bycatch in the squid fishery (SQU6T) around the NZ sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands.  My role is to provide scientific advice to the New Zealand Sea Lion Trust.

Click here for a list of some of  Bruce’s Publications:

Stefan  |  Scientific Advisor