Meet the NZ Sea Lion Trust

Amelia, Jordana, Eeva, Bryony and John (with Mum in the middle)

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 identifying and monitoring the local breeding population centered 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

Jordana  |  Chairperson

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.

John  |  Treasurer

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.

Amelia  |  Secretary

I studied grey seals for my Masters Degree in the UK and have had an interest in pinnipeds ever since. As soon as I set foot in Dunedin I joined the Trust as a volunteer and a few months later I became a Trustee. I now work as a dive instructor and feel very privileged to share their fantastic marine habitat and share this passion with students and customers alike.

Bryony  |  Secretary

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.

Eeva  |  Trustee

I became involved in the Trust because I love wildlife and especially these sometimes majestical, sometimes completely silly endangered animals. My day job is office-based, so I am glad to get volunteering opportunities out there on the beaches with these precious taonga with so much character – they are an absolute delight to observe.

Cat  |  Catlins Representative

I have several years experience working in research and tourism of cetaceans and spent the 2019 sea lion season on Campbell Island where I became fascinated with sea lion behaviour. In the same year I moved to the Catlins and wanted to continue to learn about the New Zealand sea lions and help towards their conservation, which is why I became involved in the Trust.

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.

Hanna |  Education Coordinator

I arrived to New Zealand from Denmark almost two years ago, with a background as a science educator and ecologist. When people ask me what made me move to New Zealand I say that I came for the nature and stayed for the culture. The community engagement in conservation, that you find in this country, is unlike any I have ever experienced! and I am very excited to be able to work with such an iconic species as the New Zealand Sea Lion.

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 subAntarctic 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:

Shaun  |  Scientific Advisor

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.

Stefan  |  Scientific Advisor