Reef Ecotours
About Us
Site Map
Magnetic Island Coral Reef Field Guide

Dawn at Magnetic Island


The goal of TEVENE'I MARINE is to provide high quality scientific information about the ecology of coral reefs to a diverse range of clients, including Government Institutions, Private Business, University and Secondary school students, Eco-tourists, and Film-makers. Our specialty is Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest and most spectacular reef system! Our sincere hope is that through passing our knowledge on to others, we can help preserve the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific, so that many future generations can enjoy the most intricate and complex ecosystem that nature has produced on this planet!

By the way - Tevene'i is the God of the Meteor to the Micronesian people in Kiribati. Follow this link to find out more about the name.

TEVENE'I MARINE was established in February 1997 by Dr. Andy Lewis. Andy is a graduate of the Department of Marine Biology at James Cook University in Townsville, which is renowned as one of the worlds best institutions for studying tropical marine biology, and particularly coral reef ecology. Other staff members and associates are also professional biologists with research experience on the Great Barrier Reef and in the Rainforest Ecosystems of North Queensland.




Andy Lewis B.Sc. (Hons 1A), Ph.D. JCU

andy_tai_felix.jpg (51722 bytes)

Andy grew up in Western Australia, and developed his interest for marine biology while snorkelling and fishing on the remote reefs off the North-West coast as a teenager. He travelled to Townsville in 1987 to study marine biology at James Cook University. He investigated cephalopod (squid) reproductive biology for his Honours research degree, and then enrolled in a Ph.D. in 1992. His Ph.D. thesis focussed on the population dynamics of reef fishes, and their responses to coral disturbance. From 1992 to 1996 he made more than 200 individual trips to his study sites on the Central Barrier Reef, diving in every month of the year. Click here to see Andy's curriculum vitae. Andy established TEVENE'I MARINE in 1997, and since then has worked on numerous scientific and educational consultancy projects on the Great Barrier Reef. His other interests include playing drumkit & hand percussion, gardening, photography, kiteboarding, surfing, windsurfing, yoga, and bushwalking. Andy's lecture on Anthropogenic Climate Disruption is available here.


David Williamson B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD, JCU

Originally from Western Australia, David moved to North Queensland in 1993 and began a bachelor degree in marine biology at James Cook University (JCU). Since completing his degree Dave has worked on several Australian and international research and monitoring projects for organizations including the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), JCU, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and the U.S. based Smithsonian Institute.  He recently completed a Doctorate of Marine Science in the School of Marine & Tropical Biology at JCU.  Dave is currently employed as a post-doctoral researcher at JCU and his current work focuses on the ecological and fishery effects of no-take marine reserves, fish spawning aggregations, larval dispersal and connectivity of reef fish populations. Dave’s’ other interests include playing music, surfing, kite boarding, travel and adventure.

Mike Emslie B.Sc.(Hons) JCU

Mike completed his Honours degree at JCU, investigating the reproductive biology and ecology of coral reef damselfish. He also worked as a research officer at James Cook University spending large amounts of time at sea on various research projects. He has worked as a consultant on Environmental Impact Assessments in the Central Pacific and as a researcher studying the offshore snapper fishery in the Northern Territory. Mike holds an ADAS Level 1 Commercial Diver certification with over 1000 hours logged, a coxswain's certificate and is a great reference for coral reef fish identification and ecology. Mike currently works with the Australian Institute of Marine Science on their reef monitoring team. Mike's other interests include playing guitar and bass, rugby, cricket, and camping.

Daniela Ceccarelli B.Sc., PhD, JCU

Daniela grew up in Italy, Switzerland, and Syria, and speaks 5 European languages. She developed her interest in the marine environment while snorkelling in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast, and came to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef in 1994. She returned in 1995 to study marine biology at JCU, and finished her PhD in coral reef ecology in October 2004. She has worked as a teacher and researcher for the past 7 years, and is currently working as a consultant aquatic ecologist in Townsville. Click here to see Daniela's curriculum vitae. Daniela's other interests include teaching yoga, running, music, and art.

Lynda Curtis B.Sc., PhD, UQ

Lynda grew up in Brisbane and developed a love of the ocean from a young age whilst going on fishing and snorkeling trips with her family. She completed her honours in 2002 where she examined the physiological and behavioural effects of a parasitic isopod on its host cardinal fish. Lynda worked for the Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchments Partnership as a Scientific Support Officer for 18 months where she collaborated on many projects involving the monitoring and management of environmental health in the creeks, rivers, estuaries in South East Queensland and Moreton Bay. Lynda then returned to the University of Queensland to work as a Research Assistant for Dr Lexa Grutter in the Coral Reef Ecology Laboratory, a position which she held for one year before beginning her PhD in 2005 investigating the transmission of blood parasites between coral reef fish and their effect on host physiology.


Lynita Howie B.Sc.Dip.Ed. Macquarie, M.Phil. Griffith.

Lynita grew up in Sydney where she completed a BSc in Environmental Science with a Diploma in Education in 2000.  After moving to Brisbane in 2001, she worked as a science teacher for a couple of years specialising in biology and marine science.  That same year, she discovered kitesurfing and developed a passion for the sport.  Starting a business in kitesurf instruction was a natural progression and provided an opportunity to spend more time in the beautiful Moreton Bay.  Lynita ran the business part time until 2008.  In 2008, Lynita completed a research Masters in Entomology at Griffith University, studying the feeding habits of the Queensland Fruit Fly.  She now works as a Technician at CSIRO Entomology in Brisbane.  Her other interests include mountain biking, snowboarding and snorkelling.


Ant Backer B.Sc. JCU

ant_2.jpg (18969 bytes)

Ant was born in Townsville, North Queensland, and grew up in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area where his love and interest of frogs and other vertebrate fauna developed. He completed his B.Sc at James Cook University, majoring in Zoology and Botany. Ant has been involved with numerous field trips to the high-altitude rainforests of both northern and southern Queensland, where he conducted extensive terrestrial vertebrate surveys while involved in research examining the effects of climate change on high altitude vertebrates and the decline of rainforest frogs throughout Queensland. Ant currently works as a Biodiversity Planning Officer with the Environmental Protection Agency. Aside from "frogging", Ant's other passions include playing good music, photography, and hiking.  


Richard D. Braley BA Humboldt State Uni., M.Sc. Uni. Guam, Ph.D. Uni. NSW

rick.jpg (34148 bytes)

Richard D. Braley is the founder and principal consultant of AQUASEARCH, an aquaculture consultancy business based in Townsville (email braley@austarnet.com.au ). Rick has over 24 years experience in the design, construction and maintenance of aquaculture systems for Giant Clams, Pearl oysters, Prawns and Trochus in the tropical regions of South-East Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific. Click here to see Rick's curriculum vitae.


Niklas Taylor BSc JCU

Nik spent his early years in the Solomon Islands, before eventually moving to Northern NSW. He started his University degree at JCU in 1993 majoring in Marine Ecology and GIS.  Nik has worked on a variety of marine research projects including 5 years on the Crown-of-Thorns program for GBRMPA, coral studies for the University of Queensland, and base-line fish and benthic surveys in the Seychelles.  He continues to work as a research diver for JCU.  Nik's other interests include surfing, rugby union, and esoteric reading.

Greg Calvert B.Sc, PhD. JCU

greg_calvert_2.jpg (16015 bytes)

Greg graduated from JCU with majors in botany and zoology, and received a first class honours for his research into ethnobotany. He completing a PhD in 2001, focussing on the influence of grazing pressure on the biodiversity of savanna plants in north Queensland. He also has extensive experience in flora and fauna surveys, environmental management and rehabilitation as an Environmental Consultant. Greg is actively involved in lecturing to University students, non-government organisations and tourists on Australasian biology. He is an ardent herpetologist and has published a range of material on identification and appreciation of elements of North Queensland flora and herpetofauna. Through his broad range of interests, Greg has considerable experience in dealing with groups as diverse as graziers, mining companies, defence forces, academics, fire brigades, conservation workers and community groups. He is a director of Earthworks Environmental Services Pty. Ltd., based in Townsville. Click here to see Greg's CV.


Christopher Witty BSc(Hons) Liverpool

Chris was born in west Wales, and from a very young age he spent a lot of time exploring the rugged coastline, soon becoming fascinated by the diversity of fascinating flora & fauna. Years of holidays were spent snorkelling, fishing & discovering the inter-tidal zone. These interests eventually led Chris to study Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool, investigating the escape reactions in Scallops for his Honours degree. Graduating in 1999 Chris trained as a diving instructor & set off around the world to explore the underwater realm. Utilising his marine biology background Chris spent 7 years teaching diving & biology at a number of tropical locations worldwide. During this time he developed an ongoing passion for underwater photography & videography.

          Moving to Australia in 2006 Chris worked for 3 years as marine biologist upon the Undersea Explorer, a research oriented liveaboard dive boat, visiting remote Barrier Reef locations. Currently Chris works as a marine biologist upon an eco-tourism boat visiting the GBR. Chris is an enthusiastic kite surfer, surfer, photographer & videographer. Also enjoying most things marine, Chris spends his time away from water enjoying camping, bushwalking & reading.                    


Amelia Cann BSc Melb, BSc (Hons) UWA

Amelia spent her formative years between the bush and the beach, diving and snorkelling around the rocky bays off the West Australian coast. In 2000 she began a B.Sc. at Melbourne University with interests in marine ecology, animal reproduction and conservation. After its completion she returned to WA to undertake an honours project in conservation biology, investigating the genetic compatibility theory in amphibians. The following year she moved up to Broome and whilst employed by the Conservation Council set up a cane toad deflection program in the Northern Territory to slow the movement of cane toads into WA. While based in the NT she worked closely with the Aboriginal communities, training local rangers and involving school children in cane toad awareness. This experience prompted Amelia to redirect her career pursuits away from field research towards roles that involved more communication and human interaction. In 2007 she began work aboard an adventure cruise ship, guiding adventurers along the coast of Australia and up to PNG and Indonesia. The travels continued in 2010 with a large part of the year dedicated to travel through China, Japan and South East Asia, before settling in NSW early in 2011. Amelia returned to WA mid-2011 to commence studies in science education and now, once again, she divides her time between the bush and the beach, with a bit of study in between.


Jarrad Butt MC-IV, MED-II

Jarrad hails from Broome in WA’s Kimberley region, and at 14 years of age began his maritime career working on charter fishing vessels. He then moved on to adventure tourism ships and gained the qualification of Master / Engineer on various vessels cruising up and down the treacherous Kimberley Coast. At 20 years of age Jarrad moved to North Queensland to skipper Tusa Dive out to the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, and more recently, Jarrad worked as the Chief Officer/Naturalist onboard the 50m Adventure Cruise Ship True North in the seas of WA, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
   Jarrad is an expert fishing guide and has an extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Kimberley region. His qualifications include Master Class IV and Marine Engine Driver II; PADI Rescue Diver; GMDSS Radio Operator; STCW95 Safety at Sea and Senior First Aid certifications. His other interests include spear fishing, surfing, bush camping, music and travel.


Bec Towers

Bec is a West-Australian beach-bum who's interest in the marine environment developed from a young age, growing up at Busselton and snorkelling and diving on the West Coast, in particular the Ningaloo Reef. Bec began working in the marine eco-tourism industry in 2006, beginning on Hamilton Island, then moving back to Coral Bay in Western Australia. She gained valuable experience with wild marine-life working on various charter vessels as a 'Deckhand/Lead Swimmer' for manta ray & whaleshark snorkelling cruises. In 2009, Bec was recruited by North Star Cruises Australia to work as 'Dive Master/Deck Officer' aboard the 50m Adventure Cruise Ship, True North.Bec has a passion and active interest for marine biology and coastal ecosystems, and was accepted into the marine biology program at University of WA, which she has deferred to gain more practical experience with the ocean. She is a qualified PADI Assistant Instructor/Dive Master, a small ship Coxswain, and a Senior First aid provider. Her other interests include free-diving, travel, music, camping, fine art & design.