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Dr Chris Gillies
TNC’s Oceans Program Director
Dr Chris Gillies is TNC’s Oceans Program Director and has a passion for protecting and enhancing ocean environments. Driven by a vision of establishing a global restoration industry to restore ocean ecosystems, Chris leads a team of restoration experts employed across Australia to deliver innovative conservation projects for the benefit of people and nature. He works in partnership with government, industry and the community to develop large-scale natural infrastructure projects, advance policy and strengthen investment in ocean protection and restoration.
Chris has worked across the science and conservation sectors in both aquatic and terrestrial environments but his true passion is the ocean. He was formerly the Director of Science at Earthwatch Australia, where he managed the scientific program across their expedition and citizen science portfolio. He has served as an Ecologist for both state and federal government environmental agencies and several consultancies. Chris’s doctoral research focused on Antarctic shallow-water marine food webs and his later research includes coastal climate change, impacts of marine debris and shellfish reef ecology. He is a three-time summer Australian Antarctic expeditioner and has published over 30 scientific studies.
Chris has a PhD in marine ecology from Southern Cross University and is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at James Cook University. He commenced working at TNC in 2014 and is based in our Melbourne office.
Executive director of Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF)
Betsy Peabody is executive director of Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to restore marine habitat, water quality and native species in Puget Sound. She is also President of the Pacific Shellfish Institute, a research organization developing and disseminating scientific information to foster sustainable shellfish resources and a healthy marine environment. In 2012, Betsy served on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, and continues to be actively involved in efforts to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification. In 2013, she collaborated with NOAA to establish a conservation hatchery at NOAA’s Manchester Research Station dedicated to restoring native shellfish and other living marine resources. Betsy has a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University – and a strong appreciation for the role that marine resources play in our human story.