Researcher, PhD student
Centre for Marine Socioecology and the School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania

GPO 1538

Hobart, Tasmania 7000

+61 400 976 722
+61 3 6232 5182

Person details


Current activities

PhD candidate at the School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania and Centre for Marine Socioecology, Hobart and Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO, Hobart. 

Research Topic: The effectiveness of waste abatement strategies at reducing the input of plastic waste into the marine environment. The research primarily focuses on comparing waste management policies, infrastructure and outreach programs implemented by 35 different local governments around Australia. The aim of the research is to determine how local governments have changed their waste management practices from 2013 to 2019, what has changed, where have the changes occurred and what has driven governments to change? Kathy has visited 6 states, 320 beaches and interviewed 35 local government waste managers to answer the above research. Statistical analysis is currently underway and preliminary results will be available at the end of the year. 


Kathy is from the small town of Yolla on the north-west coast of Tasmania. She is in the final year of her Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania’s School of Social Sciences, in partnership with CSIRO, the Centre for Marine Socioecology and the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub. Kathy’s current research examines the success of local government waste management strategies in reducing waste from entering the coastal and marine environment. During her Ph.D. program Kathy has run marine debris workshops at the Faculty of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Udayana University, Bali and a number of Tasmanian primary and secondary schools. Kathy has recently presented her work as a keynote speaker at the 2019 NSW Stormwater conference and in technical sessions at the 6th International Marine Debris Conference, the 2018 AMSA conference and at the 14th Coast to Coast Conference where she received an award for best student interdisciplinary speaker presentation. In 2018, Kathy was one of 20 participants selected from around world to attend the Global Environments Summer Academy at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University. Prior to commencing a Ph.D. Kathy worked on cool-temperature reef systems, southern Bluefin tuna populations and microplastics in marine sediments.

Kathy has published her research in Scientific Reports (, Marine Policy (, Frontiers in Marine Science ( and Sustainability ( 

PhD under the supervison of Dr Joanna Vince (School of Social Sciences, UTAS), Dr Britta Denise Hardesty (O&A, CSIRO), Dr Chris Wilcox (O&A, CSIRO) and Prof. Marcus Haward (IMAS, UTAS).  

Academic qualifications

Bachelor of Science (Majors: Geography and Zoology, Minor: Spatial Science) (2013)

Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours (2015)

Diploma of Philosophy (2016)

Membership of key national committees