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Our Team

At Natura Pacific we have a team behind us that works on a diversity of levels. Every member of our team specialises in environmental management, ecology, science, education or related fields, undertaking their tasks with professionalism and expertise. We specifically hand pick our staff – making sure their environmental knowledge is extensive and their passion for a sustainable world drives them to achieve excellence. As the core of our work methodology involves extending knowledge and providing awareness, we only take into our team members who can apply, share and champion their knowledge, spreading awareness and supporting and facilitating projects to be successfully achieved sustainably.

OUR-TEAM_Kieran2Kieran Richardt


Kieran has worked in the environmental consulting industry for 14 years, working in project management, vegetation assessment and mapping and restoration planning as an environmental consultant and botanist for the EPA (DERM) and Natura Consulting. He held a position of senior botanist in the Queensland Herbarium, undertaking work on the EPA Regional Ecosystem mapping project and working in the Wetlands Assessment Unit mapping and validating the classification and condition of wetlands.

Kieran has also designed, coordinated and conducted vegetation assessments (terrestrial and aquatic) throughout Queensland, foreshore master planning in northern Australia and detailed ecological assessment for government developments in the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Nepal and Brunei. This has included designing field assessment protocols, classification, flora and fauna identification, mapping, community engagement, determining indices for measuring ecosystem health and reporting on mitigation and management procedures to local, state and federal government bodies. Kieran has also worked on major development and infrastructure projects both nationally and internationally, including pre-construction and construction phases, assessing and monitoring vegetation clearing and compliance. Recent work has included weed and EVNT flora surveys in central-west Queensland for new infrastructure developments including for Powerlink.

In recent years, Kieran has lead his team on award winning and internationally recognised engagement and education projects which have received:

  • Winner of UN World Environment Day Award for Business in 2016
  • Finalist in the Healthy Waterways Award in 2016
  • Finalist for the Ethical Enterprise Award 2015
  • Monthly Winner in Environment and Sustainability Category of Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards 2015
  • The Healthy Waterways Award  and Ministers Prize in 2014
  • World Water Champions Award in 2012
  • Finalist in the Healthy Waterways Award in 2012
  • Finalist for the Telstra Small Business Awards 2012, in both the Micro-business and Regional Business categories
  • Finalist in the Healthy Waterways Award in 2011
  • The Healthy Waterways Award in 2010


OUR-TEAM_SarahDr Sarah Butler

Senior Environmental Consultant

Sarah has a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours (Major Environmental Science) at Griffith University and PhD in Landscape Ecology at The University of Queensland. She has a comprehensive background in vegetation community and condition surveys, mapping and modelling at a local, landscape and regional scale for Natura Pacific, for Government and non-Government organisations and for her research. Her experience in vegetation community, condition and resilience classification and assessment at a research and management level provides a rare insight into the most up-to-date technology, methodology and systems in her field. Sarah’s current work also requires her to utilise her skills and experience in Government and landowner liaison in undertaking assessment of vegetation condition based on land use patterns as well as undertaking habitat assessments and weed surveys in central-west Queensland for new infrastructure developments.

Using her inter-personal skills together with her passion for education and community engagement, Sarah has successfully empowered a variety of stakeholders to work effectively with local, regional and federal governments. This approach has facilitated the development of a collaborative framework towards the conservation of their respective natural assets.


OUR-TEAM_DianaDiana Kiss

Environmental Consultant / Education Coordinator

Diana has completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours, majoring in Environmental Science, Wildlife Management and a minor in Terrestrial Ecology. She has gained extensive field experience by assisting researchers and scientists with their field work as well as conducting flora and fauna assessments in Nepal, and her own research projects in Kosciusko National Park. During her studies Diana won Gecko’s Environmental Student of the Year award and has completed Monash University’s sustainability program- Green Steps, which focused on water, electricity and waste auditing and sustainable management.

Diana has been with the Natura team for over five years, undertaking varying roles in both the Education and Consulting arms of Natura’s business. During this time she has been involved in the development of the Nerang River Catchment Study Guide, the Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide, lessons for the Coomera River Catchment Study Guide, the Coomera River Catchment Calendar Drawing Competition and the subsequent tree planting days for these programs. Her current role with Natura taps into her high level organisation and interpersonal skills as she coordinates the delivery of City of Gold Coast Community Waste Education Program, the Gold Coast Waterwatch water quality monitoring program as well as Natura Education’s own nature-based education programs. With her energy, organisation skills and attention to detail, Diana also brings her environmental assessment and field work experience and skills to support the Natura Consulting team.


OUR-TEAM_MickMichael Brett

Environmental Consultant / Field Coordinator

Michael is a specialist in field water quality assessment and currently implements EHMP methodology and AusRivAS protocol for Natura Consulting projects. He is also one of the lead field chemists for the Gold Coast Waterwatch program and is responsible for maintenance, purchase and calibration of equipment and quality assurance with data recording and reporting. Michael’s experience originates from water quality monitoring and acid sulphate soils assessment during construction works for large development projects as a private sector consultant on the east coast of Australia. Michael is also experienced in the use of a number of assessment criteria and guidelines to report and analyse water quality data to government bodies and regulatory organisations. Additionally, Michael is a keen botanist and works on rehabilitation construction projects for Natura Consulting. Given this, and his water quality and acid sulphate soils assessment background, he is able to provide a unique and valuable perspective on water quality monitoring for restoration projects and adds a valuable set of skills to the Natura team.

CV Photo (3)

Dr Mark Runkowski

Environmental Consultant / Education Officer / Researcher

Mark completed a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Ecology at Lancaster University, UK and has completed his PhD at Griffith University examining the role tourism and recreation play in impacting the ecology of endangered ecosystems. This project involved extensive travel to over 10 countries around the world to undertake field-work, collaborate with other researchers and present at conferences. Mark has also worked as a community engagement and biodiversity officer for the Gaia Trust, a registered charity in the UK. This position entailed designing, undertaking and involving the local community in habitat and species surveys in protected areas as well as providing environmental education for local schools.

Mark’s education, liaison and research skills are a welcome addition to the Natura team. He now works as part of our team of environmental scientists running lessons and excursions for local schools as well as undertaking habitat assessments and weed surveys in central-west Queensland for new infrastructure developments such as for PowerLink. His botanical identification skills and experience in the field is a significant asset to the team, and his most recent project which developed two free apps for iPhones to help people identify plants in south-east Queensland shows both his dedication and innovation. Mark has a strong passion for the environment, is an exceptional botanist and hopes for a long career in assisting environmental protection.

OUR-TEAM_DionneDionne Coburn

Project Officer / Education Officer

Dionne completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1995 at the University of New England, with majors in Ecosystem Management and Zoology. After completing her studies Dionne has since gained over 10 years experience in the environmental management, conservation and wildlife research industries. Dionne brings with her significant experience and skills in land management and conservation, environmental assessment, community and stakeholder liaison and research. She gained this experience through a various roles with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service such as Ranger, Project Officer, Area Manager and Research Assistant. In these roles Dionne undertook a wide and varied set of tasks such as planning and development of park infrastructure and systems, liaison with community and stakeholder organisations, restoration planning and assessment and threatened species monitoring (specifically Koala) and management.

Dionne brings a balanced level of academic, theoretical and practical experience to our team, and with her passion for environmental conservation and enthusiasm for helping to connect our children to their natural world, she works in implementing Natura Education’s nature-based education program, City of Gold Coast Community Waste Education Program and the Gold Coast Waterwatch program as well as supporting the Natura Consulting team to meet the needs of their clients.

OUR-TEAM_TraceyTracey Mayhew

Education Officer / Early Learning Coordinator

Since joining the Natura Education team in 2015 Tracey has brought with her a wealth of experience and skills from more than 20 years in the Childcare and Early Learning Sector, with over 11 years in the position of Director at several high quality Early Learning Centres. Tracey is a fully qualified early childhood educator having worked with children aged from 0 to 12 years throughout her years of experience. Additionally, managing centres both individually as well as within a corporation involving several centres has allowed her to bring a variety of skills to the Natura Education Team.

Through her coordination of the Early Childhood part of Natura Education, Tracey ‘s natural ability to connect and communicate with all children of all ages has meant that she quickly recognises and adapts to each child’s need for individual learning styles as well as effectively presents new ideas at each child’s level of understanding. Having worked through both the Childcare Accreditation process several times and more recently the National Quality Framework, Tracey is also helping to make available the environmental programs required to readily assist Early Learning Centres to meet the standards required as well as providing quality programs that make a real difference to the understanding that young children have of their natural world.

Tracey’s highly honed skills in efficiency, organisation , planning and implementation are a huge asset to the Natura team and her contribution to bringing our nature-based programs to younger children in the community, at an age when children are so naturally fascinated by the world around them, is invaluable.

natura-pacific-com_joannaJoanna Pittard

Education Officer / Environmental Consultant

A welcome addition to the Natura team, Joanna brings with her a unique blend of teaching and environmental consulting experience gained through several years of consulting, management and teaching roles. Joanna has been involved with Natura Education for several years and is a passionate advocate of the work that we do.

With a teaching background spanning all year levels and including special needs teaching, literacy support programs and teaching within remote and indigenous communities in central and far north Queensland, Joanna is well adept at designing teaching programs to suit all situations. Additionally, Joanna’s consulting experience includes environmental monitoring, auditing, flora and fauna ecological assessments and reporting, specialised fauna management and overall environmental project management for a number of prestigious projects throughout Queensland.

Joanna is a highly proficient teacher and passionate environmental education advocate with excellent organisational and project management skills, all of which make her valuable member of our team.

David Conder

Environmental Consultant

David graduated from Southern Cross University (Lismore) in 1994 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Coastal Management) and began his professional career in the emerging discipline of ecological restoration working among some of the pioneers of the industry. During this time, he ran his own bush regeneration contracting business providing services to private land owners, local government and land development clients in the highly biodiverse NSW / Qld border region.

Since this time David has accumulated over 20 years of practical experience in the field specialising in botany and flora surveys, ecological assessment and monitoring, vegetation mapping, and ecological restoration design. He has worked in the private sector for multi-disciplinary and ecology consultancies in many positions including senior environmental scientist, ecologist and field botanist, and has also undertaken peer review in restoration ecology and has extensive experience in field data collection and ecology-based reporting. David has also worked in local government as Supervisor Natural Areas at Gold Coast City Council collaborating with numerous internal council departments for the purpose of practical and cost-effective management of natural area assets.

David now brings his extensive skill set and experience to the Natura field team, working alongside our other consultants to obtain accurate and comprehensive field data for our consulting clients, along with his extensive knowledge in the provision of bushland restoration services.

Bastian Steinrucken

Environmental Consultant / Fauna Spotter Catcher

Bastian completed his Bachelor of Science at Lund University in Sweden with part of his studies spent at the University of Western Australia in Perth. After this Bastian also obtained his Masters of Science degree majoring in Animal Ecology at Lund University. Bastian has four years experience working as an Ecologist and Fauna Spotter in South East Queensland and New South Wales conducting ecological surveys, fauna habitat assessments and wildlife management projects.

Bastian is a welcome addition to the Natura team, bringing with him extensive Spotter Catcher and other wildlife management skills, having been involved in many major development projects in South-east Queensland with a focus on terrestrial fauna and their management and protection during development projects. These projects involve the second runway construction at the Brisbane airport, the Toowoomba Second Range Upgrade, the Gateway Upgrade North, the Legacy Way Tunnel, coal mines in NSW and pipeline work in QLD.

OUR-TEAM_SebastianDr Sebastian Rossi

Environmental Consultant / Education Officer

Sebastian combines his Bachelor Degree in tourism and his technical degree in nature conservation and protected areas to devise sustainable development and tourism management strategies for natural resource management. He has worked for protected areas in Argentina for 4 years, as a Park Ranger, coordinating the Visitor Centre and developing the management plan for visitor use in Aconcagua Provincial Park. More recently he has worked as a Natural Resource Officer for the Department of Environment and Resource Management in Queensland, establishing the baseline for a long-term monitoring program for visitor use in protected areas. Sebastian recently finalised his PhD at Griffith University in Australia and is now working from South America as a consultant and branch manager for Natura. His discipline area is Human Geography, looking at people interactions and use of natural areas using geographical information system techniques for assessing natural areas accessibility and potential uses.

OUR-TEAM_KateKate Leopold

Environmental Consultant / Education Officer

Kate qualified for her Bachelor of Science with Honours at Griffith University in 2008, majoring in Environmental Science and Wildlife Biology. In her professional career Kate has undertaken detailed fauna assessments, for the purposes of research and private sector consulting, in south-east and northern Queensland and in northern New South Wales. These assessments involved tracking, trapping, scat analysis, spotlighting, call playback, and seine and dip netting and have related directly to identification and monitoring of habitat and environmental values near areas of disturbance and during restoration works.  Kate also has training and experience in identification, assessment and mapping of native vegetation and weeds, rehabilitation assessment, reporting and mapping, ecological monitoring, environmental chemistry and restoration, which allows her to provide a unique insight to rehabilitating fauna habitat on restoration projects for Natura Consulting.

In addition to these skills and experience Kate also has a strong background in environmental education and community engagement, particularly with schools on the Gold Coast. She has been involved with community environmental and school-based education in her role as an Education Officer for Natura Education and also for a number of community gardens on the Gold Coast. Over the past eight years Kate has had a crucial role at Natura Education, in developing and delivering curriculum-based environmental education programs for primary and high schools on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.  Kate is an experienced educator for the City of Gold Coast Community Waste Education Program and the Gold Coast Waterwatch water quality monitoring program and was also involved with the development of the Nerang River Catchment Study Guide, the Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide, lessons for the Coomera River Catchment Study Guide, the Coomera River Catchment Calendar Drawing Competition and the subsequent tree planting days for these programs. The key to Kate’s success in this field is her passion for the environment and education and her unique ability to connect with students, which enables her to pass on her wealth of knowledge to younger generations.

OUR-TEAM_JohnJohn Pumpurs

Education Officer

John is Natura Education’s resident frog and macroinvertebrate expert, and has been delivering insightful and captivating education activities to Gold Coast students and community groups of all ages for many years. With his depth of knowledge and engaging manner John has the ability to inspire participants to appreciate the unique features of the animals that live in and around our waterways, and to understand how water quality and good environmental management strategies can preserve their habitat and support their survival. As the Proprietor of The Frog Prints, John has been photographing frogs since 1994. As well as photographing frogs on flowers, he has raised many species of native frogs on his Northern New South Wales property and previously on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and has over 10 000 photographs of spawn, tadpoles, metamorphs and adult frogs of over 45 different species. He frequently consults locally on frog identification and the provision of habitats to help with the survival of frogs in disturbed areas.

As a Zoologist and a valuable senior member of staff, John has contributed his skills as an Education Officer across all of Natura Education’s nature-based education programs, tree planting days, study guide launch days and in particular, the Gold Coast Waterwatch water quality monitoring program. Additionally, the Gold Coast Waterwatch Program has benefitted significantly from the high quality images of macroinvertebrates that he has captured with his particular talent for macro-photography.

OUR-TEAM_EmmaEmma Tait

Administration Assistant

Emma brings her passion, enthusiasm and respect for nature to her work with Natura Education’s environmental programs. With several years experience in bushland rehabilitation, tree-planting and beach restoration, Emma has developed a strong knowledge base for engaging and including others in similar programs. As part of Natura’s team Emma played a significant role in the development of the Nerang River Catchment Study Guide, the Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide, lessons for the Coomera River Catchment Study Guide, the Coomera River Catchment Calendar Drawing Competition and the subsequent field days for these programs.

Her affinity with children sees her encouraging their connection to the living world, and through these interpretation skills, Emma engages her audience and encourages their participation for the conservation of nature through sustainable development and good environmental management.  From her years in office administrative roles, she also brings her organisational, problem-solving and communication skills to Natura Education, assisting with a variety of projects and tasks.