About

OUR PEOPLE

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.

KIERAN RICHARDT

Concept Alchemist

DR SARAH BUTLER

Chief Visionary

KATE LEOPOLD

Happiness Ambassador

DR MARK RUNKOVSKI

Wizard of Light-bulb Moments

DIONNE COBURN

Ringleader of Creative Operations

JOANNA PITTARD

Abstract Concepts Coordinator

BASTIAN STEINRUCKEN

Fauna Ninjaneer

MEGAN TRAYNOR

Coordinator of Dream Fulfilment

KIMBERLY MARTYN

Concept Wrangler

KAREN JAMES

Head of Smiles and Synchronicity

JOHN PUMPURS

Head Kermit Chaser

ZOE LOUNT

Inspiration Ninja

ALECIA DE PIAZZA

Ambassador of Buzz

EMILY HAVAS

Multi-tasking Master

KIERAN RICHARDT

DIRECTOR/SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT

Kieran has worked in the environmental consulting industry for 19 years, and more specifically as an environmental project manager for 15 years, for projects in natural resource management use, environmental planning and community engagement. Kieran has a strong focus on communications with tier 1 client project managers and senior engineers, whereby he leads a team of environmental scientists to provide them with timely project solutions while also improving the social and environmental impacts of significant projects. Kieran’s work has encompassed services for state, local and federal government, the infrastructure and development sectors, large scale farming operations and interpreting technical concepts and presenting them in a manner that reaches wider audiences. Kieran has also designed, coordinated and conducted flora and fauna assessments (terrestrial and aquatic) throughout Australia and has undertaken detailed environmental assessment for major projects in the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Nepal and Brunei. This has included environmental planning, 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.

In recent years, Kieran has lead his team on award-winning and internationally recognised engagement and education projects which have received:
• Winner for Excellence in STEM Education – 2016 Peter Doherty Awards
• Highly Commended in 2016 Qld Premier’s Sustainability Awards
• 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

DR SARAH BUTLER

SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / RESEARCHER

Sarah has a PhD in Landscape Ecology at The University of Queensland (2012) and a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours (Major Environmental Science) at Griffith University (2007). Sarah offers the highly valued skills of exceptional experimental design, data analysis and statistical experience, as well as extensive experience in researching the ecology of vegetation communities, regional ecosystems and fauna populations. Sarah has also integrated GIS skills in her work, being fluent in spatial analyses. Her experience gives her a unique cache of skills in studying the environment across broad spatial scales from the local to regional scale. Sarah 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. Using her interpersonal 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 natural assets.

KATE LEOPOLD

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR

Kate qualified for her Bachelor of Science with Honours at Griffith University in 2008, majoring in Environmental Science and Wildlife Management. In her professional career, Kate has undertaken detailed fauna assessments, for the purposes of research and private sector consulting. Kate also has training and experience in identification, assessment and mapping of native vegetation, EVNT species and weeds, rehabilitation and biocondition 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 Pacific. Additionally, Kate has a strong background in environmental education and community engagement, particularly with schools on the Gold Coast, being involved with community environmental and school-based education. Kate has had a crucial role at Natura Pacific, in developing and delivering curriculum-based environmental education programs for primary and high schools on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane and was an experienced educator for the City of Gold Coast Community Waste Education Program and the Gold Coast Waterwatch program. 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.

DR MARK RUNKOVSKI

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / RESEARCHER

Mark completed a Bachelor of Science Degree (Hons) Ecology in Europe and a PhD in Tourism, Recreation and Ecology in Australia. His expertise and research areas include botany, recreation ecology, landscape ecology, threatened species and ecosystem conservation, community engagement, ecotourism, agroforestry and sustainable planning. His work and various ongoing projects have involved extensive travel to over 10 countries around the world to undertake field work, collaborate with other researchers and present at conferences. He has published 14 papers and a number of book chapters and abstracts on subjects spanning landscape, recreation and threatened species ecology as well as conservation and tourism and has worked across a range of audiences from schools and community groups to national and international governments to share his knowledge. Mark’s education, scientific background and research skills are a highly valued and essential part of the Natura Pacific team. In his role as one of Natura Pacific’s highly qualified senior environmental consultants, he manages a number of regional projects including long-term environmental compliance and management at the growing city of Yarrabilba in Logan, the 'GroNATIVE' campaign, the online documentary series 'Back from the Brink', several long-term ecosystem restoration projects across South East Queensland as well as a plethora of private and government-contracted projects and developments. Mark’s botanical identification skills and experience in the field combined with his breadth of understanding of the global environment, GIS mapping, multi-scalar legislation and reporting, means that he is highly skilled to both manage and undertake all aspects of environmental projects. Mark has a strong passion for both the environment and community and takes pride in delivering sound results not only for his clients but for the global good of future generations as a whole.

DIONNE COBURN

SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / FIELD COORDINATOR

Dionne holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of New England, with majors in Ecosystem Management and Zoology. After completing her studies Dionne gained over 10 years of 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 variety of 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 also has authored and co-authored several published scientific papers. Since joining the Natura Pacific team over 9 years ago, Dionne has turned her hand to many and varied roles within the business, from education to consulting, along with administration, marketing and the management and coordination of projects and staff. As a result, she brings experience and knowledge to all aspects of the business and plays an important role in ensuring client needs are met. Dionne works on a variety of consulting projects as well as the production of educational resources and environmental interpretive signage and is a licenced RPA pilot (through CASA certification and training). 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 is a dedicated advocate for our social enterprise model.

JOANNA PITTARD

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / EDUCATION EDUCATOR (NORTH QLD)

Joanna is an experienced senior ecologist and project manager for Natura Pacific. Her role sees her managing environmental assessments and approvals for residential subdivisions, linear infrastructure and various construction projects throughout South East Queensland, North Queensland and Northern NSW. Recently, her clients have included TMR, Lendlease, Department of Environment and Science, City of Gold Coast Council, Brisbane City Council, Qbuild, Gemlife, Botanica, Infin8, and various private development and construction clients. Additionally, Joanna’s consulting experience includes conducting environmental monitoring, auditing, flora and fauna ecological assessments, and environmental management plans. Joanna brings to the team a unique blend of teaching and environmental consulting experience gained over a decade of consulting, management and teaching roles. Joanna has been involved with Natura Pacific’s education team since 2009 and is a passionate advocate of the social enterprise 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. Joanna is a highly proficient environmental consultant and passionate environmental education advocate with excellent organisational and project management skills, all of which make her an invaluable member of our team.

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. After this Bastian also obtained his Masters of Science majoring in Animal Ecology at Lund University. Bastian has seven years of experience working as an Ecologist and Fauna Spotter in South East Queensland and New South Wales conducting ecological surveys, fauna habitat assessments, ecological reporting and GIS mapping. Bastian has 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. At Natura Pacific, Bastian runs several pet projects alongside his normal tasks such as our nest boxing program where we work with TAFE personnel in correctional facilities to manufacture nest boxes as part of the inmate's training program. These nest boxes are then installed and monitored by Bastian and the team in an effort to compensate for the lack of naturally occurring hollows in conservation and offset areas. Bastian is very passionate about wildlife conservation and combines this passion with his interest in technology by ever-developing our wildlife monitoring equipment techniques and drone program as he is also one of Natura Pacific's CASA certified drone pilots. Currently, we are involved in research relating to the use of drones equipped with thermal cameras to monitor elusive, endangered wildlife.

KIMBERLEY MARTYN

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT / ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR

Kim is a keen outdoor enthusiast with a strong interest in the natural environment. Having initially developed her experience working in isolated and harsh environments as an adventure eco-tour guide in Central Australia she later employed her strong communication skills as a senior wildlife commentator at schools, media events, wildlife parks and for programs such as Harry’s Practice and Totally Wild. Kim has facilitated community engagement programs to raise awareness of environmental issues and foster support for conservation and sustainability. Her passion for working in wildlife rehabilitation has also taken her abroad to work with wildlife trafficking and conservation projects in Ecuador and Bolivia. Kim’s skills and experience combine degree qualifications, national and international ecology and conservation fieldwork experience across diverse environments. This, along with her passion for fostering understanding and appreciation for ecosystem processes and the value of conservation, makes her a most welcome and valuable member of the Natura Pacific team.

KAREN JAMES

ADMINISTRATION OFFICER

Karen has a passion for developing and implementing systems to improve administration efficiency and effectiveness and brings a wealth of administration experience with her – she is our Natura Pacific Policy and Procedure Pixie. Even better for us, she also has a passion for the amazing world of plants and all of the wonders of the great outdoors. Karen has spent over 20 years gaining experience in administrative roles across a diverse range of industries from professional services such as consulting engineer and legal firms through to boat building, trades services and even boutique software developers. Natura Pacific are now reaping the benefits of all of Karen’s skills and knowledge to help ensure that the administration of our business is as professional and efficient as it can be, and that, most important of all, our clients are well taken care of.

JOHN PUMPURS

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR

John is Natura Pacific’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 Pacific’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 benefitted significantly from the high-quality images of macroinvertebrates that he has captured with his particular talent for macro-photography.

ZOE LOUNT

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR

Natura Pacific are proud to have Zoe as part of our Education team – an enthusiastic, creative and highly trained teacher with expertise in delivering and leading science-based programmes. Having trained and worked in the UK before bringing her skills and experience to schools in Australia, Zoe has a strong background in science and environmental education. She is passionate about delivering the science and technology curriculum in a creative and hands-on way, with the aim of not only truly engaging students, but leaving them with a lifelong love of science and the ability to live sustainably in our world. Having also taught in Special Ed, Zoe is a firm believer in providing enriching and varied learning experiences based on each child’s strengths and interests. She brings high expectations and a creative approach to teaching along with a good sense of humour, knowing that this approach inspires children to enjoy learning. Zoe’s experience, ethics and passions make her a perfect fit for our education team, and her extensive knowledge and enthusiasm in teaching our science and environmental programs enrich children’s lives through expanding their knowledge and helping to create responsible, confident and environmentally aware human beings who have the skills and understanding to set them up for life.

MEGAN TRAYNOR

EDUCATION COORDINATOR

Megan came to Natura Pacific with a rich variety of experience and knowledge behind her. After completing her Bachelor of Design in Auckland, New Zealand, Megan spent the next few years working in a variety of roles within the garment and retail industry. After this, she completed a Postgraduate in Secondary School Teaching at Auckland University and then taught a variety of subjects from Textiles, Design, Food Technology and general classroom teaching to all year levels. After she and her family moved to the Gold Coast in 2017 she undertook relief teaching at various schools across the coast. Megan’s love of sustainable living and the environment has developed quickly over that time and led her to seek a role within the industry, making her a perfect fit for Natura Pacific’s education team. Megan has always had a passion for inspiring the young minds of the future and is committed to instilling a love for the environment and how to care for it to all of the children she comes in contact with. Megan’s role at Natura Pacific as our Education Coordinator organises, improves and promotes our education vision by making nature-based learning a part of as many children’s lives as possible. Coupled with Megan’s personal passion for the environment and teaching and connecting with children in a meaningful and inspiring way, we believe that this is a winning combination for both our team and the wider community.

ALECIA DE PIAZZA

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR / FAUNA SPOTTER CATCHER

Alecia is an experienced Environmental and Wildlife Educator with a genuine passion for sustainable behaviour change. Being a qualified Primary Teacher, Alecia has valuable experience delivering engaging and exciting educational programs and presentations to a variety of groups, from early learning to tertiary as well as international and domestic community groups. Alecia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Environmental and Planning Studies (and Australian Cultural Studies) as well as holding a Certificate III in Captive Animal Management. Alecia is also a Certified ZooKeeper with animal capture and restraint experience and has a genuine love not only for the care and protection of our native wildlife but also in sharing her knowledge and experience with others to help them understand how important wildlife conservation is for our future. When not at 'work', Alecia enjoys continuing to spread the word of sustainable behaviour change as well as many hours spent searching for and spotting our unique frog and bird species.

EMILY HAVAS

GRADUATE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT

Emily completed her Bachelor of Environmental Science at Griffith University in 2021 (submitted), majoring in Environmental Management and Urban Environments, developing a strong interest in sustainability and environmental policy and planning as a result. Additionally, as a result of her dedicated interest in environmental sustainability Emily has made connections with a network of organisations that she continues to volunteer with. These opportunities have helped her to expand her skill set in plant identification, flora and fauna surveys, nocturnal surveys, wildlife corridor conservation, event planning and management, community education and fauna camera trapping. Since joining the Natura Pacific team, first as a University level intern and then as an employee, Emily has gained practical field experience in BioCondition assessments, transect methodologies, use of scats for fauna identification, flora and fauna monitoring and management, plant identification of native vegetation and weed species and ecological restoration. Emily’s consulting experience also includes data management, development of environmental management plans, ecological monitoring and ecology-based reporting. Additionally, Emily has over seven years of experience in managerial roles in the retail industry where she developed strong leadership and interpersonal skills. Emily’s experiences, keen interest in habitat conservation and community engagement plus her well-developed field and reporting skills make her a much valued member of the Natura Pacific team.

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