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Experts

During the Where? Where? Wedgie! expedition this May we are not alone on this eagle exploration! Meet our expert science team of Nick, Clare and James below. They are joining in on the daily discussions during the expedition to help us understand some of the things we find out there. They were all once students just like you and they just love helping to explain the world using science. You can post questions straight to any of them in the daily discussions by starting with something like, ‘Excuse me Clare, I was wondering if you can help answer this question I have…’

Go to the daily discussion boards during the LIVE expedition to quiz our experts >>

Andrew Hughes
Adventurer
Expertise:
Going on adventures
Organisation:
Bookend Trust
Enjoys:
Learning new skills
Andrew decided a long time ago that adventures were a great way to learn about the world and share it with students everywhere. He has been doing Expedition Class with the Bookend Trust for eleven years. Journeys have taken him around Papua New Guinea in a sea kayak and around Australia on a bicycle. Along the way he loves sharing the stories and the challenges of what’s happening out there. He’s really looking forward to this adventure because James will help him travel right around Tasmania as they look for some very special eagles and lots of other interesting birds.
Quick Facts
  • Once ran a bushwalking business called Mad Wombat Guides.
  • Grew up in north west Tasmania.
  • Worked in an underground gold mine for one year.
James Pay
PhD Candidate in Zoology
Expertise:
Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle
Organisation:
University of Tasmania
Enjoys:
Hiking up mountains
James Pay is a scientist at the University of Tasmania. He started studying animals in Europe, where he watched wild birds solve puzzles, chased insects and watched fish flirt. He moved to Tasmania three years ago to study the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. The aim of his research is to find out as much as he can about how these birds behave. To do this he puts small trackers on the birds to see where they go, which will help us understand how to protect them – it’s like google maps on a bird!
Quick Facts
  • From the United Kingdom
  • First job was cleaning up dog poo
  • Danced over 44 hours to help eagles!
Clare Hawkins
Citizen science coordinator
Expertise:
Threatened species
Organisation:
Bookend Trust
Enjoys:
Being outdoors, discovering and watching animals
Clare’s a zoologist, and she did her PhD on the fossa (the scary guys in the movie Madagascar). After some years monitoring Tasmanian devils - finding out whether Devil Facial Tumour Disease was a threat to the species - she decided to get to know Tasmania’s other threatened animal species. She’s nterested in burrowing crayfish, frogs, freshwater snails, bitterns, quolls and many more - to find out how to help them escape extinction. She’s really excited to e working with the Bookend Trust to involve as many Tasmanians as possible in this very enjoyable and interesting work.
Quick Facts
  • Clare spent two and a half years living in a tent in western Madagascar and is now addicted to rice
  • She did a course in stand-up comedy last year and is trying to figure out some jokes about eagle surveys.
Nick Mooney
Conservationist, biologist, wildlife advocate, writer
Expertise:
Birds of prey, Tasmanian devils, Thylacine, Living with Wildlife
Nick Mooney is an conservationist, biologist, writer, wildlife expert, and ecological educator. He has been involved in studying and managing Tasmania’s wildlife for over 30 years. Starting as a raptor specialist doing peregrine and eagle surveys and management, he diversified into seabird survey, arsupial carnivores, and , plus responding to whale strandings, oil spills, diseases, incursions of invasive species and other wildlife emergencies. He is a keen ducator and hopes to increase public appreciation of wildlife, including the use of high quality wildlife tourism, in that advocacy lecturing on marine mammals and eabirds while guiding and driving zodiacs in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic.
Quick Facts
  • Was once an iguana catcher in Venezuela
  • Has investigated reports of Thylacine sightings.
  • Initiated the government response to Devil Facial Tumour Disease
  • Was an originator of the Living with Wildlife philosophy in Tasmania.
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