Melanesia Program Director
Areas of Expertise
Coral reef, hawksbill sea turtles, community conservation
Rick grew up in a small coastal community in Papua New Guinea that installed in him a love of the sea and listening to fishing stories. He returned to New Zealand to complete his final years of high school, but his passion for coral reefs, fishing and the Pacific Islands remained strong. This led Rick to complete his MSc and PhD research in a remote fishing community in the Solomon Islands, where he studied the ecological, economic and cultural factors that structure coral reef fisheries. Rick has been with TNC’s Melanesia Program for the past 15 years, working with communities, universities, governments and industry on a diverse range of marine and terrestrial management issues. Rick is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, and he is currently working with partners to understand how community-based conservation efforts can be linked to improved livelihood initiatives.