Author Tracey Bates

I was born and raised in Rotorua, in the Bay of Plenty, and spent most of my childhood at Ohiwa beach fishing, digging for critters, and exploring the estuary and coastal life, developing a strong love for the ocean and the underwater world. This led me to study English, ecology and marine biology at Victoria University of Wellington, where I completed my undergraduate degrees before moving to the stunning south coast of Wellington to complete my Master’s degree. In my postgraduate studies I looked at how marine sponges may respond to climate change stressors. While sponges are not known for their charismatic nature like whales and dolphins, these fascinating creatures led me to develop a deep appreciation for the remarkable resilience of marine life and how much pressure we are putting on our oceans as destructive human activities increase. During my Master’s I gained my scientific diving qualification, and worked around Wellington as a contract diver surveying marine reserves. Today I continue to do contract work for DOC, while also working full time on marine biosecurity issues. I enjoy diving and taking underwater photographs as a hobby in my spare time.