Research & Conservation Coordinator | (03) 546 3147
I started caving when an old school friend invited me on a trip during my first year at university. The trip was to Makuri in the Wairarapa and we found a ‘new’ cave: very short but involving quite a large amount of water that entered from a too tight side passage and disappeared into a terminal sump. I found the exploration aspect exciting and where the water came from and went to intriguing. I have been involved in caving off and on for over 40 years since then. I studied animal ecology at uni so naturally got interested in cave-adapted species and how they survive and thrive in a lightless, resource-limited environment.
I worked for the Department of Conservation in Nelson for 25 years, first on wildlife and then specifically on rare/threatened invertebrates. I managed to get cave management included into my job descriptions, so have had an active interest in both cave fauna and cave conservation issues.
Although caving hurts a lot more than it used to, I can still get geared up at the prospect of a new find or the possibility of looking for cave fauna in a new karst area.