Who we are

Kaimahi / Core workers

Dr. Al Alder

Al Alder
Knowledge Coordinator – Mussel Reef Restoration Trust, Research Fellow- University of Auckland Institute of Marine Science
Originally hailing from Texas, Al made the jump across the Pacific to pursue a PhD in Marine Science at the University of Auckland. He is now a post-doc research fellow with the University of Auckland and spends most days dreaming up ways to build reefs that promote the recovery of biodiversity.

Katina Conomos
Kaihautū / Programme Director – Mussel Reef Restoration Trust
Originally from Sydney, Katina has a diverse range of experience in government and not-for-profit sectors. In 2018, an up-close encounter with ōi / grey-faced petrels on Ōtata Island led Katina to concentrate her professional attention on kaupapa that will bring benefit the Hauraki Gulf. Although not a marine scientist, Katina is immensely grateful to be receiving a rich education in this field by working alongside New Zealand’s science and citizen-science community. Working with tangata whenua, and constantly learning to be a better tangata tīriti, Katina is thrilled to bring her organisational energy to re-musselling the Gulf.


Dr. Jenny Hillman

Dr. Jenny Hillman
Lecturer & research lead – University of Auckland Institute of Marine Science
Jen is a Lecturer at Auckland University, specialising in soft-sediment ecology and shellfish restoration, with her primary research focus directed towards shellfish restoration both in the Hauraki Gulf and at the top of the South Island. She grew up in Africa and has travelled extensively, researching marine ecology throughout the Indo-Pacific.  She’s a passionate marine conservationist. 


Peter van Kampen

Peter van Kampen (Ngai Tai)
Shellfish Restoration Coordinator / Kairuruku Whakahaumanu Kaimoana – The Nature Conservancy NZ
Peter is of Māori, Cook Island and Dalmatian descent and was raised on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf. He has been involved with restoration efforts in the gulf since 2013. His MSc at the University of Auckland was on mussel reef restoration and his professional background in customary fisheries, fisheries and resource management.

Advisors & Trustees (MRRT)

Bex Barclay

Rebecca (Bex) Barclay
Co-founder & Trustee
As a trained dive instructor with a marine science degree, concern for the state of the oceans drove Bex to study a Masters in Environmental Law. After a number of years with Auckland Council Healthy Waters, working to reduce sedimentation in waterways, Bex joined the private sector, working at Envirostrat on innovation in restorative blue economies.

Tom Irvine (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei / Kaipara)
As Chief Operating Officer of Whai Māia, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s tribal development arm, Tom has supporting wide ranging social, cultural and environmental development projects. More recently, Tom has been appointed as Deputy Director of Auckland Art Gallery / Toi o Tāmaki, responsible for all aspects of operations and development of their bi-cultural framework. As a respected Māori leader with strong Iwi and civic engagement experience, he has a deep love for Tāmaki Makaurau and its people. Ko te oranga o te taiao, he oranga ngā tāngata!

Dr. Andrew Jeffs

Prof. Andrew Jeffs
Andrew is a marine scientist at the University of Auckland with a strong interest in the biology and culture of shellfish, including the restoration of mussel beds. He has worked with Revive Our Gulf for over six years on working to improve mussel restoration for the Hauraki Gulf. He is the deputy chair of the Auckland Conservation Board.

Shaun Lee

Shaun Lee
Co-founder & Trustee
Shaun is a designer and photographer who works on environmental initiatives, conservation, business pollution prevention and pest control. He has been a driving force in mussel reef restoration to date and is a founding member of the team.

Peter Miles
Peter has a background in engineering, marketing, and business development.  As a jack-of-all trades entrepreneur he has founded and exited a couple of businesses (ControlVision – Robotics & Machine Vision; Bookabach – Holiday Rentals).  He loves boating, sailing, fishing and snorkeling the Hauraki Gulf.  Since 2019, Peter has been lending his talents and problem-solving abilities to mussel reef restoration efforts in the Hauraki Gulf; creating the enabling environment for collaboration and bringing together teams to crack a winning restoration formula to enable the deployment of restoration activities at scale.  

Moana Tamaariki-Pohe, MNZM

Of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei/ Cook Island heritage; a champion of te Waitematā, Moana, together with her twin Donna, and father, Tamaiti helped spearhead the restoration of mauri to Ōkahu Bay.  She co-founded the Ōrākei Water Sports Club and was instrumental in getting the mooring buoys removed. Her 10 years at the Hauraki Gulf Forum led to the transformation to a co-chair model. Moana holds a number of board and consultancy positions and actively supports marine restoration. In 2021 she received the Member of NZ Order of Merit.

Michael Wood

Michael Wood
Co-founder, Trustee & Chair
Michael has had a lifelong commitment to conservation, helping establish the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust in 2013 as well as the Motuihe Trust in 2000 (of which he is also a trustee).  He is a partner at Simpson Grierson.


We’d like to acknowledge / mihi to our wide network of advisors, enthusiasts and volunteers including: Dr Mels Barton, Dr Nigel Bradley (Envirostrat), Cat Davis, Bill Davies, Francis Hall, Tim Higham, Dr Shane Kelly (Coast and Catchment), Scott Macindoe (LegaSea), John Laurence (co-founder and past Chair), Dr Kura Paul-Burke, Camillo Spath, Craig Thorburn, Moana Tamaariki-Pohe and Lucy Tukua (Native by Nature).