I was born in Palm Springs, California, and raised in a small town called Valley of Enchantment in the mountains outside Los Angeles. I did not finish high school, but later returned as a mature-aged student to study marine biology through the American equivalent of TAFE. I eventually earned a PhD from James Cook University in Queensland in 2005. I truly understand how life circumstance gets in the way, and I also truly get how important it is to have opportunities and second chances.
The best evidence that I will work my tail off for every Tasmanian is my past performance. My high level of productivity throughout my scientific career has included two best-selling books and more than 60 peer reviewed scientific papers, two TEDx talks plus countless others from conference seminars to community presentations to keynote addresses, and I've discovered more than 200 new species (mostly jellyfish, plus one dolphin!).