Our Team

‘Land Leader’: Dr Duika Burges Watson

Duika is a Lecturer in Evaluation and Policy Interventions in FUSE, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health (one of the UKCR Public Health Research Centres of Excellence), and is based in the Centre for Public Policy and Health within the Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University.  Whilst at University in Tasmania, Duika studied Indonesian language to post-graduate level and is still a rusty, but competent speaker.  For her Honours thesis, she lived and worked in Indonesia, conducting research in a remote seaweed farming community (in Indonesian language). Her interest in the sea is perhaps, a legacy of a line of seafarers in her family – “Nenek Moyangku Seorang Pelaut” (My ancestors were sailors).   Duika also has a PhD in health geography (University of Tasmania), the research for which examined aspects of the seaweed industry, employing a critical health geographic approach to explore connections between seaweed industries and public health concerns.  Her current research interests are in food processing technologies, food and health policy and translational research.

Project Manager: Dr Johanna Wadsley, FRGS 

For Johanna Wadsley, a graduate of the University of Tasmania (AUS), the University of London (Birkbeck College) and The Open University (UK), and an Australian and British citizen with adventuring experience around the world, the Hugging the Coast expedition brings together two sets of relevant expertise.  Firstly, as a wilderness education expeditioner and mountain instructor certified through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS, USA), with mountaineering and sea kayaking experience in Tasmania, New Zealand, Sikkim, the USA, Canada, Greece and Scandinavia.  Relatedly, she is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) via the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS.  Secondly, having just been awarded her PhD in Human Geography (The Open University, January 2012), Johanna has highly developed skills as a social scientific researcher, with expertise in global-level development strategies for water and sanitation, and the politics thereof.  She is an Affiliate Member of the OpenSpace Research Centre at The Open University.  Johanna is also an active rock climbing instructor at The Castle Climbing Centre, London.

 ‘Sea Leader’: Lena Conlan 

Lena Conlan, a native of Sweden but living in Bozeman Montana, USA, has taught outdoor education based on sea kayaking expeditions in Alaska, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Honduras, Greece, Croatia and Scandinavia since 1986.  As a former international sea kayaking programme coordinator for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), USA, she was responsible for leadership, risk management, programme and instructor development.  In 1996, Lena and her husband, Tim, founded Crossing Latitudes, which specializes in sea kayaking and reindeer trekking trips in Scandinavia, Greece, Alaska and beyond.

Lena is a Wilderness EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) who volunteers for the local Search & Rescue group in Bozeman, Montana. For the last 12 years Lena has worked for the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS and teaches Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder courses across the USA and Europe.

‘Sea Leader’: Vonna Keller

Vonna is an Australian and U.S. citizen and long-time resident of Hobart, Tasmania. She is one of Australia’s most highly skilled outdoors professional, with 13 years in Outdoor Education, and as a Field Officer for the Australian Antarctic Division.  Vonna holds leader’s qualifications in diving, sea kayaking, skiing and cliff rescue, and is an instructor and senior practitioner in wilderness medicine with WMI of NOLS. Vonna has extensive international expedition experience, with significant projects undertaken in Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, the US, Pakistan and Nepal. She is also an experienced wilderness filmmaker, working on productions for Discovery, ABC, National Geographic and Australian television that include Getaway, Survivor and Baseclimb 2 (Glen Singleman’s famous jump from Great Trango).  Vonna is currently a full-time student at the University of Tasmania, studying sociology, psychology and journalism.

 Arny Caroles and Jacqline Laikun

Arny and Jacqline are two Indonesian researchers in the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science at Sam Ratulangi University, both students of Professor Grevo Gerung. They are full members of the six-person expedition team of Hugging the Coast.  They will be directly involved in the research exchange project, talking amongst the group and to people we meet along the way.  They will also pursue their own ‘mini-projects’ during the expedition – academic, artistic or otherwise, and will have the opportunities to contribute to published material arising from the expedition.

Key regional professional and academic contacts: Prof. Grevo S. Gerung and Dr Dedi Adhuri

Professor Grevo S. Gerung, Head of the Marine Science Department and Deputy Dean of Collaboration Affairs and Evaluation at Sam Ratulangi University, Manado, Sulawesi, has arranged the placements for two Indonesian researchers and is helping to ensure the project is safe and successful. He has been working with local fisheries officers to ensure that each community we visit will know approximately when to expect us.

Prof. Gerung has almost twenty years’ experience in marine biology and aquaculture research.  His teaching subject and research field is marine algae and marine conservation.  He has been a member of the Asian Network for Using Algae as a CO2 Sink since 2006 and works on pulp and bio-ethanol from red algae as a solution to the problem of global warming. Read more on seaweed in Indonesia here.

Dr Dedi Aduhuri helped us with the early stage planning of the project. He has provided invaluable advice and contacts that have enabled the project to go ahead.  Dr Adhuri has 15 years of experience in social research on marine resource management/governance (community-based and co-management), fisheries conflict and post disaster coastal/fisheries rehabilitation/development in Indonesia and SE Asia.


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