Indigenous Knowledge and Marine Science in Gamay

As part of National Science Week, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) and the Gamay Rangers will host an evening of knowledge exchange involving First Nations people, scientists, and community members from the Gamay (Botany Bay) area in Sydney. It will consist of a public evening event including talks, a panel discussion, posters highlighting ongoing projects in Gamay, and savoury food. This National Science Week project is supported by the Australian Government.

Event details:

Date: 16th of August

Location: Yarra House, La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council

Address: 1 Elaroo Avenue, Phillip Bay NSW 2036


  • 5:00       Arrival
  • 5:35:      SIMS Opening (Martina Doblin)
  • 5:40:      Gamay Rangers introduction and housekeeping (Robert Cooley)
  • 5:45:      Panel discussion
  • 6:30:      Overview of SIMS projects in Gamay and closing (Will Figueira)
  • 6:40:      Poster session with savoury food

The panelists: 

Ezequiel (Ziggy) Marzinelli – Associate Professor at The University of Sydney

Ziggy is an Associate Professor at The University of Sydney, where he leads a marine ecology research group. Ziggy’s research focuses on understanding the processes that generate, maintain and impact marine ecosystems. His work focuses on the influences that ecological processes and interactions (including microbes) have on the resilience of marine habitat-forming species (kelps, seagrasses) and the complex coastal assemblages they underpin. By integrating ecological theories and experiments with molecular tools, Ziggy’s research aims to provide solutions to long-standing problems of understanding, predicting, and managing human impacts on marine ecosystems. Ziggy has done research in temperate, tropical, and polar habitats around the world, and is passionate about teaching and communicating his research to the general public. He is one of the founders and leaders of “Operation Crayweed”, a kelp restoration project in Sydney.

Bryce Liddell – Gamay Ranger

Bryce Liddell is a Bidjigal man from La Perouse. He works with the Gamay Rangers where he focuses on protecting and restoring cultural knowledge, practices, and sites to ensure we pass on healthy Land and Sea Country to our next generations. As part of his role, he manages scientific research and restoration projects in partnership with scientific institutions. These projects aim to enhance the ecological health of Gamay (Botany Bay), which ensures ongoing cultural connection for his people. He is also a 3rd year Marine Science student at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). His studies compliment his role as an Indigenous Ranger well and has deepened his understanding of the science behind the impacts and issues he grew up observing. 

Laura Parker – Indigenous Scientia Senior Lecturer and ARC Fellow at The University of New South Wales

Dr Laura Parker is an Indigenous Scientia Senior Lecturer and ARC Fellow in the Faculty of Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She has a science background in marine ecology and ecophysiological and has trained at leading marine laboratories around the world, including the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany. Laura is interested in understanding how Traditional Ecology Knowledge held by First Nations peoples of Australia, can be combined with Western Science to improve marine conservation and restoration outcomes, and ensure the aspirations of First Nations peoples of Australia are central to marine conservation and restoration initiatives. Through her research, Laura hopes to ‘future-proof’ natural oyster populations and the Australian oyster industry and help to strengthen the ongoing cultural links of First Nations peoples of Australia with their Traditional lands.

Martina Doblin – Professor at the University of technology Sydney & Director and CEO of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Martina Doblin is a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Technology Sydney and current Director and CEO of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Passionate about the ocean from a young age, she has been a marine researcher for over 20 years, leading highly successful research teams and building supportive working environments. As the Director of SIMS, Martina has actively developed partnerships (e.g., with the Gamay Rangers), to support indigenous knowledge, participation, and custodianship of Sea Country.

Uncle China – Cultural knowledge holder in La Perouse

China Timbery is a Bidjigal and Dharawal man from La Perouse. He is held in high regard in the La Perouse Aboriginal Community as a cultural knowledge holder. He has strong connections to Gamay and is part of the significant Timbery family.

Moderated by Pauline Ross – Professor of Marine Ecology and Higher Education at the University of Sydney 

Pauline Ross is a Professor of Marine Ecology and Higher Education at the University of Sydney.  For over 15 years she has led research on understanding the impact of climate change on the Sydney rock oysters with Indigenous postgraduate research students, who are now emerging leaders.  At the same time, she has created transformational undergraduate experience for students in biology and coastal and marine habitats and has won national and international awards for teaching excellence.  She cares deeply about education and the biodiversity of marine organisms and habitats and aquaculture industries worth 35 million to the economy of Australia and impacting 10,000s of families.

This National Science Week project is supported by the Australian Government.

To learn more about SIMS’ work in Gamay, explore the links below.