top of page
Emily Steele at Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari

Emily Steele

Graduate Research Student



Auckland University of Technology

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau

A Bit About Emily

Emily Steele is a graduate research student in the second year of her Masters degree in Marine Science, currently completing her thesis in collaboration with the Connecting Coastal Communities research project. Gaining experience and knowledge is a top priority for Emily, and she has spent time in a range of professions including retail management, radio broadcasting, marine protection, conservation, animal husbandry, and scientific communication. She has a passion for fish behaviour, movement, and habitat use ecology, and aims to weave western science with indigenous knowledge through her research. Combined with her Bachelor degree in Marine Biology and Geospatial Science, Emily is a great addition to the Connecting Coastal Communities team, and hopes to provide the results of her Masters thesis to the community of Vavanga who's reef she is studying.

Emily's Story

WhatsApp Image 2023-03-08 at 20.47.29.jpg

Emily first wanted to be a marine biologist when she was around three years old. Initially scared of the ocean, that fear turned to love when her parents told her “it’s just like a really big swimming pool” and from then she was hooked.

After graduating high school in 2015, Emily moved to Christchurch for a year. She discovered she had a passion for radio broadcasting, and received a Diploma in Radio Journalism the following year.

WhatsApp Image 2023-03-08 at 20.45.26.jpg
Emily Jupp working for the Mai FM Street Team in Tamaki Makau Rau

After working in radio promotions and producing on-air content for stations including The Rock, Mai FM, The Edge, and More FM, she realised that although she was good at it, it wasn’t her calling.

Being satisfied with all she had learnt from the detours along the way, she decided it was time to become a scientist, and completed her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Geospatial Science at AUT in 2021. Throughout the completion of this degree, she gained experience as:

Emily Jupp volunteers to survey Archey's frogs.

a conservationist

Emily Jupp working as a marine ranger for the Department of Conservation at Goat Island Marine Reserve

a marine ranger

Emily Jupp giving a presentation about Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari's involvement in the Whale Tales fundraiser

and a science communicator

A kekeno (NZ fur seal) that Emily Jupp released to Karioitahi beaach on behalf of the Department of Conservation as a Seal Observation Squad member

a seal observation volunteer

Emily Jupp holding a wetapunga while working at Auckland Zoo

an ectotherm zookeeper

Emily’s natural communication skills have been refined throughout her time at Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, where she educates passengers on the Hauraki Gulf Tīkapa Moana and the marine animals that live there, collects observational data on marine megafauna, and coordinates the 23-year-old observational and photographic database.

WhatsApp Image 2023-03-08 at 21.54_edite

All these skills have accumulated and allowed Emily to participate in the Connecting Coastal Communities research project for her master's thesis.

WhatsApp Image 2023-03-14 at 19.35.56.jpg

While the research itself is a core component, to Emily it is just as important to incorporate indigenous knowledge and participation in the research as well as providing the results in a way that local communities can interpret. Emily has begun this dissemination process by editing interviews of the collaborators talking about their roles in the project and creating this very website!

Connect with Emily

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • mail
bottom of page