Marine biologist’s mission to create a generation of ocean conservationists


Ted Brambleby drove along the Australian east coast in the 1960s with jars of dead sea snakes, shark pups and whale bones in the back of his car.

He would open the boot and give impromptu marine biology lessons to scuba divers in beach car parks before they entered the water.

“You can stand there on the beach and look out to sea and see a lot of waves, you see the ocean itself, but very rarely does anyone see what’s underneath it, and that’s the big problem today, people are ignorant of what’s underneath it.”

Now his hundreds of preserved specimens, which may be the largest personal collection in Australia, fills a museum in the northern New South Wales village of Hastings Point.

The marine biologist opened the Adventure Education Marine Museum of Natural History in an effort to encourage younger generations to care about conserving ocean life.

Mr Brambleby said many of his specimens, particularly the corals, would probably not exist in decades to come.

“I’m paranoid about this museum because I realise many of these specimens won’t be here in 50 years as live animals,” he said.

“The only place they’re going to be is in preserved specimens.”

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article and photo: Samantha Turnbull


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