Vanessa's PhD research is focused on identifying conservation gaps for cetaceans within Australian waters. She is investigating the types of threats faced by cetaceans and other marine megafauna (e.g. large fish such as sharks and manta rays, marine turtles, pinnipeds, sirenians and large seabirds). Her work draws upon international examples of marine megafauna interactions with anthropogenic activities. Vanessa's most current research involves the use of emerging technologies such as drones for marine megafauna conservation.
Vanessa completed her Master of Research (MRes) in 2014 where she investigated the effects of underwater construction and whale alarms upon migrating humpback whales off Sydney, Australia. Vanessa has a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University where she majored in Zoology and Evolution and Ecology. She has conducted research in a variety of different locations around Australia, Tonga and most recently Antarctica.