Mary Sewell is a Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Auckland where she studies the reproduction and early life stages of marine invertebrates with a focus on how the environment influences early development. She conducted research at the Leigh Marine Laboratory for her Masters, then travelled overseas for her PhD in Canada, and postdoctoral research in Canada and the United States. She has undertaken field work on Vancouver Island, at the hydrothermal vents of the East Pacific Rise, in the Caribbean, and during 12 seasons in Antarctica. She has visited the Kermadec Islands once before - in November 2016 on the RV Tangaroa looking at larval dispersal offshore from Raoul and Macauley. The family bach at Opito Bay on the Coromandel is an important part of her down-time – for snorkelling, diving, paddle-boarding and dog-walking.