Meet the team

the crew

ORI explores the unknown to discover new knowledge about our oceans.

Core Team

Earle de Blonville, FRGS

Earle de Blonville, FRGS

ORI Director & Chief Executive Officer

Award: QEII Silver Jubilee Award (Greenland Expedition)

Earle is co-founder of ORI, responsible for long-term development of shore-based and oceanic programs and international research partnerships. He is supervising skipper of the fleet of Research Expedition Vessels (REVs) and will personally lead ORI’s first two Arctic expeditions. Earle is a veteran Arctic explorer, having led Australia’s first expedition to East Greenland in 1985-86.

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Professor Jennifer M. Gidley, PhD

Professor Jennifer M. Gidley, PhD

ORI Director & Director of Research

Award: Chancellor’s Gold Medal (Doctoral Research)

Jennifer co-founded the ORI driven by her growing concern about climate crisis, the plight of the oceans, and threats to small island nations and coastal cities from sea level rise As Director of Research she is responsible for ORI’s long and short term research programs, and contributes significantly from her academic and leadership experience as a researcher in ‘sustainable futures’.

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Paul Snelgrove, LLB

Paul Snelgrove, LLB

ORI Director & Corporate Lawyer

  • SSI Dive Control Specialist
  • Former Vice President & Dive Coordinator of Queensland Nautilus Scuba Club

Paul joined the Oceanic Research Institute as Director in March 2019. He has extensive business experience, including corporate law, residential property development, holiday accommodation and adventure tour operations. His strong entrepreneurial energy and flair will help drive ORI’s development. Paul will manage legal frameworks, compliance and insurances for our international operations.

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Richard Mitry, LLB

Richard Mitry, LLB

ORI Corporate Counsel

Richard is a founding partner of Mitry Lawyers, Sydney and Melbourne, and is ORI’s Corporate Counsel. His main areas of practice are defamation and media, property and environmental law, commercial litigation, and insolvency.

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Sonja Ceri, MA, Economic Geography

Sonja Ceri, MA, Economic Geography

ORI Chief Marketing Officer

Australian-based CMO Sonja Ceri has almost 20 years experience in journalism and agency directorship roles in Europe and Australia,  plus senior roles as Marketing Strategist, CMO and Hubspot Partner.

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Research Committee

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At Oceanic Research Institute, we seek out the impacts of climate change, to the benefit of clean energy, healthy oceans and sustainable research.

ORI has developed approaches to diverse projects across the globe, and UN-SDGs will guide our success. ORI is committed to seven SDGs: 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 17 and especially SDG 14 ‘Life below Water’. 

“Without adventure, civilization is in full decay”
– Prof Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician & philosopher

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+61 2 6686 0117

EMAIL US

GHQ@ori.net.au