Sam Mc Cormack is a PhD student at the University of Waikato. His research focuses on the identification of marine sponges using alpha taxonomy and DNA barcoding techniques. He has carried out research on the biodiversity and abundance of sponges from the Bay of Plenty region. Sam has an interest in investigating the bio-chemical composition of sea sponges to classify and identify them.
The primary aim of Sam’s study at the Kermadecs is to record sponge biodiversity from the Kermadec Islands. He is one of the few taxonomists in New Zealand who practises the dying art of sponge taxonomy and can describe the morphological characteristics of Kermadec sponge species.
His day-to-day work involves the collection of marine sub-tidal invertebrates. This requires collection of samples using scuba in the beautiful waters around the Bay of Plenty.