Stephen R Ullrich


Contract Diver

Auckland Museum

During the mid 1980s Stephen Ullrich trained as a Marine Collector in Tahiti (having arrived as crew on a square rigged sailing ship) supplying the Tropical Marine Aquarium industry in the US and Europe. On returning home Stephen joined Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World towards the end of the build project and undertook the stocking of the fish and shark tanks. Following on from this work Stephen carried out work for international marine aquarium developers Marinescape Ltd, both as a designer on proposals worldwide and marine collector on projects in Sydney, Perth and Singapore. Stephen then spent time working in the theatre industry and, later, the completion of an Architecture Degree saw him establish a career as a sole practitioner architectural designer and builder.

What do you hope to achieve on this expedition to the Kermadecs?

The Kermadecs have had an allure since reading John Wray’s South Sea Vagabonds, the tales of the Bell family and the oranges of Sunday Island. It is a privilege to be part of this expedition to establish a reference fish collection for the Auckland Museum and increase the knowledge base about this island chain.

What skills are you bringing to the team on this expedition?

As an experienced sailor, marine collector/diver and designer I bring a broad range of skills to this expedition and hope to contribute across the different teams.

When you’re not on an expedition what does a “day at work” look like for you?

Being self employed means my days are varied and allow me to be focused on my sons Gus and Charlie.