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Maddy McAllister

Senior Curator - Maritime Archaeology, James Cook University

Maddy McAllister is the Senior Curator for Maritime Archaeology at James Cook University and the Museum of Tropical Queensland (Queensland Museum Network).

Maddy completed her archaeological education with a Bachelor of Archaeology and a Master of Maritime Archaeology from Flinders University in South Australia. She recently graduated with her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2018 with a focus on investigating the influence of digital 3D modelling on underwater shipwreck sites in Australia. Currently, her research focuses on reinvestigating legacy data associated with maritime archaeological collections and the digitisation and 3D modelling of artefacts and shipwreck sites.

Throughout Maddy’s career she has worked on numerous projects including, the American whaleship excavations in Bunbury, the Maritime Archaeological Survey of Oman and the Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties ARC Linkage-Project [LP130100137].

In 2016, Maddy was awarded the prestigious Cecelia Connelly Memorial Scholarship in Underwater Archaeology from the Women Divers Hall of Fame. The award funded her PhD research fieldwork recording the Batavia shipwreck in the Houtman-Abrolhos islands.

Maddy is the Newsletter Editor and Vice President of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA). She is also the JCU Associate Member for the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology. Maddy is an active voice for maritime archaeology, blogging about the discipline and enlightening the public on the daily life of underwater archaeologists through her blog and social media platform – the Shipwreck Mermaid.


  • 2019–present
    Senior Curator - Maritime Archaeology, James Cook University & the Queensland Museum Network
  • 2014–2018
    Research assistant, The University of Western Australia
  • 2012–2018
    Research assistant, The Western Australian Museum


  • 2018 
    The University of Western Australia, Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2012 
    Flinders University , Master of Maritime Archaeology
  • 2010 
    Flinders University, Bachelor of Archaeology


  • 2012
    Preliminary analysis of copper alloy fastenings from an unidentified shipwreck in Koombana Bay, Western Australia, The Bulletin for the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    Cecelia Connely Scholarship for Underwater Archaeology
    Postgraduate student
    Funding Source:
    Women Divers Hall of Fame
  • 2014
    The Australian Government Training Program Scholarship Stipend
    PhD Candidate
    Funding Source:
    The Australian Government Training Program

Professional Memberships

  • Vice President, the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology
  • Associate Member, the UNESCO UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology