Joe Mifsud – Principal Scientist & Director

joe-mifsudJoe has over 30 years experience in environmental science and project management with a hands-on approach to deliver practical and cost effective solutions.  Joe has a  B.Sc. Hons and an M.Ag.Sc. and is a Certified Environmental Practitioner (#0342) and is a certified in contaminated land specialist (#40036). 

Joe has worked in all facets of the mining and energy industry from the permitting stage through to site closure, and has managed large and difficult assignments, including the $US30 million cleanup of a major tailings spill (Marcopper Mine, Philippines) and as a specialist mining adviser to the World Bank in the remediation of the Zambian Copperbelt mines and smelters.

Joe’s specialist experience is in environmental impact assessment, site remediation, mine rehabilitation and revegetation, mine closure, submarine tailing disposal, marine impact assessment and investigations, environmental chemistry, coordinating specialist projects, staff training, risk assessments and developing practical control measures to protect the environment.

Joe has established skills in developing environmental programs, team building and staff training in Australia and Internationally (Zambia, the Philippines, PNG, Canada and Saudi Arabia). His genuine approach and passion for sharing knowledge has helped build our Client’s staff confidence and empowered.

Kate Grundy – General Manager | Associate (Environmental Science)


Kate is an environmental consultant with a Bachelor of Science from James Cook University, Cairns. Kate is experienced in several fields of environmental science, project management and environmental approvals. As the General Manager Kate manages both business  development and the Professional Hire arm of the company.

Kate has conducted fauna surveys, flora assessments, aquatic macroinvertebrate and stygofauna sampling, and surface water, groundwater and sediment monitoring. She has been trained in conducting targeted surveys for many threatened fauna species, including the Opal Cling Goby, various stream-dwelling frogs, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo, Black-throated Finch and the Southern Cassowary.

Kate is well practiced in the application of environmental legislation. She has prepared several EPBC Referrals, contributed to many Environmental Impact Assessments, and carried out compliance reviews, monitoring and reporting in accordance with conditional licences. Kate has prepared State Development Approval and Riverine Protection Permit applications. She is also familiar with the National Pollution Inventory online reporting and the National Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reporting systems.

Sean Steed – Director

sean-steedSean has over 17 years’ hands on experience in environmental management with special interest in site rehabilitation and Ecosystem Function Analysis (EFA) on rehabilitated landforms.

Sean has experience in highly sensitive community consultation including working with Community Consultative committee’s and representing clients in a public relations capacity. Other work includes the development and implementation of an EMS for the Kipoi Copper Mine (Société D’Exploration de Kipoi / Tiger Resources), in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Research projects on the GAB Mound Springs, Ecosystem Function Analysis (EFA/LFA) at the Beverley Uranium Mine (Heathgate Resources) and threatened flora recovery programs throughout the mid-north.He has worked on several projects for Newcrest at the Telfer Gold Mine including the implementation and rehabilitation monitoring of a COOE designed rehabilitation of a 400ha waste dump, a Cu/As germination trial and Historic TSF Rehabilitation Review. 

Sean has excellent communication skills and has built strong relationships with clients and stakeholders. He is a Project Manager for numerous ongoing COOE projects in Australia including the Rex Minerals Hillside project (Flora, Fauna, Marine habitat, EPBC referral and Land use reports). Other recent projects include MARP/PEPR development & reviews, MARCR’s, NPI reporting, rehabilitation trials, revegetation programs, ecological baseline & monitoring programs.

 Dr Stephen Clarke – Associate (Research & Development Polymer Chemistry)

Dr Stephen Clarke provides leadership to our Research & Development team. His key tasks are to oversee our ongoing in research in renewable chemistry and to help us develop a Silicon Polymer Hub. Prior to joining COOE Stephen and his team of Scientist at the University of South Australia helped us develop an epoxy resin as a part of our R&D in sustainable chemistry. The new epoxy resin can be made from by-products of making Bio-diesel.

Dr Clarke is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI – November 2015) and a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC – 2004). He is the first Australian scientist to be invited to the International Advisory Board of the influential Asian Silicon Society (ASiS – January 2016) and to Chair the biannual 7th-Asian Silicon Symposium (7-ASiS) in Australia in 2019.

Dr Clarke is a member of the Board of the newly established Australian Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and co-leader of it’s the Australian Polymer Chemistry Division and is on the Organising Committee for Chemeca 2016; which will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre (25-28 September 2016).

Bethany Lawrence – Senior Environmental Geologist

Bethany has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Geology with more than 
16 years’ experience within the mining and exploration industry. Completing her Honours for Newmont, she has project 
managed greenfield and resource projects with Anglogold, Royal Resources and exploration companies exploring for gold, uranium, iron ore, nickel,
 base metals and diamonds across Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Bethany has a comprehensive knowledge of various state
 legislations with experience in technical and statutory reporting across
 geological, environmental, mining approval submissions, tenure management, heritage, safety and
 radiation protocols. In addition, she has extensive mapping, GIS spatial, cartographic
 skills, sampling and analysis and database management.

Bethany conducts environmental assessments, implements environmental
 monitoring programs, manages and interprets datasets to be used in
 comprehensive environmental risk management systems.

Bethany is
dedicated to helping organisations meet their sustainable development objectives with a focus on the practical application of geological and environmental interactions in relation to managing natural/industrial hazards, sustainability and understanding the carbon footprint.


Jacob Lemon – Environmental Scientist

Jacob Lemon has a Bachelor of Science from Flinders University, Adelaide.  Jacob joined COOE assisting the ecology team with field work, collating and interpreting data for Bushland Assessment Vegetation, Scattered Tree Assessment, and Targeted Orchid Surveys within South Australia. 

Prior to joining COOE, Jacob worked on the Urban Creek Recovery Project, implementing various on ground management programs to improve environmental outcomes within riparian zones. He worked alongside The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources within the Black Hill, Morialta and Horsnells Gully Conservation Parks, helping preserve vital habitat for the nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot and Chestnut rumped-heathwren. Jacob also has extensive knowledge and identification skills of native flora in the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges.

Armin Azaripour – Mining Engineer

Armin has over 10 years experience in the mining industry he possesses a range of high level capabilities. These include: designing, resource modelling, long term planning and managing open cut mines using specialised software (eg. GEOVIA Surpac and Datamine); designing drill-hole patterns and blasting operations; deploying industry specific project management methodologies.

Key projects Armin successfully executed whilst working for COOE were the design of an 80m mesa landform for a mine waste dump in Telfer, Western Australia, and a containment pit for removing and burying a radiation anomaly for Uranium Equities in the Northern Territory.

Currently Armin is working on the development of innovative Blast Modelling software. Armin holds a Bachelor of Science (Mining Engineering), and Western Australian and South Australian Unrestricted First Class Quarry Manager’s tickets. He is a member of Engineers Australia and possesses relevant qualifications and industry experience in meeting Work Health and Safety requirements .

Malcolm Wealleans – Associate (Environment & Health Management)

A focused and driven Environment and Health Professional with more than 25 years national and international industry experience (Australia, Africa, Indonesia, PNG, Fiji, Siberia, Canada, USA and Latin America), which includes: green and brown field mineral exploration; project feasibility; mine construction and commissioning; operations (mines and smelters); permits and approvals, environmental audits/reviews; monitoring and measuring; mine rehabilitation and closure; research and development; EMS development and management; and overall HSEC team recruiting and management.


Alex Macleod – Associate (Environmental Management)


Alex is a Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP) with over 20 years’ experience in environmental management, trained in Lean thinking and Six Sigma methodologies. He has significant experience in site environmental management, a qualified Lead Auditor in ISO 14001 and Auditor for ISO 9000, due diligence, dealing with approvals, regulators, stakeholders and conducting assignments and secondments across industry sectors and in remote areas.

He specialises in developing and managing environmental, health, safety and quality systems and applies his knowledge and experience, gained from several years in the UK Iron and Steel industry and consultancy in order to meet client requirements. He has significant experience in site management (EPCM) environmental project management, team and site leadership across mining, power, defence, government, manufacturing and oil and gas sectors.

Alex has significant on-site experience with ability to execute a wide variety of environmental practices including air, groundwater, surface water and dust monitoring. Skills in rehabilitation, remediation, flora and fauna, waste management and energy efficiency techniques.


Dr Stephen Griffiths – Senior Zoologist

dr-stephen-griffithsStephen recently completed his PhD on the hydric ecology of Australian microbats (Microchiroptera). Steve has undertaken several assignments in Australia and overseas providing professional advice to the Mining Sector in minimising impacts on fauna and in particular bat communities.

His recent work with COOE has included detailed fauna surveys on the Yorke Peninsula fauna for the Rex Minerals, Hillside Project and the Beverly Uranium Mine near the Flinders Ranges South Australia.


Dr Ruan Gannon – Specialist (Aquatic Biologist)

dr-ruan-gannonRuan has carried out many fish and invertebrate surveys within fresh, estuarine and marine environments including a major larval fish survey with COOE for BHP Billiton on the Port Bonython Desalination Plant.

Ruan has also worked with COOE on a study of the effects of climate change on aquatic fauna, for the NRM Board. Currently Ruan is completing his PhD on the population dynamics of two species of estuarine fish.



Jenny Mifsud – Administration Officer


Jenny is our Office Manager and is responsible for logistics, book keeping and administrative liaison. Jenny has a certificate IV in Bookkeeping and a registered BAS agent.

Jenny is responsible for our Professional Hire Team, payroll and quality control of our invoicing and timesheet management.