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Maddy's dedication extends beyond the depths of the ocean. She is also a passionate science communicator, committed to sharing her knowledge and adventures with audiences of all ages. Through captivating talks, engaging documentaries, and insightful publications, she inspires others to appreciate the wonders of maritime archaeology and the importance of preserving our maritime heritage.

Explore this website to delve into Dr. McAllister's incredible adventures, learn about her groundbreaking discoveries, and get inspired to embark on your own exploration of the maritime world. Together, we can keep history afloat and preserve the legacy of the seas.

Maddy Grumpy turtle.jpg


As a shipwreck detective, Maddy employs cutting-edge technology, extensive research, and her expertise to unravel the secrets of sunken vessels. Whether it's clues to mystery shipwrecks on teh Great Barrier Reef, or investigation into infamous wrecks from Australia's past, her work reveals submerged heritage that have long been shrouded in mystery.


Dr. McAllister's journey into maritime archaeology began with a deep-seated fascination for history and the oceans. Her remarkable career has been dedicated to piecing together the puzzle of centuries-old shipwrecks, unearthing historical treasures, and shedding light on the untold tales of seafaring adventures. Her discoveries have not only enriched our understanding of maritime history but also ignited imaginations worldwide.


Embark on a journey with Dr. Maddy McAllister as she dives into the past, exploring shipwrecks, revealing history's secrets, and advocating for the protection of our underwater cultural heritage. Whether you're an avid history enthusiast, an aspiring archaeologist, or simply curious about the world beneath the waves, Dr. McAllister's work will leave you captivated and informed.



Academically, Maddy is fascinated by wooden ships, how they were built and how we can piece them back together from wreck material - particularly on reef environments. Maddy's PhD research explored underwater 3D photogrammetry of shipwreck sites, particularly analysing the implication of theoretical approaches to archaeological visualisation and digital realism, which continues to be a focus of her studies.

Currently, Maddy has a joint role as Senior Curator of Maritime Archaeology at the Queensalnd Museum Network and Lecturer at James Cook University, based in Townsville. 

In addition, Maddy is on the Board of Directors for the international Advisory Board for Underwater Archaeology (ACUA).




Doctor of Philosophy (maritime archaeology), The University of Western Australia. Supervisors: Dr Alistair Paterson, Dr Jeremy Green, Dr Andrew Woods and Mr Paul Bourke.


Master of Maritime Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, South Australia.


Bachelor Archaeology, Flinders University, South Australia.


2019 to current: Senior Curator, Maritime Archaeology – The Queensland Museum Network and James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. This is a joint appoint from the two institutes and my role revolves around research and management of the maritime archaeological collection and research into related maritime archaeological fields. In addition, I manage other people, work with neighbouring institutes, develop and curate exhibitions and partake in community outreach programs.

2018-2019: Maritime Archaeologist - Heritage Victoria, Department of the Environment, Land, Water and Planning. This role focuses on the management, research and legislation of the underwater cultural heritage of Victorian and Commonwealth shipwrecks. Specifically, I work with policy, research, site assessment and management, fieldwork and stakeholder engagement.

2014-2018: Research Assistant -The University of Western Australia, Department of Archaeology, 2014-current. As a Research Assistant for the ‘Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties’ ARC Linkage-Project [LP130100137, Lead CI: Paterson], my role involved fieldwork planning and logistics, safety and risk assessment, social media and website management and annual report compilation.

2014-2018: Curator/Research Assistant - Western Australian Museum, Department of Maritime Archaeology. Focus on digitising, auditing and managing the photographic archives within the department. Starting up a program for 3D image-based recording of artefacts and a digital management of the 3D data. In addition, I completed a range of reports and manuals for the department.

2015: Postgraduate Teaching Intern - The University of Western Australia, Department of Archaeology (Postgraduate Teaching Internship Scheme). The internship involved extensive development and implementation of university level teaching skills. I taught across a range of units (First year to Postgraduate level). In addition, I organised, developed and assessed topics. This included teaching tutorials, seminars, lectures, practical and undertaking curriculum development projects.

2012-2014: Assistant Curator - Western Australian Museum, Department of Maritime Archaeology. My position involved archaeological research, surveys and excavation, collections management, report writing and academic publications, communication and public outreach. A large aspect involved regular trips to dive on shipwreck sites and conduct archaeological surveys and inspections. As part of my role within the department I was involved in planning, managing and leading some of these diving expeditions.

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