Dahlia Foo

Dahlia Foo

Frontend Developer | Scientist in Hobart, Tasmania

Currently busy with teaching responsibilities with uni and starting a new nights and weekends project that allows users to create Q&A chatbots from sharing a youtube playlist link.

8 months ago

I live a double life as marine predator scientist and a web/software developer. My background is in science and I picked up frontend development after my PhD because I wanted to build cool stuff!

On my nights and weekends, I'm either training brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), building out various fun side projects, or doing self-study to improve my BJJ.

I'm also interested in blockchain/web3 and AI/ML.

Work Experience

2023 — Now
Hobart, Australia

Coaching adult fundamentals classes. Developing and experimenting with various training and teaching approaches (eg using games following the ecological approach) to improve skill development, engagement and information retention in beginner students.

2022 — Now
Hobart, Tasmania

Collaborating with project managers and designers to create strategic custom Wordpress websites that meet the client's goals. Developed multiple responsive and interactive Wordpress websites that are fast, accessible and follow modern best practices. Fixed bugs and updated internal starter template code to improve future workflow and development time.

Tools: PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, Wordpress, React, Figma, Asana, Notion

2020 — Now
Remote/ Hobart Tasmania

Research project: Discovering the role of rare, endangered and culturally important marine predators in the Tasman Fracture Marine Park

  • Managing the research project to make sure it meets the deliverables of the research grant.
  • Assisting with fieldwork preparation and post-deployment data handling and analysis
  • Writing and developing content for science / project communication for various target audiences and stakeholders


  • Lecturing and running practicals for marine bio-telemetry and marine ecology subjects.
  • Supervising undergrad student research projects.
  • Developed new and updated existing teaching materials to improve quality and learning experience for the students.

Marine predator consulting work:
Researched and wrote reports for environmental impact assessments and literature reviews for external contract-based assignments.

2019 — 2021
Digital Producer & Copywriter at Dahlia Foo (freelance)

Life Chiropractic Centre (Singapore):
Re-designed and optimised the website for a Singapore chiropractor to drive more new patient bookings and doubled their yearly revenue.

Developed Facebook and Instagram ads and copy that increased traffic to the website and increased new patient bookings.

Managed and created content for the business's social media and grew their Instagram follower count from 0 to 700 in 6–12 months.

Tasmanian Judo Community:
Filmed and produced 5 promotional videos to create brand awareness of the Judo community.

2015 — 2020

Studied the seasonal variability in foraging behaviour of lactating long-nosed fur seals from Cape Gantheaume, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

Captured, handled and deployed geolocation light logos, ARGOS satellite transmitters and time-depth recorders on adult female fur seals.

Performed path analyses, statistical habitat modelling in R.

Produced 4 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.

Wrote successful grants applications to receive ~80K in research funding.

2018 — 2020
Campbell Island, NZ

Camped and worked in a small team of 3–6 people on a remote sub-Antarctic island for 6–8 week annual field trips.

Executed data collection tasks such as daily counts, flipper tagging, microchipping and measuring pups of New Zealand sea lions.

Set up, maintained and improved camp site living conditions over the course of each field trip to keep team morale high in difficult living conditions.

Led animal tracking fieldwork component in 2 field seasons where we successfully deployed miniature GPS trackers on pups.

2019 — 2019
Research Consultant at New Zealand Department of Conservation

Produced the field trip and technical working group meeting reports. Revised and developed internal fieldwork documents and manuals.

Side Projects

Investigating innate behavioural influence in juvenile southern elephant seal survival

Writing up a scientific manuscript for peer review publication.


Built an AI-powered chat bot that answers brazilian jiu jitsu questions from a curated database of related youtube videos.

Github: github.com/dahliasan/bjj-…

Tech stack: Next.js, Typescript, Langchain, Supabase, Tailwind CSS, OpenAI API


Built and launched a chrome extension that generates a summary of any webpage using AI.

Github: github.com/dahliasan/gpt3…

Tech stack: React.js, Chrome extension API


Built and launched an app for flippers to track new listings on OpenSea in real time and quickly identify undervalued NFTs.

Github: github.com/dahliasan/noic…

Tech stack: React.js, Vercel, Opensea API


Built a Google sheet dashboard to help teachers easily know if their assessments meet the syllabus requirements and are pitched at an appropriate level.


2020 — 2020

Completed a self-paced online bootcamp that contained over 70 hours of video content about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, and UI design.

2015 — 2020
PhD in Biological Sciences at University of Tasmania
2014 — 2014
Bachelor in Marine Science with 1st class honours at University of Tasmania
2011 — 2013
Bachelor in Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies at University of Tasmania


Christchurch, NZ

Presented a scientific poster at the 13th Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Symposium.

Hobart, Tasmania

Discuss my work as a frontend developer during International Women's Week, where women from various IT professions also shared their experiences.

Shared my journey from marine scientist to learning how to code and getting a developer job.

Event Meetup: meetup.com/coding-sisterh…


Produced a scientific poster video presentation for Session 6: Marine Extreme Events: Impacts, Forecasting, and Risk Management


Australia New Zealand Marine Mammal Conference

Capturing the impact of extreme weather events on the survival of endangered New Zealand Sea Lions at MPred Symposium
Hobart, Australia

A local symposium about marine predator and seabird research.


Drone Remote Sensing and Mapping from University of Tasmania

Credential ID: 46271611

Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) from Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority
4WD and Defensive Driving Course from Performance Driving Australia

MASUP236B Operate vehicles in the field
RIIVEH305D Operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle
RIIVEH201D Operate light vehicle


2015 — 2016
Long-nosed fur seal annual pup census at South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Annual pup production count using capture-mark-recapture method: Captured and marked pups using a pair of clippers. Counted marked and un-marked pups to get a ratio.

2014 — 2014
Australian fur seal monitoring at Deakin University
Kanowna Island

Camped and worked in a small team of 3–4 people near the seal colony. Performed daily fur seal counts.

2013 — 2013
Zooplankton research fieldwork at University of Tasmania

Sampled water in the Derwent River using a Secchi disc.

2012 — 2012
Quoll research fieldwork at University of Tasmania

Helped set up camera traps

2012 — 2012
Marsupial research fieldwork at University of Tasmania

Collected data using photogrammetry methods to document the burrows made by marsupials.