Dr Maddy McAllister

Maddy McAllister is the Senior Curator of Maritime Archaeology at the Queensland Museum Network, based at the Museum of Tropical Queensland campus in Townsville. Her position is co-appointed with the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University.

The maritime collection contains a range of artefacts that represent the maritime heritage of North Queensland. A significant portion relates to the excavated artefacts from the maritime archaeological excavation of the HMS Pandora (1779) shipwreck. As well as other notable sites like the Foam (1893), the Centaur (1943), the HMCS Mermaid (1829) and the Yongala (1911).  In addition to shipwrecks, the maritime collection houses the Langley Diving Collection of Heritage Helmets and assortment of SCUBA diving equipment from the past 70 years.

Maddy’s research focus is on the visualisation of underwater shipwrecks and the way that new technology enhances the information we can learn from sites in the tropical sphere. There is a large collection of legacy data from the Museum’s research into shipwrecks. Like the Pandora, and Maddy is working on ways of digitising this collection – with particular emphasis on 3D digital modelling from photographs and finding new ways to communicate archaeological knowledge.


Throughout Maddy’s career she has worked on numerous projects including, the American whaleship excavations in Bunbury, the Maritime Archaeological Survey of Oman, the Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties ARC Linkage-Project and a partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum and CSIRO to locate and record shipwrecks in deep waters off the Australian coast.

In 2016, Maddy was awarded the Cecelia Connelly Memorial Scholarship in Underwater Archaeology from the Women Divers Hall of Fame. The award funded her PhD research fieldwork recording the Batavia (1629) shipwreck in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia.

Maddy is the Newsletter Editor and Vice President of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology. She is also 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

Twitter: @shipwrekmermaid
Instagram: @shipwreckmermaid
Facebook: @shipwreckmermaid


Maritime archaeology


Senior Curator Maritime Archaeology


PhD (University of Western Australia)

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