Samantha completed a Bachelor of Applied Science at Southern Cross University in 1996 and went on to complete a research-based Master of Science (Zoology)
at the University of Queensland. Her research focused on the ecology of the Mary River turtle, Elusor macrurus.
Following her studies, Samantha worked with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in south-east Queensland for nine years, predominantly on freshwater and marine turtle research programs.
From 2006 to 2011 Samantha worked for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority where she managed the traditional turtle and dugong fisheries in the Torres Strait.
Since 2012 she has lived and worked on Christmas Island as the Natural Resource Manager and oversees the management of the Christmas Island reptile conservation program among other threatened and invasive species programs.