Where are you from?
I am from Ceduna, a small coastal town in South Australia.
When did you first become interested in marine life?
I think growing up on the coast and having the most amazing beaches nearby began my fascination with the ocean. It continued to develop over the years, throughout university and especially as I began to scuba dive as it seemed like I had a whole new perspective on what lives below the surface.
Is this your first time in the Maldives?
Yep! I have been here for 2 weeks now and I am loving it.
What is your favourite animal and why?
I struggle with picking favourite animals, I just love them all. I will forever love dogs but I am super fascinated by dugongs, mantas and whale sharks and I would love to be able to work with them at some point in my life. This is Pepper helping me out with a beach clean!
Have you worked with clownfish before?
Yes, I spent some time volunteering at Flinders University helping out with the Saving Nemo clownfish breeding program.
What are you most excited about over the six months?
I’m most excited for when the clownfish begin breeding consistently and we can begin to release some fish back onto the reefs. I also can’t wait to contribute and help expand the anemone and clownfish database that Cassie has set up so we can get a better idea of the numbers and health status of anemones throughout the atoll.
What are you going to miss most about home?
I will miss the whole family. We are all really close and spend lots of time together so any time I go away I always miss being around them. But.. most of all I will miss my banana smoothies and avocados!
What is your dream job?
I am still unsure. What I am doing here at the Atoll Marine Centre is really amazing but I would still love to get experience in different aspects of marine biology and conservation to find what I love most. I am really intrigued by marine microplastics and pollution, so that could be my next step.
How are you finding Naifaru and Atoll Volunteers so far?
I am really enjoying it! Living on a local island has already been great as you get to experience the culture and involve the local people in projects and activities. The excursions and afternoon marine centre activities have also been really fun and I have already learnt a lot from them.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV alone?
I am addicted to crosswords, I love assembling ikea furniture and I am embarrassed that they are the most interesting things I could think of.
What is the one thing you won’t go travelling without?
Reusable ziplock bags! I always use them to keep my small bits and pieces together such as charging cables, mini first aid kit etc or even as a waterproof bag to chuck your phone or electronics in when its raining or on rough boat rides. You can also keep your snacks in them.