2004- 2007: Ph.D. Postgraduate Research at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, awarded by the University of Aberdeen. Ph.D. title: BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS: The role of biodiversity in determining community susceptibility to invasion. UHI Research Student of the Year 2007.
2000 to June 2004: BSc.First Class Hons. Applied Marine Biology, School of Ocean Science, University of Wales, Bangor.
Over the last 12 years I have worked on a wide range of projects around the themes of science, education and conservation. Most recently I have been working as an independent consultant and scientific advisor to a range of marine industries looking at environmental impacts, mitigation methods and monitoring operations. My work has taken me to Scotland, west Africa, Angola, West Papua, Indonesia and Greenland. Previously I have worked as a scientific diver for the UK National Facility for Scientific Diving (NSFD) based at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and at SAMS hyperbaric unit (recompression chamber for divers). I have also worked as a research assistant to Prof. M.J Kaiser and Dr Ian Lucas (School of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor) on a variety of marine ecological research projects around the UK undertaking research cruises using a range of different sampling and survey techniques.
During what little time I had spare between working and studying in North Wales it became apparent that there was no local organisation that promoted the marine environment and allowed public engagement. Collaborating with two others we set up an organisation called ‘Marine Awareness North Wales’ with the aim of raising awareness of the marine environment. Over the next four years we secured over £60,000 of funding to set up education and awareness projects and establish a ‘Centre for Marine Awareness’. This included working with several local schools, children groups, NGO’s, government agencies and councils. Marine Awareness North Wales has now formed a partnership with the North Wales Wildlife Trust and is still going strong to this day.
I have also worked overseas on several conservation projects predominantly in the Philippines and Chile. This has ranged from marine projects mapping coral reefs to assess marine biodiversity and reef health to terrestrial projects such as carrying out line transects across the Andes mountain range in Patagonia to assess the population size of the Huemul (a small and endangered deer), to radio tracking the endangered cat the Kodkod.
Studying and working in science made me realise that there is so much information known about the world we live in but frustratingly it never makes it outside of academia. I strive to create a greater understanding of the world we live in, in an easy to understand story telling way through visual inspiration and words to bring the science to a wider audience. I want to engage people about the value of healthy ecosystems and why there so important to us.