My fascination with the marine environment began at an early age, spending childhood holidays sailing and swimming on the south coast of England. However, it was only when I learnt to dive in 1996 that my eyes were truly opened to the wonders of the underwater realm.
Following my Zoology degree at Oxford University and a Masters in Environmental Management at James Cook University I became focused on grassroots community-based marine conservation efforts. I have worked with indigenous communities in north Africa, Australia, Micronesia, the western Indian Ocean, south-east Asia and the South Pacific to conserve endangered species, improve sustainability of local fisheries and protect important coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats.
My key interests are first in addressing challenges in balancing urgent species protection efforts with the realities of communities’ basic needs and second, in documenting traditional knowledge about species and historical management practices before it is lost forever. I enjoy working across three different regions, seeing both the similarities and contrasts in challenges faced by colleagues working in marine conservation in different environmental and cultural contexts.
At rare moments when I am not working I enjoy spending time relaxing with my family, friends, dog and Arabian horse as well as hiking in the mountains, snorkelling and practising Kundalini yoga.