Meet our seasonal volunteers 2013
CBMWC Education & Outreach Officer 2013 season
Nichaela is a graduate from Bangor University with a degree in Zoology with Conservation. Nichaela first came to volunteer at CBMWC in 2011 for ten weeks between June and September. She enjoyed it so much she came back to volunteer with us again in 2012, but for the whole season this time, assisting with the analysis of photographs and production of our photo-ID catalogue.
This year she is back again thanks to funding received from the Vodafone World of Difference programme which has enabled her to focus her time with us to running our Education and Activity program for four months. In her new role as Education and Outreach Officer, Nichaela is utilising experience gained from ten years of volunteering with Girlguiding UK helping to run Rainbow, Brownie and Ranger units in West Sussex where she is originally from. We are keeping our fingers crossed that after her four months World of Difference placement ends she will see the season through with us again on a voluntary basis.
Francesca Mancini, 6 month placement with CBMWC: February to July 2013
Francesca was born in Foggia, a town in the South of Italy. Learning to dive at the age of 15 fired up Francesca’s passion for marine wildlife. Francesca has a degree in biology from the La Sapienza University in Rome. She’s been fortunate to travel a lot with her parents and during one of their holidays in Greece she was lucky enough to spot a group of dolphins approaching their boat, and a Mediterranean monk seal in the National Marine Park of Alonissos. In that moment Francesca says that she fell relentlessly in love with marine mammals. Following her six month placement at CBMWC, her plan is to remain in the UK to complete her studies with an MRes in marine biology and a PhD.
Simon Rolph, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: March - July 2013
Simon is from Cambridge and on a gap year having finished his A levels in biology, chemistry geography and maths with a place secured at the University of Exeter to study Conservation Biology and Ecology. He volunteers with the local Wildlife Trust and loves to get outdoors to see nature in it’s element. He tries to live a low carbon lifestyle, the potential environmental impact of a choice plays a huge role in his decision making process; from deciding to be a vegetarian, to how to travel and what to buy. He’s a big fan of cooking and loves to try out different combinations of ingredients and see what it ends up like, because recipe books take away that bit of adventure. Music is a big part of his life too and attempts to write some of it every now and then.
Krysia Dee, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: March - April 2013
Krysia is a Marine Biology masters graduate from the Universtiy of Southampton, and is keen to work within the marine conservation sector. After four years at university she went travelling for seven months, during which she was able to go on exotic dives, experiencing a range of different marine environments and wildlife from Malawi to Vietnam. She also took the opportunity to go whale and dolphin watching whilst in New Zealand and Australia, and cage diving with Great Whites in South Africa, all of which were amazing experiences. Travelling is a great passion of Krysias, and in 2008 she successfully summited Mt Kilimanjaro on a 2 week trip to Tanzania.
Krysia is also a member with the charity Orca, which enables her to volunteer aboard cruise vessels to collect observational data of marine mammal sightings, and she is looking forward to doing some local trips within British waters to observe our own wildlife.
As a seasonal volunteer with CBMWC, she is very much looking forward to carrying out both boat and land-based surveys, learning photo ID skills, and sharing my enthusiasm for the marine environment with visitors.
Ruth Griffith, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: March - May 2013
Ruth is an Animal Science (Behaviour and Welfare) graduate of Plymouth University. She was brought up in rural North Devon and is a country girl with a broad experience of working with livestock and domestic animals. Ruth also spent a lot of time walking, swimming and surfing at North Devon’s beautiful beaches and enjoying its stunning coastline: this all contributed to a keen interest in marine wildlife, in which she would love to pursue a career. Ruth has previously volunteered at an animal rehabilitation centre in Greece, a local wildlife park in North Devon and did an internship at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.
Sarah Davies, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: April - May 2013
Although Sarah is originally from Cardiff, her summers growing up were filled with trips to the heart of the Welsh countryside visiting her grandparents in a small village in Carmarthenshire. Here she spent idyllic days wandering the hills being chased by cows, eating blackberries by the lake and scaling ditches via a make-shift rope swing. It was this environment that evoked her passion for wildlife and the natural world. In her free time Sarah loves art and has worked with children at a local primary school on several occasions, helping to run art projects and create costumes and scenery for their drama productions. This spring Sarah spent three months in Costa Rica volunteering with a toucan research project in Turrialba where she monitored keel-billed toucans and collared aracaris in forest fragments, a wonderful experience that allowed her to experience another culture as well as the principles of field research. Since childhood she has harboured a fascination for marine biology and is excited to contribute towards the marine mammal research at CBMWC; an experience which she hopes will enhance her field skills and allow her to share her enthusiasm for biology with the public. Last year Sarah graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and will begin her MSc in Conservation at University College London in September. Following her degree she wishes to pursue a career within the field of conservation or behavioural ecology.
Phoebe Gauntlett, CBMWC Seasonal Volunteer: April - July 2013
Originally from the Big Smoke, Phoebe now lived in Wales, having always known she was a country girl at heart. She has a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology, which she studied at Lampeter University just down the road. Having never been sure what sort of career and life-style she wanted, she suddenly had the realisation a couple of years ago that the environment and the world we live in are really where her passions lie. Since then, she has been taking any opportunities she can to gain valuable experience to help her along her chosen path, with pursuing a career in conservation. She has volunteered for a few environmental charities, including the RSPB, Trees for Cities, and the National Trust, and has worked at the Centre for Alternative Technology not far from us. She is also very conscious of her life-style choices concerning the impact one can have on the environment, including what food she eats, products she buys, and the energy she uses. She is looking forward to getting settled in doing something she loves, and is hoping her three months here, as well as being an enjoyable summer, will help her along with getting there.
Sarah Kathryn Meng
Sarah Kathryn Meng, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: May - July 2013
Sarah Kathryn lives in Georgia in the United States. She currently attends Rollins College, a small liberal arts school in Florida, where she is studying Psychology and plans on becoming a marine mammal trainer. Sarah Kathryn has always loved marine mammals and the sea. Currently a volunteer at the Georgia Aquarium, she is excited to travel to the UK and gain new experiences at CBMWC.
Lee Slater, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: May - July 2013
Lee was born in Great Yarmouth and has always lived by the coast. He studied for his BSc in Zoology at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus in Falmouth, before obtaining his MSc in Biodiversity Conservation with Bournemouth University. Lee has always had a fascination with the natural world, however he admits he didn’t have a clear vocational path in mind. Once he finished his Master’s degree Lee spent a short time on Vancouver Island, Canada. Whilst there he undertook a whale watching excursion and came across a pod of Orca, in a moment of unbridled clarity he knew that he wanted to work with Marine Mammals. Upon his return he immediately booked up Marine Mammal Observer, Protected Species Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitor course. Since then he has been undertaking volunteer cetaceans and seabird surveys and is hoping that a placement with the CBMWC will give me valuable experience in various aspects of ecotourism, dolphin biology and seabird identification.
Alice Weymer, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: July - September 2013
Originally from London, Alice spent the majority of her childhood sailing which is where her passion for all things marine developed. She is studying for a BSc in Wildlife and Practical Conservation and is currently undertaking a placement year as part of her course. She has worked with a marine conservation NGO in Belize conducting research on the health of the coral reef which involved underwater surveys on benthic diversity and fish biomass, as well as boat based surveys on the bird and manatee populations in the area.
During her time there she had one of the most amazing experiences of her life – she was joined on a dive by a pod of 24 Atlantic spotted dolphins who stayed with the group for over half an hour. Alice says that she was already looking forward to coming to Cardigan Bay to learn more about photo ID and improve her observational skills, but this experience has encouraged her even more!
Jessica Ward, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: July - September 2013
Jessica grew up in bristol where she studied for her A levels in Biology, Chemistry and French. Ater leaving school Jessica spent seven months living in Western Canada working as a childrens ski instructor before returning to the UK to start studying for her undergraduate degree in Zoology at Newcastle University. Jessica is about to sart the 3rd year of her undergraduate degree with the hope of staying on to do a masters in Conservation Management.
Zoe Temple, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: July - November 2013
Zoe has just completed BSc (hons) in Conservation Biology with Animal Behaviour at the University of Lincoln. She has a strong interest in marine ecosystems, specifically marine mammals and would live on a beach if she could! Her course has had little to do with Marine life so she is hoping to branch out into the direction of marine conservation. Zoe’s dream is to open her own Ecotourism and Education Centre so she feels that every part of CBMWC volunteering will not only be extremely enjoyable but also hugely beneficial to her. She has been able to make contacts, through attending conferences with the British Ecological Society and the Society of Biology, which have provided her with future prospects of a career in Marine conservation surveying; home and abroad, and ecological consultancy, following CBMWC volunteering. However, with nothing set in stone, she is currently very excited at the prospect of the world being her oyster and she intends to make the very most of it! In Zoe’s words…”whether they are interested or not, everyone I know has been informed of my eagerness for summer to arrive so that I can move to New Quay for nine weeks and get involved!”.
John Dixon, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: July - September 2013
Originally from Birmingham, John is now studying Geography at Aberystwyth University. Living in the Midlands, far from the sea, always made it special when he went on holiday and got in the water. This encouraged him to join the Sea Scouts when he was younger so he could have as much exposure to sea life as possible. One of John’s happiest memories is of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, when he was 11 years old. Whilst studying Geography for his A-levels, John’s passion for the environment grew and he decided to go to Aberystwyth University to build on this interest and live closer to the sea. Since being in Aberystwyth he has become a member of the Surf Club and the Canoe Club, giving him the opportunity to spend more time in the sea and discover more about it. Last summer he also volunteered for the National Trust, allowing him to gain experience in environmental and charity work. Going into his third year, John will be doing a dissertation on how to improve coastal defences for marine life, combing his love for the sea with knowledge of the environment. Having the opportunity to volunteer at CBMWC is therefore a great chance for him to learn more in the field, meet like-minded people and gain valuable experience in an area that is important to him.
Jenny Kril, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer July - November 2013
Jenny first became passionate about marine conservation in 2008 when she was fortunate enough to spend two weeks on the Peruvian Amazon assisting researchers in collecting data on river dolphins, turtles and caiman. The trip inspired her to pursue this area of research further and she has recently graduated with a BSc in Marine and Freshwater biology from Aberystwyth University. Volunteering at CBMWC seemed like a natural progression into working in marine conservation as she has always loved the welsh coastline and is excited about the range of new skills she will acquire whilst on her placement. Jenny is currently furthering her scuba diving qualifications in her spare time and hopes to incorporate diving into part of her career in the future.
Steph Wright, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer: July - September 2013
Steph is never happier than on a boat looking for cetaceans. Steph saw her first wild dolphin off the south Devon coast where she use to do land watches for the Torbay coast and countryside trust and became hooked! She spent from May to September at CBMWC in 2012 and is returning July to September in 2013. She is studying for a BSc environmental science degree with the Open University part time whilst working. Over the winter she has done surveys on board the Brittany Ferries fleet across the channel and Biscay as well as volunteering at Whalefest in Brighton and the Save the whales reloaded conference. She can’t wait to join CBMWC for another summer of dolphins, seals and porpoises!
Pete Duffell, CBMWC Seasonal volunteer July - September 2013
Pete is a 2nd year Environmental Science undergraduate. Having worked for some years as an office temp and then a scuba instructor he returned to University as a mature student. He is very interested in ecology, conservation and hydrology and has a passion for marine mammals. University fieldtrips have taken him to Dorset, the Cairngorms and most recently to the rainforest in Brunei, Borneo, where research was undertaken on pitcher plants, gap phase dynamics, rock pool biota diversity and dragonfly populations. This included mark recapture, transect and visual surveys and kick sampling techniques. Last year he volunteered with the British Geological Survey, collecting stream water and sediment samples across Devon. After graduating he plans to study for a Masters degree, conducting research on Crayfish.