About us

Jan, shark specialist

Ocean lover

The air is filled with the sound of waves gently crashing against the hull. On board the large, wooden sailing boat people dressed as pirates are starting to serve drinks to the grown-ups. There is music and games for the little kids too. None of it seemed to interest my 6-year-old me. It was the first time I truly experienced the magic of the ocean, I was instinctively drawn to it. I will never forget the moment when the first dolphins appeared, jumping joyfully out of the water and racing our boat. This moment sparked an everlasting passion that still burns deep inside me today.



Before going deeper into marine science, I actually started my academic career as a bachelor’s student of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology in Germany. Although living a relatively “landlocked”-life, I enjoyed the practical approach of the teaching and the complexity of the subject. Through my studies, I focussed mostly on the concept of ecosystem services and the application of geographic information systems. Spending time in Australia as an exchange student and intern finally allowed me to combine my terrestrial studies and my interest in the marine realm as part of my final bachelor project: “Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park”

After finishing my bachelor, I enrolled in the International Erasmus Mundus Master “Marine Biological Resources”. The programme is a result of cooperation between multiple leading European Universities in the sector of marine biology and allows its students to join different institutes throughout the semesters. It enabled me to acquire a very personal and unique combination of skills and expertise. Majoring in applied ecology and conservation, my main focus was set on the establishment and management of MPAs including courses on stakeholder engagement as well as species distribution modelling and the monitoring of marine megafauna. 

Following a series of internships in the area of shark conservation and research, I am now enrolled as a PhD-student at CRIOBE (France/French Polynesia). During the next years, I will focus on personality differences and behaviour in wild bull sharks in Fiji. Collaborating closely with a small eco-resort, I will spend around 8-9 months a year at Kuata Island (Fiji) to study these incredible animals and carry out my fieldwork. 



Through the course of my studies, I have not only developed the ambition to learn as much as I can about our complex marine systems but also a deep urge to protect and conserve what fascinates me so much. From my own personal motivation, nature´s sheer beauty alone would be reason enough to fight for its protection. However, we as humans need to understand that the protection, conservation and restoration of our natural systems are most of all saving and benefitting our own species! Other species do not care about extinction, nature itself will sooner or later always bounce back – the ones that suffer are we, humans.

Through my work as well as through my personal life, I am eagerly trying to play my little part – help preserve what still is, and try to protect and restore where possible. I want my kids and even my grandkids to experience a world full of natural wonders, just as I had the chance to. Not everyone needs to be a scientist or an activist. I believe in the power of small changes, in our day-to-day decisions. If we as a collective start to be more aware of our daily actions and behaviour, it would mean a great change for our planet.

Juliette, coral reef passionate

Mermaid soul

My body and soul were always linked to the water world for as long as I can remember. Whether it’s in a swimming pool or the sea, I am always looking for the inner peace sensation and out-of-reality experience I get once I immerse myself in this universe. For me, the ocean is tranquillity but yet still rough, it is the perfect illustration of anger and softness duality. I am alive only next to it.  


Growing up in Brazil the ocean took an important place in my childhood and teenage years. Most weekends and holidays were spent exploring the underwater universe, following fishes, digging up shells and spending hours kneeling in tidal pools searching for all life I could find. Any discoveries and creatures seen came with a huge smile on my face and a sprinted run towards my family to tell them all about it. And nowadays I still do all of it, even the running part when I can. The major difference is that today my playground became a study field and a workplace.

Marine field exploration

Even though I felt deeply connected to this environment, being a marine biologist never crossed my mind after high school. In fact, it only happened 2 years into my Earth and Science bachelor’s when I thought “Wait a minute, I could actually study marine life and work in this field for a living”. Not needed to say I quickly booked diving and conservation training in the Philippines (Marine Conservation Philippines) and then my love relationship with corals began. I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could about these beautiful organisms to help protect them, save them, and bring awareness to their existence, state and importance.

During my IMBRSea MSc., I studied transplantation techniques for one of the most harvested gorgonian species worldwide, the red coral (Corallium rubrum). I learnt different restoration techniques and how critical the condition of Mediterranean sea corals is. This only motivated me, even more, to pursue research on corals and contribute as I can to marine conservation and awareness.


Life goal

Through my following work, I studied different environments giving me a wider set of skills in understanding not only benthic organisms but other marine species as well. I want my work to contribute to the marine environment by doing meaningful research which will hopefully help conservation and bring awareness to how people see and relate to the ocean. Hence why it is crucial for me to communicate and share science, as so many people are far away from it.

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