What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£25,001 – £30,000
Please describe the work that you do.
My work ranges on a daily basis, covering a range of projects in the EU and globally. I am currently working on three main projects: improving coordination between fisheries and environment sectors with the German government, supporting the implementation of the Marine Biogeographic Process, and assisting the European Commission in assessing member state reports for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. I am also expanding my knowledge of cephalopods, working with experts on research papers.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I really enjoy feeling as if I am making a difference to the planet that we all call home. A lot of the work I do aims to enable the marine environmental legislation and measures which we have in place to be properly implemented. Often we have the tools we need to utilise the ocean sustainably, but they are not used correctly. I am proud that the work I do plays a small role in helping us to use the oceans, and not abuse them. It is also great to work with such an array of passionate experts. I have had the pleasure of working with some great names in shark ecology, and the passion and energy which they bring to each project is amazing. Working in the marine sector can be hard work (and can be much more than a 9-5!), but I think it is one of the most rewarding areas in which an ecologist can work.
There is nothing I would say I dislike about my role. However, I have set an aim for this year to ensure that I take every opportunity to get out into the field, as I love to be amongst nature.
What inspired you into this career?
I have aspired to have a career in marine science since I was in school. I spent my summers in my family house in Greece and therefore grew up swimming and snorkelling in the Mediterranean sea. I have always had a fascination with the sea, and especially the human relationship with it as both an environment to be enjoyed and a resource. My time at university studying for both my undergraduate degree and my masters further inspired me. Having the opportunity to work with a range of lecturers who are leading experts in their field enhanced my passion for the subject. I have always believed that our oceans are the most amazing environment, and that it is essential that we treat them with more care. I want to be part of that process.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
My career itself is currently very new and therefore the challenges I have faced are limited. However, by far the biggest challenge I have faced is obtaining my first job in the field. I think it is fair to say that the marine sector is one of the more mysterious career paths. There is certainly no set path to take into the field. In my year at my current role I have met people from a wide range of backgrounds who have moved into the field over time, from social scientists to engineers. I am therefore keen to take any opportunity I can to speak to students and young professionals looking for their first role, in order to give them any advice I can.
What education/training did you have?
I studied a BSc in Marine Biology at Newcastle University and then an MSc in Marine Biology at Bangor University. I also have a certificate of proficiency in personal survival techniques from South Shields Marine School which allows me to work on vessels.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
My main piece of advice would be to talk to as many people as you can in the field and gather as many perspectives as possible. There is no set route into a green job and therefore there are numerous ways that you can get your dream role!
I obtained my current role through a speculative CV, so do not be afraid to put yourself out there!