Volunteering sister duo shares their experience at the Marine Dynamics Academy

Laura and Lea, from France, joined the volunteer programme and shared a little of what the programme is like on any given week.  

Written by Ettiene Roets, Apr 3 2021

Volunteering sister duo shares their experience at the Marine Dynamics Academy

A week with Laura and Lea on the Marine Dynamics Academy Volunteer Programme

Today is your lucky day, as we take you with us for one week here at Marine Dynamics! During this week we had the chance to discover many activities concerning marine biology, and as we loved them, we wanted to share them with you!


If one day you want to learn more about marine biology you are welcome. We spend most of our time on the boat, but not just any boat, on the eco-tourism boat to dive with the sharks. Like all the tourists, we can go into the cage. We see bronze whaler sharks, great white sharks, and sometimes curious rays. But we don’t only do that, otherwise it’s not interesting enough! When you as a tourist arrive, you must fill in your wetsuit and shoe size and, in the backstage, we will prepare your stuff for diving.


Don’t worry we don’t just do that. Sometimes the weather is changeable, so it is impossible to go to sea, which allows us to discover other activities, like feeding the penguins and other seabirds at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary; counting and recognising birds who lives here; collecting shark eggs washed up on the beach; counting the number of seals living on Geyser Rock using photos taken by drones.

Occasionally other activities a bit cooler and more animated and by animated, I mean the shark tagging and tracking of the great white sharks with GPS tags or fishing for lesser guitarfish in the estuaries to mark them and be able to take data required by the Stellenbosch University. Data collected includes size, blood, or analysis of their environment.


We had the opportunity to participate in a scientists’ conference – a « knowledge exchange » day – to learn about other conservation work in the region. This included leopards, plants, birds, estuary monitoring, and much more. As you can see a week is busy, but it is always with pleasure that we do it. It’s not every day that we can see a shark, a whale or even release healed penguins! Your week with us is over but we hope to have given you a change of scenery for a few minutes. In any case, for us, tomorrow it starts again!



Written by

Ettiene Roets Technical Lead, Coordinator

My name is Ettiene Roets, I am Technical Lead for Marine Dynamics Academy and focus most of my attention on developing the practical modules.

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Ettiene Roets

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