My name is Amy Webber, and I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa. I moved to the UK with my family at the age of 14 where I completed my schooling. Having grown up alongside the ocean it has always been my goal to work with and understand the sea, as well as the abundance of creatures that can be found within it. Naturally, my ever-growing interest of the marine environment led me to study Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth.
My university studies exposed me to the extremely broad range of ecosystems within our marine environment, including coral reefs, the intertidal community and pelagic zone. Learning about the connectivity between marine animals and their environment has taught me to value and protect the balance of our oceans. My dissertation focused on the migration and breeding patterns of grouper fish species in Palau using acoustic tagging. This project assisted in advocating for policy change whilst highlighting the necessity for Marine Protected Areas.
Alongside my studies, I have been remotely volunteering for ELMO, a shark charity based in SA. This experience immediately allowed my love for elasmobranchs to grow, enhancing my knowledge of South African species whilst actively sharing the need for their protection. This is continuously helping bridge the gap between scientists and the public to create unity in conservation efforts to protect shark, ray and skate species.
Returning to SA to participate in the scientific internship program with Marine Dynamics is not only an amazing opportunity to build my field skill set, but also an opportunity to return to my home country and immerse myself in the rich marine diversity it has to offer. Being in close proximity to mega-fauna, and even witnessing the now rare sighting of a white shark in the Gansbaai, has allowed my appreciation and adoration for elasmobranchs to increase even further.
After completion of the scientific internship, I will be returning to the UK to complete a Master’s degree in Tropical Marine Biology in order to further my understanding of oceanic ecosystems and work towards advocating for their protection, particularly for that of sharks, who hold great importance in maintaining balance in the ecological systems of our seas.