Hi, I am Marie-Laure! And ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by the ocean. This sentence may have sounded like every other marine biologist (to be), but it is true and for me it all started with shells, at the Belgian coast. Even though Belgium only has about 65 km of beach, I got to spend most of my summers at the seaside in Belgium. You could always find me by the water looking for shells and seaweeds. This fascination translated itself into a shell collection, which now exists of about 250 kinds of shells. My interest for science showed when all I wanted for my 12th birthday was a microscope. And again at 15 years old, when I got my PADI Open Water diving certificate at the diving school of Aalst, Belgium. So the decision to study and pursue a career in Marine Biology was made pretty early on in my life. It was my driving force in high school and during my bachelor degree. I am now finishing the last month of the bachelor degree in Biology at the University of Ghent, Belgium. The universities in Belgium unfortunately do not offer bachelor degrees in Marine Biology. However, I did get to work in the Marine Biology research group of the University of Ghent, while writing my bachelor thesis. I got to study the deep sea megafauna associated with polymetallic nodules in the Clarion Clipperton fracture zone. Through annotation, estimates were made of the present taxa associated with nodules in selected areas and compared with literature data, based on similar or different tools to obtain the data. The project results will contribute to our understanding of the nodules as habitat for deep sea taxa. In February 2023 I was accepted to the International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRsea) and will start that program in September 2023. With a Minor in marine conservation and Major in applied megafauna conservation.I got to experience a lot of field work during dedicated excursions in my bachelor, but these all focused mainly on terrestrial ecosystems. To obtain more field experience, I first looked for a volunteering program. That is how I ended up at Marine Dynamics as a volunteer in September 2022. There I discovered a fascination for marine mammal behavior, which led to my Minor and Major choices in IMBRsea. So here I am again! Because two weeks after I got back to Belgium from volunteering, I signed up for the internship program at Marine Dynamics. I look forward to studying the wonderful inhabitants of the Gansbaai waters, while strengthening my field skill set. This in preparation for IMBRsea and a future career as a Marine Biologist, during which I hope to study the behavior of cetaceans or other marine mammals and how these behavioral findings could contribute to their conservation.