Leading the Way in Whale Shark Conservation

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Journal Entry:

Hi, I'm Stella from Brussels, Belgium!

Since I was a kid I loved animals and caring for them, and for a long time I wanted to be a vet. However, I was quickly turned off by the “indoors” side of the job, and during an internship with a vet I realized I couldn’t be stuck inside all day. So, I reoriented my studies to focus on the environmental side of biology, with a focus on the marine world. While I grew up far from the ocean I was always intrigued by its presence, and it is only when I first learned to dive 10 years ago that I discovered a whole new world!

My career started when I visited Madagascar for the first time after attending university. At university, I enjoyed studying and learning new things but equally felt a bit lost with what I wanted to do. Back then, the field of conservation biology was still largely unknown and barely talked of. When in Madagascar, I met real-life men and women who were dedicating their lives to improving other people’s lives while also protecting natural resources. From ecosystems to improving other people’s lives by protecting specific ecosystems and species, it was all fascinating.