I am Ellie, and I am thrilled to be able to introduce myself as the new Marine Biologist at Soneva Jani.
Growing up by the sea ensured my love of marine life from an early age, and this gave me the drive to study Marine Biology during my undergraduate at home in the UK. Despite studying and growing up in cold rainy England, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef as a child had always inspired dreams of working on the vibrant reefs of a far-away tropical country. After finishing my undergraduate studies, I was determined to do just that and fulfilled my long-lived dream by winning a place on a masters course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, where I was able to study in four amazing countries, including tropical Australia and Malaysia. Not ready to give up the white sandy beaches and diverse coral reefs just yet, after graduating from my Masters, I then headed to the Maldives to work as a Marine Biologist… Soneva Jani is now my second resort in the Maldives and the most exciting yet!
I have been incredibly lucky to have (literally!) jumped into the deep in my first few days here by accompanying the IUCN during their ecological surveys around the house reef at Soneva Jani to potentially allocate the island as a core protected area of a future national Biosphere Reserve. This was a really rewarding experience and granted me the opportunity to explore the diverse and captivating reef we have here at Soneva Jani. During these surveys, we were lucky enough to spot a plethora of rays, including eagle rays, cowtail stingrays and fantail rays, and one of the team had a close encounter with a curious bottlenose dolphin! On top of this, I had a dream welcome to the island during my boat ride over, spotting a pair of elusive Pilot Whales and a pod of friendly Spinner Dolphins…
It is a dream come true to be able to work not just in such a beautiful and diverse corner of the world, but to have the opportunity to work for Soneva. Soneva’s high sustainability standards, respect for the natural world and impressive CSR work assured me that I am in a place that will inspire me to carry out my best work, and is an island that I can call home. I am now more than ever ready and raring to be part of the Soneva team. I hope that I can be a positive force and give the helping hand that the marine world needs today.
I look forward to further exploring the underwater realm with you soon!