I have been fascinated by the natural world all my life and growing up on a farm in south-western UK provided me with a seemingly limitless supply of weird and wonderful creatures to discover. I always knew that I wanted to make studying animals my career, but it was only when I was given a tropical fish tank at the age of 11 that my passion for the underwater world began. From that moment forward I would say ‘I want to study fish!’ when asked what I planned to do when I grew up. True to my word, I progressed through school and college with this in mind and in 2002 graduated from the University of Plymouth with a degree in marine biology and coastal ecology.
University opened my mind to the rest of the world and I was hungry to explore as much of it as I could. Having visited and dived in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, I realised that I wanted to work in one of these tropical destinations, and when a job for a marine biologist in the Maldives came up in 2003 I knew it was for me.