I’ve loved being by and in the ocean for as long as I can remember. I spent every summer of my childhood on beaches and riding waves in the north-eastern United States, and in my career I’ve been lucky enough to work at some of the most beautiful and remote beaches in the world. I’ve worked with penguins in Antarctica, Hawaiian monk seals on the atolls of the north-western Hawaiian islands, seals and dolphins in Maine, and manatees in Central America and some of the most spectacular places in western Africa. Although I am especially fascinated by marine mammals, I enjoy learning about all marine life and have worked with seabirds, sea turtles, fish and moray eels. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St Lawrence University, my Masters in Marine Biology at the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and I’m currently completing my PhD at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Although I’ve spent the past 25 years primarily studying marine mammal behaviour, I decided to learn some new techniques for my PhD research: genetics as a tool to determine manatee population boundaries and sizes in Africa; and stable isotope analysis to determine what manatees eat. My husband is an African turtle researcher and we often work together in the field, so we make a pretty good team! We’re based in Senegal, West Africa, and Gainesville, Florida, USA.