An Interview with WiseOceans… Joëlle De Weerdt from ELI-Scientific

Joelle’s motto is “Science for a purpose” and she created her own NGO to bring that reality to life.  Combining science with education and enthusing those around her to make effective conservation efforts.

Name: Joëlle De Weerdt

Job Title: Marine Mammal Biologist

Organisation: ELI-Scientific

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?

I always wanted to help toward the conservation of cetaceans.

  • What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?

I have a Master degree in Biology and participated as a volunteer to four different research projects based on marine mammals.

  • How did you land your current job/position? 

I started my own non-profit organisation and created my own job even if I’m still volunteering today.

  • Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

I love science and share it with the world. This is why I thrive our motto “Science for a purpose”.

  • Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

I’m combining science with education in order to make conservation actions effective.

  • What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?  

How to deal with Centro-American Culture.

  • Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

Yes: accountancy and communication.

  • What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

Keep up the motivation and faith in the future of marine conservation.

  • What is your favourite marine creature and why?  

Humpback whales. They are elegant and mysterious. We think we know everything about them but we still need to discover many things

  • What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?  

Observing a newborn humpback whale in Madagascar was really exceptional. This rare event has impacted much of my choices in my life.

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Thanks Joëlle, wow what a privilege to see a new-born humpback whale!

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