I am a marine biologist with a background in marine protected areas (MPAs) and a passion for conservation. My classmates in college remember me as the girl who came into class with muddy shoes on a Monday because I often spent my weekends trekking in the mountains of Negros Island in the Philippines where I grew up. The first time I snorkeled in the sea was when I was 18 years old, and when I saw coral reef teeming with life and color, I was hooked!
I worked on various projects focused on establishing, monitoring and managing community-based MPAs from 2001 until 2010. This meant everything from doing the underwater visual census of fish and corals, talking to people from all walks of life about the value of MPAs, as well as preparing and presenting management plans to local lawmakers. Prior to moving to Norway in 2012, I worked with local government and policy planners as an Adviser for the Coastal Fisheries and Resource Management program of GIZ-Philippines.
My recent work is focused on monitoring small lobster MPAs in the south of Norway, as well as determining the impact of such protected areas to fished areas around it. I also provide support to an ecosystems-based fisheries management project in Sudan.
I joined GRID Arendal in April 2019 to provide support to the ResilienSEA and Mami Wata projects in East Africa. The work I do allows me to combine my passion for conservation with research in a creative environment, with the goal of sending across the right message that will lead to relevant and environmentally-sound policies.