Meet our Volunteers: Katy Sykes

Hello! I’m Katie – having grown up in coastal cities, I have always enjoyed being by the sea. I’m currently taking a gap year before starting university in September to study Marine Biology and Oceanography. Being fascinated with the ocean and its inhabitants, I wanted to spend my year out gaining research and conservation experience. 

I started my studies of marine biology when participating in a Coral Reef Ecology course on a voluntary research expedition to Dominica in 2016. Since then, I have participated in internships with AIMM Portugal where I had the opportunity to contribute towards the conservation of cetaceans through research and education. Throughout both of these opportunities, I gained experience working in the field, as well as knowledge about the many threats that humans pose to the ocean.
I have also spent time carrying out environmental research in a geolab at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography. Here, I gained skills from professionals of climate change and gained in-depth knowledge of the environmental pressures that are becoming more and more pressing on an everyday basis.
By participating in these different opportunities I have learnt just how important and valuable the natural environment really is. It is vital for us, as the only species on Earth able to make a difference, to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. We must also accept responsibility to ensure the future of the marine environments by raising awareness through research and education. 
I am spending three months with DMAD, working with the Montenegro Dolphin Project team. I’m excited to learn about the marine mammals of Montenegro and how to use scientific software that can be used to process raw data. This internship has also provided me with the opportunity to visit a country that I have never visited before and see places I otherwise might not visit! Above all, I’m happy to finally be back in the field, gaining more hands-on experience in the field of marine conservation!