PhD Researcher: Ecology & Behavior of Large Marine Vertebrates
Jenny is a PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). She is entering her second year in the position and studies the ecology and behavior of sharks and cetaceans and what effects human activities are having on them.
She was born and raised in France to a British mother and French father. Jenny found her love for the marine worlds on the beaches of Brittany. While her brothers were busy digging holes and building castles, Jenny was exploring rockpools searching for every creature she could find, fascinated by the thriving life and curious about what more was out there. At age 13, she attended a screening of a documentary called “Sharkwater”, little did she know how much influence it would have on her future choices. From then onwards she became fascinated (some might say obsessed) with sharks and their relatives.
At the age of 17, she started scuba diving in a small archipelago off the south coast of Brittany, there she dove in cold waters to explore rocky reefs and World War II wrecks. She came face to face with conger eels, pipefish, crabs, lobsters and so much more, though her eyes were always searching for sharks—which continued to elude her until a few years later when she encountered catsharks while snorkeling in Cornwall (UK). At age 18, Jenny left France for her maternal home and started studying Marine Biology at the University of Southampton in the UK. She graduated in 2015 with a BSc in Marine Biology with Oceanography. She chose to take some time away from University and focus on gaining hands-on experience. During this time, Jenny was lucky enough to join her first scientific expedition to the Arctic in August 2015. For 3 weeks, she sailed the high Arctic, from Svalbard to the ice cap, onboard the R/V Helmer Hanssen as part of a team of international scientists. There she was also given the opportunity to assist a PhD student studying the Greenland shark.
In the two years following her graduation, Jenny held a number of internship position including spending 3 months at the Bimini Sharklab assisting researchers studying the biology, ecology and behavior of sharks and their relatives in the Bahamas; a month volunteering in the Philippines with the Large Marine Vertebrates Foundation (LAMAVE) where she helped monitor a fishery of mobulid rays (relatives of the manta ray); a 3 month internship at a London-based organization fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries off the West coast of Africa; her second scientific expedition in the Celtic Sea; and her first paid position at the French Institute of Marine Research (Ifremer) interviewing fishermen about the economic health of their fishing business. Following these 2 years spent gaining experience, Jenny returned to University in Plymouth to undertake a Masters of Research at the Marine Biological Association where she studied the behavior of reef sharks in a remote atoll in the Seychelles (though she never got to visit) supervised by Dr. David Sims. In October 2018, Jenny started her PhD in Marine Ecology at Trinity College Dublin where she is now supervised by Dr. Andrew Jackson and Dr. Nicholas Payne.
Outside of work, Jenny’s world also revolves around her love for the oceans. She is an Ambassador for an educational organization called Sharks4Kids for which she visits schools in person or via Skype to share her love for sharks and create the next generation of ocean and shark advocates. During her time at the Bimini Sharklab, she discovered a love for freediving and underwater photography. Jenny ultimately hopes to use these skills to create striking content to share with the world.