Francesca Trotman MSci Marine Biology, 2015
Managing Director and founder of Love The Oceans
I’ve been obsessed with sharks since the age of 12 and started scuba diving aged 13 so I’ve always had a strong attachment to the ocean, marine biology seemed like the obvious choice.
The wide range of research going on at NOCS also means there’s a supervisor available for almost anything you’re interested in studying.
I set up Love The Oceans (lovetheoceans.org), a non-profit marine conservation organisation while I was in my 4th year doing my masters. I set it up originally to continue my shark fisheries research I undertook for my masters but it snowballed quickly and now we do research on coral reefs, whales and whale sharks as well as fisheries. We also work very closely with the local community in the schools introducing the concept of sustainable fishing and ecotourism as well as teaching swimming lessons.
National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) is full of the most passionate individuals. Staff are inspirational and very encouraging. The wide range of research going on at NOCS also means there’s a supervisor available for almost anything you’re interested in studying. I certainly do not think I’d be where I am today if I had attended a different university. The sectioning labs meant I could complete my thesis on shark fishing, looking at ageing vertebrae. It has actually meant I’ve learnt invaluable skills and how to handle advanced equipment that we have now acquired in our lab in Mozambique.
I was 2nd year rep, then social sec, then vice president of NOCSSOC which I loved – it gave me organisational skills that directly translated into what I do now. It also gave me the right amount of responsibility I needed in my life at that point and taught me the basics on running a business which has something to do with why I now run my own.
Love the Oceans offers the opportunity for students to come and get experience in all of our areas of research as well as the schools and to collect their dissertation data if they want. We work really hard to keep our prices down as low as possible and as a non-profit our money is spent wisely. We also operate in a completely ethically sound way and are working towards certification of the organisation.