A pivotal Marine Conservation expedition in Timor Leste back in 2017 sparked a big change in my career plans. Over the subsequent years, I acquired a foundation degree in Marine Science, and further developed my diving skills to earn an instructor’s certification. Internships in Malawi and Mozambique in 2019 and 2020 helped me gain hand-on experience in field work, lab procedures, reef monitoring and survey techniques, as well as GIS mapping.
In 2020, I started a master’s degree in international marine science at Heriot Watt University and graduated with distinction in 2023. My master's thesis project, conducted in Malaysia and titled “Gametogenesis of three scleractinian corals in the South China Sea”, introduced me to the world of coral reproduction. I applied research methods including the collection of samples and lab analyses employing dissection techniques for Acropora digitifera / paniculata and histology for Porites lutea. The outcomes facilitated a comparison of reproductive output and enabled the identification of the precise spawning month.
The research field of sexual coral reproduction has become my main academic interest and holds a special place in my heart. Looking ahead to my Ph.D. I will be studying spawning patterns on both the west and east coast of peninsular Malaysia and explore contrasting monsoonal influences on the spawning seasonality of selected Scleractinia. My aim is to uncover evidence of bi-annual spawning and explore spawning synchronicity under diverse environmental conditions. In addition, I’m planning in-situ experiments assessing the effect of moonlight as an ultimate cue for the spawning onset in specific nights.