NEW Crystal Waters Collection
We're celebrating the launch of our exclusive new collection by sharing our interview with Marine Biologist Leah.
Leah is an inspirational woman currently living and working as a Marine Biologist in Exmouth, WA.
Her day job involves swimming with the beautiful marine life of Ningaloo, including whale sharks, turtles, and humpback whales.
We hope you enjoy reading about her ocean adventures and learn a bit about what life is like living the dream and enjoying the Crystal Waters of Exmouth.
Meet Marine Biologist Leah
Leah, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am from Exmouth, Western Australia. I have just spent my summer living on three different islands on the southern Great Barrier Reef including Lady Musgrave island, Heron island and spent the majority of my time on Lady Elliot island. I'm currently enjoying being back home in Exmouth and enjoying swimming in the crystal waters with the whale sharks which have recently arrived back.
What inspired you to become a marine Biologist?
Growing up I spent a lot of time around the ocean, surfing, boating and diving. With time I developed a deep fascination with the ocean and everything inside. I wanted to broaden my knowledge about the marine environment and to also be able to share this with others. This led me to become a Marine biologist using eco tourism as a tool to educate and inspire others to protect our precious oceans.
How do you usually spend your days?
For work most of the year I am a guide on-board with Ningaloo Blue Dive educating people about the environmental significance of this World Heritage site and taking tourists swimming with all the incredible creatures on the Ningaloo reef such as Humpback whales, Manta rays, turtles, various species of sharks and of course Whale sharks. On my days off I love to surf, explore the Ningaloo reef on my own boat and take photos with my drone. I also run a casual beach clean-up group in Exmouth called ‘Coral Coast cleanup’.
Tell us about your relationship with the ocean
The ocean gives me the lifestyle I live. It brings me together with likeminded people. It gives me so much joy and experiences that would blow your mind. It is my place of peace, freedom, it is my home.
What is your most memorable marine experience?
This is so hard choosing only one! So I’m going to give you a few…
Most recently I swam with 13 Manta rays off of Lady Elliot Island which included a leucistic Manta ray (lacks pigment, nearly looks all white). My first mind blowing marine interaction was playing seaweed fetch with a Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphin. Lastly, seeing a Blue whale, Orcas, Great white shark, Mola mola, Leopard shark and turtle hatchlings for the first time will always be highlights.
Tell us an interesting fact about the ocean people might not be aware of
The ocean is earth's largest carbon sink absorbing around 30% of the world's CO2 emissions which helps to mitigate the impacts of climate change caused by greenhouse gases. However, absorbing large amounts of these emissions is causing the water chemistry to change and altering marine ecosystems from the core such as plankton and corals.
More of a fun fact: Dolphins are born with whiskers which then fall out not long after.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me is the balance between humans, the environment and the economy (back to basics with the triple bottom line). The ocean is a key regulator for the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and our climate. It provides income and career opportunities for communities all around the world. Ocean sustainability is all about protecting and conserving our environment's biodiversity and health.
What are some simple changes people can make to help protect our oceans and wildlife?
Reduce your use of plastic and get into better habits with reusables, attend local clean ups, educate yourself, take on a more plant-based diet.
What is your favourite MBC piece and why?
The cowrie teardrop earrings as I was gifted these by my Mum and I can wear them in the water, casually or going out.
What are your dreams for the future?
I’m a very go with the flow type of person when it comes to the future, but with whatever I’m doing I hope to continue to learn and spread my knowledge about protecting and conserving our beautiful oceans.