Dr Marijke de Boer, Seven Seas Marine Consultancy, works as a freelance marine consultant. Her work involves conducting research on marine mammals but she has developed a keen interest in other marine creatures too. Her work has brought her to exciting places such as the Arctic and the Antarctic.
Marijke’s interest in Marine Fauna Ecology began in 1992 when she participated in a loggerhead sea turtle research project in Greece. After completing her third and final summer studying these fascinating animals she shifted her focus onto cetaceans, working with minke whales in Scotland (HWDT), Blue whales (MICS) and Belugas in St Lawrence (GREMM), Killer whales in Canada (Center for Whale Research), Northern Bottlenose whale in the Arctic Labrador Sea (University of Halifax) and Sperm whales off the Azores (Whale Watch Azores).
In her chosen career she has sailed the Seven Seas and participated in various ocean-crossing surveys. For example she studied the cetacean communities of the Atlantic Frontier, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Southern Ocean and Antarctica during multiple expeditions, including working with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and the Pygmy Blue Whale Project (South Australia). These surveys formed a foundation of detailed in-depth experience in leading marine mammal surveys using different research platforms (boats, helicopters and small aeroplanes). Also, during these surveys, she carried out seabird surveys, including penguin colony counts on sub-Antarctic Islands, Heard Island and Macquarie Island (AAD) and systematic seabird surveys at sea according to various internationally recognised protocols (e.g. ESAS, BIOMASS methodology, NERI).
Between 2000 and 2003 she was employed by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) as their Science Officer and she continues to this day to be closely affiliated with this organisation. Her main task at WDC was the establishing of various field projects, most notably the Bardsey Island Cetacean Project (in Cardigan Bay, Wales) which has now been in operation since 2000. In 2004 she also set up a project studying the interactions between short-beaked common dolphins and the pelagic pair trawl-fisheries in the English Channel. And she continued running these projects until 2009 which is when she decided to focus on her Ph.D study.
She also works as a wildlife guide on various expeditions from Pole to Pole. Since 2008 she works as a guide for Marine Discovery in Penzance (Cornwall).
Through her oceanic wandering her passion for the marine environment has grown immensely and consequently she has developed a keen interest in wildlife photography and sketching.
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