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Say Hello To Our New Assistant Research Officer  Claire!

Hi my name is Claire and I am the new Assistant Research Officer. I like long dives amongst the coral and starry filled tropical nights but ANYHOOWWWW…I decided to come and work as an ARO after recently finishing my divemaster in Indonesia and realising that I wanted to spend a lot more time under the water than on top of the land (darling its better down where it’s wetter….)! I am going to be in Beqa for 6 months and the first week has been jam-packed with exploring the beautiful paradise island! On first glimpses it looks a lot like Jurassic Park (complete with flying dinosaur bats) but with a lot more cats, dogs and lovely hospitable local Fijians. In the first week I have already done a crown of thorns removal dive, gone to a deserted sandbar to find 11 juvenile blacktip sharks and sampled some of what is, in my experience, the best snorkelling that this wondrous world has to offer. I have also met some lovely volunteers and learnt how to bake bread…from SCRATCH! I am excited to get fish surveying, which can only happen after I have learnt my fish species and families so it is back to the textbooks for me for the next few days to learn my damselfish from my angelfish. Overall, camp life is back to basics with all the pros and cons that brings with it, living in close confines with so many people is certainly a change but being able to walk 2 minutes through the jungle to such pristine coral reefs certainly is a dream!

By Claire Collins - Fiji Marine Assistant Research Officer

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