Melanie's passion for the marine environment has grown from many summers in the outdoors volunteering as a surf lifeguard and paddling waka ama. Being a true water-baby throughout her life, she has also enjoyed scuba diving, competitive swimming, water polo and sailing.
Melanie now approaches the end of her Postgraduate Diploma specialising in marine science at the University of Auckland, and will continue with a Master of Science in 2020. For her Masters she hopes to investigate the conservation physiology of Yellow-eyed penguins between mainland New Zealand and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. The BLAKE NIWA Ambassadorship aligns well with Melanie's Masters, giving her valuable experience in the Sub-Antarctic investigating Yellow-eyed penguin prey! Outside study she enjoys mentoring Māori and Pacific biology students in the university Tuakana programme.
Melanie is humbled to have received a BLAKE Ambassadorship in 2019. She hopes to use this opportunity to communicate the indirect impacts climate change has on our marine ecosystems while inspiring young people in Maori communities to engage in environmental sciences. She is excited to spend the next month living with researchers onboard NIWA's Tangaroa while gaining first-hand experience in data collection, kick-starting her career in marine science.