Rebecca “Bec” Wellard is a marine scientist currently focusing her research efforts on orcas in Australian waters. Building on her past research studying bottlenose dolphin communication and how boat noise affects this communication, Bec is now working on her PhD by researching orca population dynamics and acoustic behavior in Western Australia.
Solomon David once considered becoming a medical doctor. He spent time in college as a pre-med student, but his deep-rooted interests in biology ultimately won out after he took ichthyology (the branch of zoology dealing with fishes) in his senior year. That’s when Solomon discovered his true path. As he puts it, “my future was with the fishes.” He decided to pursue a PhD in aquatics resource ecology and management.
From her early career as a graphic designer to traveling the world as a freelance photographer/videographer for clients such as National Geographic, Australian Shannon Benson of Shannon Wild is proof positive that hard work, dedication, and passion can open doors to unique careers in wildlife conservation. Like most of things in life, though, Shannon’s success hasn’t been handed to her.
Back when he was just eight years old, Dylan Fryer knew he could make a difference for wildlife conservation. He started out small, raising money wherever he could—$100 for San Diego Zoo Global by participating in a recycling program called Cans for Critters, $500 by participating in a fundraising effort called I ___ for Wildlife (Dylan chose to read for wildlife), and so on.
Research and conservation are like peanut butter and jelly—they’re simply better together. Marine conservation biologist Simon Pierce, co-founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, has seen firsthand how important research can be in conserving species. Just this summer, Simon’s research on whale shark populations helped prompt the species’ reclassification from “vulnerable” to “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).