The Marine-i programme has helped two talented University of Exeter science graduates to achieve their dream of working on a globally important research project for The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow. This unique marine conservation charity works to improve the sustainability of the European Lobster, a valuable commercial species which is crucial to the livelihood of many fishing communities around the world.
Marine-i is part-funded by the EU and was set up to boost Research and Innovation in the marine sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The project provides grant support for graduates as one of its comprehensive range of services geared to the specific needs of marine tech businesses.
A completely new position in the team was secured by Elsa Domoney, who has a degree in marine conservation and has previously spent time volunteering at a turtle conservation project in Greece. Elsa says: “It is fantastic to be joining this amazing team, who are investigating the potential to grow lobsters in sea-based container culture systems. I’ll be involved in data collection at sea and then analysing the findings. For me, it is the perfect opportunity to apply the knowledge that I gained on my degree course to this vitally important conservation project. ”
At the same time, thanks to the support of Marine-i, The National Lobster Hatchery has been able to promote Zoology graduate Emma Theobald from a part-time to a full-time role in this same Research team. Emma says: “I first started volunteering at The National Lobster Hatchery four years ago and was then fortunate enough to gain part-time employment here. Now I have been given an amazing opportunity to dedicate myself full-time to a project that I am really passionate about. It will be a brilliant way to develop my career in marine conservation.”
Justin Olosunde, Head of Falmouth Marine School, one of the Marine-i partners, says: “We are delighted to be able to support The National Lobster Hatchery in their invaluable and ground-breaking research. These two Research assignments will last for a nine month period. During that time, we will be mentoring Elsa and Emma, to assist them in achieving their key goals within the Research team, and to help these two dedicated young people develop their skills to their full potential.”