Mr. Aina is a PhD student in coral reef resilience at the Institute of Fisheries and Marines Sciences (University of Toliara, Madagascar). His PhD thesis explores different aspects of remote sensing to analyze the resilience of the coral reef system in Madagascar. This is part of the Aether project, funded by the Foundation for Future Generation and the ARES-CCD. Besides, he works as an independent consultant where he is mostly use geospatial technologies to help organizations or companies in decision making processes such as choosing the appropriate sites to implement marine protected areas, sustainable coastal infrastructures, or improving seaweed farming, and various activities related to spatial planning.
During the time of leadership in WIO-ECSN, he will bring more young marine scientists into the network and will advocate for data sharing, co-authoring papers, and sharing expertise through webinars. We’re living in extraordinarily strange times. We are facing huge environmental challenges: climate change, marine pollution, resource scarcity, habitat destruction, etc. Yet, there are data available at a global scale that can help us to tackle these issues. Most of these data are free and are available for any country in the world. Most of the software to process these data are free as well. Actually, there are way more data (at a global scale) than people who can get a meaning out of them. Nowadays, thanks to the increasing possibility of co-working online, sharing data, experiences and technical support has never been simpler.
Other people should join the WIO-ECS Network because sometimes, you might have the skills, but you lack of information that best fit your research interests. By being part of this community, you will have access to the most updated information (in the WIO) related to capacity building, project funding, recent papers, etc. You will also have more exposure and you can grow your network at the international level.
Bring your talents into the community and be in touch with like-minded young ocean-loving explorers for a better understanding of the WIO and support the conservation efforts that keep it healthy and wild.
His Advice for early-career scientists planning to pursue careers in marine science is marine science is extremely diverse. You can find a discipline that best suit your personality or your initial background. For example, if you are keen on physics and coding, physical oceanography might be a good fit for you. You could build models that explain the air-sea interactions, work on satellite data, and study the extreme climatological events that are occurring worldwide nowadays.
If you love being more in touch with nature, marine biology and ecology might be your main research interests. You will have several opportunities to do some diving, explore the lagoon, identify and count marine species, collect water samples, do some observations either in the field or in the lab, etc.
Last, if you are an extrovert person, you like to give a speech, to work with the local communities, or you like to be involved in policy and decision making processes, you will be interested in ocean governance.
These are just examples, there are so many stories out there which need to be told, many problems which needs to be solved. Those stories, when backed up with efficient data are very powerful. They can influence policies and bring the change that is needed in order to use our remaining marine resources in a sustainable way.