11 February is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Over the next two weeks we are highlighting some of the inspiring women scientists working in the Pacific Community.
Meet Pauline Bosserelle – SPC Marine Scientist
Describe your work?
My work as a marine scientist is always bringing new challenges, which is one of the many reasons why I love it so much. As a marine scientist I carry out tasks in the field including underwater ecological and fishery assessments using SCUBA, fish market surveys, fisherman surveys. I also regularly do laboratory work as well as the not so glamorous yet always interesting office work where data entry, statistical analysis and reporting occurs. In most cases, my work consists of assessing the status of a biological marine resources and taking part in the design, implementation and production of reports.
Why did you decide to work in the science field?
As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in science mainly in biology and ecology. I have been lucky enough to travel and discover the beautiful natural world throughout my childhood. During my teenage years I snorkelled in the beautiful coral reefs of Wallis and Futuna and my passion for the biological sciences grew particularly coral reefs sciences. I knew from those years spent snorkelling the wonders of our marine world that I wanted to work in the tropical reef marine sciences. My goal was to learn as much as I could about the tropical creatures of the ocean and I pursued this passion into adulthood, where I now contribute to our growing understanding of marine science through my work as a marine scientist across the Pacific.
What impact does your work have on the Pacific region?
I hope my work encourages the fisheries agencies across the Pacific Island countries and territories to request for SPC assistance when they do not have local capacity to carry out marine resource management. I hope that bringing my scientific knowledge and my passion for marine science and the marine world around us motivates younger generations to play a role in sustainable management of their resource through science. I believe that my contributions to the marine science work assists local fisheries agencies sustainably manage their fishery for the benefit of communities in the present and future.
Advice to other young women or girls on getting involved in STEM?
There are so many fields in science that I am sure everybody would find something they are interested in. If you are not sure what you are interested in yet, the trick is to keep looking and keep an open mind.
At some stage, it will become very clear in what field you are determined to be involved in and ready to take part in the exciting challenging world of science. I believe that young women and girls can contribute to science in ever-increasing ways and to be confident about what they want and the courage to achieve it.
Believe those barriers shall crumble amidst the passion and power that women bring to the fields of science and the best way to do this is to get involved. An example of a very successful woman is Dr Sylvia Earl who has been at the forefront and cutting edge of marine science for decades and I believe that any woman can achieve these heights if they believe in themselves.