Select Page

Student Stories

Rebecca Diggins

Studied: MSc Protected Area Management at James Cook University, graduating in 2017

What is your current job/activity?

“I am about to go to Oman for a month to work and then I’m heading back to Townsville, Queensland. I am about to start a PhD at JCU but since completing my masters I have worked in a number of environmental roles, including working as the coral reef ecologist for ‘conservation through education’ company, Operation Wallacea, in Indonesia; I have worked as a researcher on a number of different projects including turtle disease genetics, turtle behaviour, and expansions of protected areas globally; and most recently I completed an internship with Five Oceans Environmental Services in Muscat, Oman, which is an environmental consultancy, and went on to work as an Associate with them on a couple of additional marine and coastal projects. “

What does your role involve?

“The PhD that I will be starting in July will involve a mixture of scientific disciplines, including ecology, genetics, and social science surrounding sea turtle populations that migrate between Australia and neighbouring island countries in the Pacific. Green turtles are considered globally endangered but are found in more plentiful numbers in Australia. However, given the enormous migrations that these animals undertake regularly throughout their lives, it is important to also monitor their populations outside of Australia and to ensure that human-turtle interactions are not detrimental to turtle populations. “

Why study abroad?

“Moving to Australia to study was really hard but incredibly rewarding. There is so much more to experience beyond your own country and the more you learn about other places, the more you learn about yourself. I certainly miss my friends and family a lot while I’m away, but I’ve been to places, had experiences, and met people that I never would have if I had always stayed in the UK. Of course, many of my friends and family members think I live ‘on holiday’. This is completely untrue. I just work incredibly hard whilst living in a tropical paradise!”