An Interview with WiseOceans… Holly Reid from Naifaru Juvenile – Atoll Marine Centre

This week we chat to Holly, her role in the front line of turtle rehabilitation gives her the feeling she is really making a difference.

Name: Holly Reid

Job Title: Marine Biologist

Organisation: Atoll Volunteers

What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?

I have always wanted to work with animals and fell in love with turtles when first working with them in 2016. I aim to better myself and the world in everything I do so found myself accepting a job in marine conservation.

What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?

I studied Wildlife Conservation at University and have gained experience working with dolphins in Croatia, turtles in Greece and I am currently working with turtles in the Maldives.

How did you land your current job/position?

A friend sent me an advertisement for my current position and I applied!

Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

Being around turtles everyday is just so peaceful. Seeing turtles released back into the wild is so rewarding and talking to local people about turtles.

Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

Being the first port of call for some people about injured turtles or hatchlings makes me feel like I am making a difference as if they were not asking me for advice who in this atoll could they ask? Receiving an injured turtle makes me feel like I am making a difference because they are the lucky ones that have been found, they can receive treatment and be released.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?  

Nothing is ever black and white but despite challenges both in the wider environment and within myself if you keep trying, it will work out. Nobody said it would be easy.

Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

Absolutely! Skills from bike maintenance to patience are all relevant and there are so many skills I have learnt that I never thought I would need.

What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?

Don’t just study conservation. It is a science field so ecology, taxonomy, zoology and statistics are all things you will need. Go to a university near the coast, that maybe has its own research vessel or at least opportunities for lots of field trips to gain as much experience as possible. Get experience outside of uni! VOLUNTEER!

What is your favourite marine creature and why?  

I think everything is fascinating about the ocean but my favourite has to be all species of turtle. They are the most peaceful animals and I hope one day I find peace like they have.

What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?  

My team were swimming out to work on our coral gardening frames when we heard dolphins really close. We swam out a little further and ended up swimming with a pod of common dolphins. It was so unbelievably magical because it was so spontaneous! Another highlight would be visiting Hanifaru Bay (Maldives) and snorkelling with 50+ manta rays. Amazing!


Thank you Holly. It certainly sounds like you are getting some incredible experiences in your job. Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly job alert emails and keep an eye on our Wise Work pages so you don’t miss your dream opportunity in marine conservation.