Mikaela Dibble Kahn by Francesca Trotman

This week on ‘An Interview with WiseOceans’ we spoke with Mikaela Dibble-Kahn

Name: Mikaela Dibble-Kahn

Role: Research Program Venture Leader

Company: Love the Oceans

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to still try new opportunities if possible!

Photo credit: Francesca Trotman

Quick Fire Questions

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation? 

I grew up near the ocean and always wanted to work outdoors. It wasn’t until after university, when I full understood the importance of a healthy ocean that I decided to dedicate my life to ocean conservation and focus my biology background more specifically on marine biology.

2. What steps did you take or are you currently taking to achieve your career goals?

I have done several volunteerships and internships which have helped launch my marine biology career. I am also currently working on my Master’s Degree to further my career in this field.

3. How did you obtain your current position? 

I was able to find my current position through networking with global connections in the field of marine biology. I secured the position because of my experience not only with marine research techniques, but also with ecotourism and my ability to communicate science effectively to various audiences.

4. Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

I enjoy getting to teach others about the importance of conservation and then allow them to participate in meaningful projects that work towards the ultimate goal of ocean protection. Getting to watch other people develop a love and understanding for the marine environment gives me hope for the future of our

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

Watching university students walk away from the research expeditions we offer in Mozambique with an increased level of motivation to continue their studies and join the marine biology field is very meaningful.

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

I wish I knew how transient this career can be. I have greatly enjoyed getting to travel around the world for work, but wish I could have planned to do it in a more efficient way to maximise my experiences as I was starting out my career.

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

Gaining certifications from diving to lifeguarding to captaining has been a long journey, but I am proud of all the skills I have gained in this career.

8. What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

I would say take seasonal jobs in many places and learn about as many research techniques and methodologies as possible. If you find a particular study or species that sparks your passion, then stick with it, but don’t be afraid to still try new opportunities if possible.

9. What is your favourite marine creature and why?

Humpback whales are my favourite marine creature because of their importance in nutrient cycling throughout our oceans. These creatures also have an ability to spark hope and love for the ocean from people who live nowhere near the sea. The interactions I have personally had with humpback whales have given me a profound desire to save them and their home.

10. What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?

There are so many moments that are impactful, however, I believe getting to rescue sea turtles in Hawaii has been one of my most unforgettable experiences. I worked for two years at a rescue and rehabilitation centre and every time we got to release a patient after rehabilitation had a lasting impression on me. It has made me even more devoted to my mission of protecting the ocean.

“Getting to watch other people develop a love and understanding for the marine environment gives me hope for the future of our oceans.”

Mikaela Dibble-Kahn

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