Keep scrolling to read her story…
Dani is a Marine Ecologist specializing in coral reef ecology and marine protected areas. For the past 17 years she has been running her consulting business and now she has joined the AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program in the annual surveys of the Great Barrier Reef.
Dani grew up between Europe and the Middle East. Having spent a large part of her teen years in Aleppo, she experienced gender inequality firsthand, and witnessed how it can impact an individual’s drive to follow their ambitions and dreams.
She moved to Australia to study marine biology and completed a PhD in coral reef ecology at James Cook University. In her second year of university she had her first baby boy, and continued to excel in her degree. After her degree, and at the start of her PhD, came her next boy. The thought of choosing between motherhood or science never occurred to Dani, and she recalls going out collecting data and timing it with the nap and breast-feeding times of her youngest one. She believes her positive attitude, fitness and physical abilities were important parts of her acceptance into an otherwise mostly male team.
Dani notes that even though the number of women doing their PhDs has increased since she was young, that the number of women occupying high academic positions is not equal to men. Having worked with men her whole life, and appreciates their qualities of leadership, strength and humour, but has noticed that women tend to be more teamwork-oriented and community minded. This is essential in creating consistency in work, and persistence of successful project management. By empowering women to understand the value of conservation and fisheries management, she believes we will create a positive environment that will persist throughout time.