Brooke Lloyd, a Marine biologist and wildlife conservationist, living the dream in Perth, WA. After receiving first- class honours in Marine biology, Brooke is now working at AQWA running the whale watching season.
In one sentence, who are you?
My name is Brooke, I am a 24-year-old marine biologist and wildlife conservationist living in Perth, Western Australia.
What sparked your passion for marine biology & when did you know you wanted to make it your career?
As a kid I always knew I wanted to work with animals, and I was also obsessed with the ocean and its vastness. I grew up thinking I would either end up as a veterinarian or a marine biologist. By the time year 11 and 12 exams came round I felt immense pressure to choose my career path then and there (which of course is not viable at the age of 17 for most people). At that time in 2015 I was really into my health and fitness, so I chose the career path of exercise physiology. I ended up doing 2 years of a 3-year sport science degree before reluctantly changing to marine biology in 2018. After that I never turned back, changing degrees was the best decision I could have ever made. I graduated with my bachelor’s in marine biology and wildlife conservation in 2020 and then completed my honours in marine biology in 2021.
What inspires you?
I am most inspired by driven women, women who can put their mind to one thing and make it their own. Whether it be starting your own business, studying or even being a stay-at-home mum, motivated and supportive women are the best. Specifically for marine biology I am motivated to maintain and conserve this world, especially the animals that are impacted by our own choices to no fault of their own.
You work as an ocean guide for AQWA, what is best part about this job?
I have to admit I am incredibly grateful for my job, if you told my undergraduate self I would be working at AQWA and specifically running the whale watching season I would not have believed you. My favourite part of my job is when whale watching season starts around late August, it is the best time of the year!
Every summer has a story. How do you spend your summers?
My past couple of summers have been spent down south ranging from Esperance to Margaret River. It is Orca season down in Bremer Bay from Feb – April so that is the place to be! Summer usually means more travelling for my partner and I along the coast.
How have you gotten to where you are now & what advice can you give other girls wanting to work in marine biology & wildlife conservation?
I would say I have gotten to where I am now through hard work, determination, and passion. At the end of the day, you can put your mind to anything, but if you are not passionate about it, you will lose motivation. If you are wanting to study marine biology and/or wildlife biology the hard work begins in high school, however if circumstances arise and high school was not the right time for you, bridging courses will get to you to where you need to be. Study hard but also enjoy the labs and camps and make as many friends as you can because those networks may lead you to your dream job one day.
Who inspires you?
I am most inspired by Micheline Jenner. She is a marine biologist and co-founder of the Centre of Whale Research in Western Australia. She has spent her life travelling up and down the WA coast, even going as far south as Antarctica to follow the migration of whale species such as Humpbacks and Blue whales. Mich and her husband Curt brought their daughters up on a boat during their research and I just could not imagine a cooler childhood. I also highly recommend reading her book “The Secret Life of Whales.”
What is your biggest goal as a marine biologist?
This is a good question! To spread awareness and appreciation for marine mammals and their role in our ecosystems. Especially for the species along our own coast line and Australia. If I were to be known as “The Whale Lady” one day, that would be the goal haha.
Tell us about a time you were proud of yourself?
I think the time I was most proud of myself was receiving a first-class honours. This is the highest grade you can receive after completing your honours and with all the stress and hard work I put into my thesis, I felt proud to have that pay off. You can find my thesis on the Murdoch website, the title is “Detectability of dolphins and turtles from Unoccupied Aerial Vehicle (UAV) survey imagery.”
What is your favourite Malakai piece?
My favourite piece right now is the Blue Lagoon earrings in silver, the earrings are such high quality I never take them off, and I am in and out of the ocean a lot so that speaks volumes!