Discovering Dolphins with Marine Biologists
Discovering Dolphins With Marine Biologists
Hosted by Dr.Louisa & MareCet Dolphin Researchers
Hello there! My name is Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam and I’d like to introduce myself and my dedicated team of young and passionate dolphin researchers who are excited to take you on a journey of discovering our favourite animals, dolphins! Born and raised around the Klang Valley, I have loved and dreamed of becoming a dolphin scientist ever since I was a young girl. Through many hardships and perseverance, I am living and breathing that dream today, and I now head MareCet, the marine conservation NGO I co-founded. It is the first and only non-profit NGO in Malaysia that is dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and their fragile marine environment. Founded in 2012, MareCet is comprised of young and professionally trained award-winning Malaysian marine biologists and conservationists who are committed to increasing the scientific knowledge on marine mammals, understanding the species' conservation needs in our country, and applying their research findings to education and public outreach programmes, national policies and community capacity building. This dolphin edu-trip in Kuala Sepetang was born out of my belief that more Malaysians and visitors to Malaysia should have the firsthand opportunity to learn about dolphins in this country and to see them in the wild, to truly appreciate their importance in our marine ecosystems. Joining me in hosting this trip are Vivian Kuit, Jol Ern and Sandra Teoh, MareCet’s young and dynamic team. Vivian who hails from Sandakan, Sabah, has been leading MareCet’s Matang Dolphin Research Project since 2014. Vivian has spent hours looking through thousands of photographs of Matang’s dolphins, so much so that she recognises many of those individual dolphins by the unique patterns on their dorsal fins. Next is Jol Ern, who is also born and raised in the Klang Valley area. Jol Ern is our multi-talented team member, whereby she assists with all fieldwork, coordinates our marine education and outreach programmes and is our organization’s graphic designer. If you ask her, she will identify herself as an animal lover, except for house lizards! Last but not least, Sandra who is a Penangite, is currently the leader of MareCet’s Langkawi Dolphin Research Project. Despite being a young scientist, she has earned several international research and conservation accolades under her belt, including the Conservation Leadership Programme Future Conservationist Award and the National Geographic Early Career Grant. A tad dramatic sometimes, Sandra is usually the life of the party with her bubbly personality and tendency to walk into some ‘calamity’. Through MareCet's Marine Excursions and The Blue Classroom programme, we aim to bring you, the traveler, into our realm, and share with you wonderful aspects of the beautiful field sites we work in and the amazing yet endangered marine mammals that we love and study. When else might you have the chance to be on a marine trip guided by real-life marine biologists?! So please come aboard, and join us for a "spe-shell" and "fintastic" experience!