Hi, my name is Shona, and I am Reefscapers’ new Coral Biologist at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa. Although I am now taking on a new role, I have actually been in the Maldives for a whole year already! I first joined the team in May 2022 as a Marine Biology Intern, and I was thrilled to be asked to return in September as the Assistant Coral Biologist. Now I am super excited to be stepping into my predecessor’s shoes and taking on some new challenges!
Coral Biologist, Kuda Huraa
Shona originally joined the Kuda Huraa team in 2022 as a marine biology intern, and was offered a full-time position as our Assistant Coral Biologist. With her return, Shona has brought lots of enthusiasm and innovative ideas, and was soon promoted to Coral Biologist. She is passionately expanding and developing our knowledge of coral spawning within the Maldives.
As a coral biologist, it’s rare to catch me on terra firma!
Monitoring our Reefscapers coral frames
The best part of my day is always getting in the ocean. I feel so lucky to spend countless hours in the water, maintaining our coral propagation program and collecting data for our scientific research projects. Despite being here for a year, I am still blown away by the incredible marine biodiversity that the Maldives offers. Living on a tropical island and experiencing this beauty every day makes me feel very lucky. It is my hope that our conservation projects are helping to preserve these ecosystems for future generations to enjoy!
One of the reasons I enjoy this job so much is that no two days are ever the same. My time here is often split between educating and interacting with our guests, and conducting scientific research. I love the balance that these two aspects bring to the role, as it means I get to share the work I do with others and help inspire them to care for our marine ecosystems.
The favourite part of my job is conducting coral spawning research. Since coming to the Maldives, I have been privileged enough to witness both coral spawning seasons. I have been left in awe, watching millions of tiny little egg bundles floating free from our coral colonies and drifting out into the ocean. Believe me when I tell you that this experience is addictive! I have also had the opportunity to track and record the embryogenesis process of multiple coral species. This often means staying up all night, which may sound exhausting but the thrill of watching the eggs develop right before your eyes keeps you wide awake!
Living on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean can sometimes feel a little daunting, and it comes with some challenges and responsibilities… but daily dips in the ocean, sandy toes and a great team of colleagues make it all worthwhile.
Thanks for reading
Shona x 💙
Coral spawning: Close-up photo of a gamete bundle as it is released from the coral polyp
Experiencing coral spawning … as addictive as it is beautiful!
After fertilisation, the coral planulae successfully settle upon substrate.
Photographed here ex-situ, in our research tanks at Kuda Huraa