Ynes Sanchez Calderon (Panama)

1. Why did you choose to study at JCU Townsville?

I am originally from Panama and I just completed my Master of Science (Professional) degree in Marine Biology. I chose JCU because it is ranked one of the best universities for marine science and its location on the Great Barrier Reef was a major factor in choosing JCU. The proximity of the Townsville campus to the incredible diversity of the reefs influenced my decision.

2. What have been the best moment/s for so?

The best moment of my masters degree was my first field trip to the JCU Orpheus Island Research Station. I was completely in awe by the beauty of the island and the marine life that inhabit its shores. Even though Panama is surrounded by the sea, the breathtaking biodiversity that surrounds Orpheus Island so close to its shores captivated my heart. I have been fortunate enough to visit several times since that first field trip and I have learned something new every time.

Ynes Sanchez Calderon.

Ynes Sanchez Calderon enjoying her time at the JCU Orpheus Island Research Station.

3. What are your career aspirations for the future?

Before JCU, I worked for the Panamanian Government's Department of Fisheries, which is where I will continue working now that I've graduated. I hope to continue my work in Ghost Gear Management, and advance to higher positions within the field. I want to make significant contributions to my country's efforts in managing its fisheries to reduce the incidences of ghost gear ending up in our oceans. My goal is to help bridge the gap between our fisherfolk and governance so that we can work together for our environment.

4. What is your best advice for an international student?

While uni life is an amazing experience, it is not easy. There are always ups and downs you will need to traverse, but remember to have a good time as you work through them. Remember why you're here, go after your goals and make this time away from home worth the sacrifices and hardship you will face. The knowledge and experiences you collect, and the family you create along the way will stay with you forever!

Ynes Sanchez Calderon diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Ynes Sanchez Calderon diving on the Great Barrier Reef.