Bhavnah Komul Kalidin (Mauritius)

Why did you choose to study at JCU?

Being from a small island developing state with limited resources that faces a lot of challenges in managing and protecting its extensive marine territory, I have always been interested in marine resources and livelihood protection. Studying a Doctor of Philosophy (Natural and Physical Sciences) at JCU was an obvious choice as it is found in the tropics just like Mauritius and it is number one in the world for Marine and Freshwater Biology and number two for Biodiversity Conservation.

I completed my Graduate Diploma of Research Methods [Tropical Environments and Societies] degree at JCU in 2018-2019, hence, I know that it has all the facilities and necessary knowledge that would empower me and help me grow as a young professional.

What does your research focus on?

I am investigating the challenges and needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to develop improved processes for the monitoring of fouling marine invasive species.  This study would assist resource-limited SIDS and other countries in protecting the natural resources that provide their communities with significant socio-economic and livelihood benefits.  My research is funded by the JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

What has been a highlight of your time at JCU?

The highlights of my study experience so far have been the opportunity to work in an amazing team of leading scientists from various disciplines, where we get to share and discuss our research and experiences as well as help and support one another. Similarly, having access to various training and workshops offered by JCU is very enriching.

Bhavnah Kalidin.

Bhavnah making friends with some of the locals in Australia - a cuddly koala!

What are your career aspirations?

I have worked extensively with the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping of Mauritius for seven years to manage threats to the marine biodiversity of Mauritius. I was also the Deputy National Project Coordinator of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Project in Mauritius for three years, which is a global initiative bringing together key partners to respond to the global problem of invasive aquatic species introduced via biofouling.

I am preparing myself to be an international consultant to assist not only Mauritius but other small island developing states as well in the development of effective resource management strategies to protect their natural resources.

What is your advice for prospective international students considering studying at JCU?

Studying at JCU will be a very enriching experience as it offers a friendly and supportive working environment with career-focused courses that would help your professional development and increase your chances of employability.