Born 24 years ago in Newcastle, on the east coast of Australia, Melinda Brown has always been fond of swimming, diving and studying all things marine related. At the age of 19, she enrolled at the University of Newcastle to pursue a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management degree with a major in marine science, ecosystems and biodiversity. .
Melinda has volunteered with ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans Australia), as well as OCCI (Ocean and Coastal Care Initiative). Furthermore, Melinda’s volunteer work has taken her abroad where and she has worked with turtles in the Maldives and Costa Rica.
Melinda completed her rescue dive certificate and dive master certification at a conservation dive school in Thailand. After three months, she moved to Fiji where she completed an internship on an uninhabited island off the coast of Suva.
At 22, Melinda was offered a full-time position at Taronga Conservation Society Australia (TCSA) as a marine mammal keeper. She accepted the position and continued studying at university part time.
As part of her role at the TCSA, she has assisted research in electromagnetic field comparisons between seals and humans when viewed from a great white shark’s perspective; tracked testosterone and estrous cycles in Australian sea lions, and conducted a study on individual behavior and personalities in Port Jackson sharks.
Melinda is most interested in two areas of study: cetacean research and coral rehabilitation. This scholarship allows her to finally pursue what she has always assumed to be her greatest passion, and will ultimately help her determine a career path that will allow her to make the biggest difference in the marine world.