Our 10-year coral research partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation has contributed to ongoing, urgent scientific work to save corals, as well as enabling scientific training opportunities for conservationists who are underfunded and in need of practical field experience.
Scientist Michael Murunga was nominated to join the Seychelles research project by CORDIO East Africa, where he was working as the Education, Communication and Conservation Officer.
He attributes a critical shift in his perspective to the time spent on the corals programme – something which continues to have an impact today.
"My Master's research project was influenced by the time I spent with the supervising scientists Julian and Sarah," he said.
"The experience pushed me towards the direction of social science and it was well worth it.
"It was a very good jump start to my career prospects. One of the things I'm most proud of is that it changed my perspective of how I look at things. It was life changing."
Michael is now studying for a Masters in Tropical Biology at the University of Bremen, Germany, and is about to embark on field work examining the marine environment in coastal Kenya and Zanzibar, from both a natural and social sciences perspective.
Looking forward, Michael is researching opportunities to study for a PhD once he has completed his Master's study in Germany, and he intends to continue examining marine environmental challenges with a natural and social sciences approach.