Marlyn Omondi joined the socioeconomic research group in 2016 nominated by the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) where she was working as a Research Intern whilst studying for a Master's.
At KMFRI, her work focused on the social aspects of conservation, looking at local governance of a mangroves management project. Her thesis centred on local governance structures, attitudes and perceptions of the community that support the management of mangroves in Kenya.
The opportunity to join a socio-economic research project in the Seychelles enabled Marlyn to gain a broader perspective and understanding of socio-economic research related to conservation in different parts of the world.
"That cohort was wonderful," said Marlyn. "We were able to learn from each other, young scientists just wanting to grow and being able to see the experiences of other people and see the work they were doing was really inspiring and challenging also at the same time."
She added: "It allowed me to look at things from a different perspective. Understanding what [people] did in [other countries] and also getting feel of what happens in the Seychelles gave me a more global [way of] thinking in terms of connectivity of resources and ecosystems."
Networking with young scientists outside of Kenya has greatly supported Marlyn's transition to her current role at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi. In addition, her work at UNEP encompasses conservation projects from Somalia to South Africa including the Seychelles, where her local knowledge of the islands have proved invaluable and directly applicable to her current work.
Marlyn has just been awarded a one-year extension to her UNEP contract. After this, she intends to pursue PhD options, for which she is grateful to have the support of lead scientist Dr Julian Clifton who assisted another member of the cohort with a successful PhD application for Stanford University in California.