Freja Azzopardi MSci

Darwin Tree of Life Research Technician

Freja in the laboratory

My role is to collect, identify and process marine organisms (specialising in fishes), culture protist and fungal strains and analyse genomic DNA. I have had a passion for the ocean and the life it supports for as long as I can remember having spent many summers in the warm, blue waters of Malta – my father’s homeland – searching for all the creatures I could find. I learned to SCUBA dive and went on to become a diving professional which allowed me to share this passion with others. I undertook an MSci Marine Biology with Oceanography degree at the University of Southampton where I became interested in marine vertebrate ecology and conservation. There I volunteered in the Stable Isotope Ecology Lab and processed fish samples, contributing to a paper by my third year (Bell et al., 2021). My master’s project, supervised by David Sims here at the MBA, investigated oceanic pelagic shark movement in the North Atlantic and their overlap with longline fishing using satellite tracking and fisheries catch data and was awarded the Tyler Prize (2022). In future I wish to develop my experience in ocean predator ecology, conservation and governance by working with organisations and undertaking a PhD.