Spotlight: Ashleigh Kitchiner, Senior Marine Mammal Consultant

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I have been on TV, watch the Wonders of the Celtic Deep and you will see me in the last episode saving a stranded whale!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do so I was 24 when I went back to university and took a degree that was broad so I could specialise as I went on. The degree I chose was Biology and I knew I liked nature, but I also liked the biology of disease. After different module choices throughout my degree, I found that I preferred nature and conservation. Since then, I have had numerous roles and worked across the world.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Biology, I had a great teacher!

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

In my role any subject from Biology, Marine Biology, Animal Behaviour and Conservation, Oceanography, Chemistry and even Marine Policy. The field is so diverse; therefore, has an array of subjects within it!

What is your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite thing about my job is that no two days are the same. One day I could be writing a bid for a project, the next day I am investigating marine mammal distribution in an area, then I could be sent on a survey. This could be a bird survey from land or a marine mammal on a boat at-sea.

What is a normal day in your role like?


As above, there is no normal! Every day is different, which is great!

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

There are so many activities you could do. Here are a few suggestions:


Get in touch with your local wildlife trust and see if you can get out and volunteer on a task day with them. You may see dormice, newts or even a birds nest full of eggs!


https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/closer-to-nature/volunteer


You can also educate yourself about are oceans, take a look at this video full of facts:


https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=children+survey+at+sea


Finally, take a look at a whale, dolphin and porpoise charity in the UK and see if you can get involved with their work:


https://www.orcaweb.org.uk/get-involved