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Erin McFadden

Director Assistant/ Dive Guide

Erin was born and raised in the Scottish coastal town of Dunbar and has always found the sea a source of fascination and contentment. She first started to pursue the field of Marine Biology during high school after family caravan holidays spent around the British coastline opened her eyes to the wonderment of the sea.

Realising the importance of diving to her chosen career path, Erin completed her PADI Open Water course in the chilly North Sea at the age of 17 and less than a year later she decided to leave school and embark on a marine conservation expedition to the Bahamas. During the course of the expedition Erin was invited to stay on camp as a trainee and gained her PADI Divemaster qualification. These 5 months were inspirational for Erin – unearthing her true passion for diving and making her eager to understand and explore more of the vast and fascinating underwater world.
Achieving a life long dream Erin subsequently enrolled at the University of St Andrews to study Marine Biology. Having gained knowledge in a wide array of biology disciplines during her four-year course, Erin’s focus on Marine Biology and diving never wavered. She enjoyed busy semesters and balanced her studies with a job and being a prominent member of the University field hockey team. Sport is another of Erin’s passions and her achievements range from being a swimming club champion in her hometown for four years; captain of her school hockey team; and running long distance races. In more recent years Erin has taken up surfing and wakeboarding and enjoys being in or around the sea at every opportunity.
During the long summer breaks from university, Erin took her opportunity to gain more diving experience and was employed as a Divemaster in both Cyprus and Zanzibar. In addition, Erin completed internships in South Africa and Mozambique where she helped monitor manta ray, black tip shark and humpback whale populations. All of these experiences fuelled her fascination with the ocean and she found a real passion for travelling and working with people from all over the World.
As Erin neared graduation she was awarded the prestigious Our World Underwater Scholarship Society’s European Rolex Scholarship. She describes this as “one of the greatest opportunities the world has to offer a young person”. As one of three young people chosen throughout the world as ambassadors for the ocean, this was her chance to explore her passions for diving, exploring and marine science with no holds barred. Erin entered the scholarship as a student and a Divemaster with a desire to explore and understand more. She ended her scholarship year as a graduate, a PADI dive instructor, a commercial diver, a rebreather diver, a GUE diver and a cavern diver with more confidence and drives to continue discovering the world than ever before.
Since finishing her scholarship year, Erin began working in both the Polar Regions and the Tropics. In the latter she was working as a volunteer marine biologist and diver with the Catlin Seaview Survey on the Great Barrier Reef. This creative scientific project uses specially designed technology to record and reveal the world’s oceans and reefs like never before, in high-resolution, 360-degree panoramic vision. Erin’s roles included driving the specially designed scooter/camera known as SVII, safety diver and data “wrangler”. Every ocean environment delivers something new and inspiring and Erin continues to explore new places as well as returning to her favourites.
Without doubt it is the Polar Regions Erin’s enjoys the most. It is here where she is most content, most fascinated, most challenged and most continuously surprised and enriched by the dynamic and domineering landscapes, oceans and weather. She currently works as an Expedition Guide, Lecturer, Dive Guide and Divemaster in the Arctic and Antarctic. For Erin this is a dream job and as soon as one expedition ends she is looking forward to the next. Duties involve driving zodiacs through ice; rifle handling for polar bear safety; operating dives in air and water temperatures of 0°C; lecturing on the marine environment and introducing people to the wonderment and power of the Polar Regions.
Erin hopes to continue exploring the vast and varied oceans of the World and continue learning more about hem. One of her main aims is to continue gaining experience in the Polar Regions – her motivation being to learn more about the rapidly changing scientific processes governing such areas, and crucially, how to survive and explore these unforgiving but ever rewarding regions.