Hannah Douglas, 24, is a marine scientist, commercial and scientific diver and yoga teacher from Wicklow, Ireland with a passion for marine ecology, conservation and effective scientific communication through art and photography.
She was awarded the 2022/23 European Our World-Underwater Scholarship, one of three global scuba-diving awards funded each year by the watch brand Rolex. As part of her scholarship she has been able to learn from and work with various ocean leaders in scientific research, policy and communications.
Hannah studied Marine Science at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where in her first year she formed the NUIG Marine Society, helping to organise weekly beach cleans with fellow students, hosting talks by marine scientists and fundraising events for marine conservation charities like Seal Rescue Ireland. In this leadership role, Hannah learned the importance and benefit of communication and teamwork to tackle large problems. She also found joy in taking effective action and discovered how it could bring a sense of relief to students who felt overwhelmed by the scale of the environmental crisis.
During the summer of 2021, Hannah was selected to work as a Communications Content Creator for the Marine Institute of Ireland. In this role, she combined her love of art and Marine Science by taking underwater photos and sketching Irish native marine species for a variety of scientific communication mediums. Despite the constraints of the pandemic, by the age of 22, Hannah had accomplished a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor qualification and started teaching courses. She also trained as a NAUI Scientific Diver and subsequently worked on multiple scientific field research projects, including her own research project focused on Pachycerianthus multiplicatus (Fireworks anemones) on the west coast of Ireland. Her objectives after university are to continue studying life in the ocean while broadening her knowledge of economics and politics by delving into the world of resource management and legislation.
She holds the firm belief that you should, ‘Be the change you wish to see’, and for Hannah, that is a global awakening to the beauty of our oceans and a wave of policy change to protect it.