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Meet the Team

Anjali Punn

Hey! I am Anjali, I am a Heriot-Watt undergraduate student in my 4th year studying Marine Biology. From a young age, I have had a curiosity for the ocean and what it has to offer. I have been lucky enough to always live close to the sea and growing up my mother gave me plenty of opportunities to get my hands dirty and be surrounded by nature. These opportunities inspired me to head in the direction of studying marine biology and find out more about its mysteries. 

Building a network of like-minded people is important to me. I have so far met some amazing people throughout my studies that have given me the motivation and courage to be where I am now. Some of these people have been highly motivated and inspirational women, it is so nice to have women representing your field of interest, especially when I meet more POC women, like myself. 

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Lara Funk

Hi! I’m Lara, a marine social science researcher pursuing a PhD at Heriot-Watt University in social responsibility and global seafood supply. Growing up on an island, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the ocean and to those whose livelihoods depend upon it. My current research combines these two and I’m hoping that my research will contribute to improving the lives of fishers and the fisheries in which they work.

Witnessing and hearing some of the struggles that women in marine science face, I feel that it is so important to have a support network for women and non-binary individuals in this field. Some of the aspects of marine science work such as working on research vessels away at sea, can be particularly difficult for marginalized groups and it is our hope that the SWIMS network can serve as a useful resource. Importantly, we aim to make this network something that will be useful, so we enthusiastically welcome any and all suggestions on how to make it as helpful as possible.

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Mairi Fenton

Hi! I'm Mairi, I'm a PhD student looking at the impact of scallop dredging on seabed habitats. My background is in marine ecology, but I'm really enjoying learning about the added social dimensions that fisheries science includes. 

I think it is incredibly important to have a safe space to explore the impact that being a women or being non-binary can have on our careers (and life experiences). By building this community we can give each other the confidence to provide support and advocacy for anyone that needs it. 

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Hannah Fennell

Hello! I’m Hannah and I’m a PhD candidate in Orkney exploring the impacts of static fishing gear on the marine environment.  I also work part-time as the head of a fisheries association. Working in fisheries and studying it means I spent a lot of time in male-dominated spaces, so I am keenly aware of how gender influences my work and how it is perceived by others.  

Although I love academia, as a woman it does pose unique challenges (including field work, rights around maternity leave, and trying to find that mythical work/life balance). I’m excited to be part of SWiMS because it creates a network where women-identifying and non-binary folk can come together to support and advocate for each other and share our stories of success and adversity. 

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Meet the Team: Meet the Team
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