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Celebrating women in conservation: Gabby Ahmadia

Gabby Ahmadia

“We want to help design protected areas for our oceans that benefit both people and nature.”

Gabby Ahmadia
Senior Marine Scientist, Oceans

What I do for nature

As a senior marine scientist at the WWF, most of my work focuses on what happens underwater. I work with a collaborative team to better understand how marine protected areas are influencing both coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend on the natural resources that coral reefs provide. We work with teams all across Indonesia in the Bird’s Head and Sunda Banda Seascapes to help design monitoring systems, analyze data, and communicate the results both to scientist and decision makers. We hope to provide evidence-based approaches to better design and manage Marine Protected Areas for better conservation results.

Why I do it

I’ve always been connected to the ocean—growing up in Hawaii, I spent many weekends with my family on the coast, snorkeling for hours until my parents dragged me back in. Some of my best memories are from elementary school field trips collecting critters from the sea and placing them in aquariums to observe (we always put them back)!

For me, the ocean was always an amazing world of wonder, but as I got older, I realized that the ocean truly needed some help. This seemingly endless resource was actually in trouble, and I wanted to meaningfully contribute to conservation. I was a scientist at heart, so through lots and lots of school and field work, I developed the right experience to do be able to do the work I am doing today. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated people around the world in marine conservation.