In 2021, the Marine Institute is profiling our people, sharing their study and career paths, the work they do at the Marine Institute and the important contribution their work delivers.
Team Leader, Data Management
What is your current role at the Marine Institute and what's involved in your daily work?
I lead the Data Management Team at the Marine Institute. We work with scientific teams across the Marine Institute to ensure their data are well cared for. I also work a lot with data teams in other organisations across Ireland and Europe to more efficiently share data and information about our oceans. We also provide access to appropriate data from the Marine Institute to other organisations, to national and international data networks and to the public through websites such as Ireland's Marine Atlas and Ireland's Digital Ocean.
What did you study and why?
I studied oceanography and chemistry at the University of Liverpool. I originally wanted to study geology, but really didn't like some parts of the courses so found a different Earth Science to study. I grew up near the Mersey estuary in England, and so have always had some interest in the sea. After my degree I did a PhD (looking at sand and mud movement in the North Sea – more exciting than it sounds!) and then spent ten years working as a Data Manager at the British Oceanographic Data Centre before joining the Marine Institute in my current role at the start of 2015.
What are you interests and passions?
I love being outside and being active. I really love running, and am a coach at a local athletics club, as well as cycling and swimming (and no, I'm not going to do a triathlon!) I really enjoy going walking with my family and we all enjoy walks which bring us to both hills and the coastline. We've all also been involved in lots of beach cleans at Rinville in Galway.
What is the best thing about working in the Marine Institute? What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are so many great people at the Marine Institute who are a pleasure to work with. In my role I get to work with a big cross section of the organisation and the passion that so many people have for their subject areas is really inspiring. In my role, I've also met some brilliant, clever and inspiring people working in marine data management from across the world. I don't get to write code and explore the data as much as I might like, but when I do, for me, that's always another really satisfying part of my job.
What is something you think everyone should know about the ocean?
I love hills and mountains as well as the sea, so I think everyone should know that the world's longest mountain range is actually the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which we can't see, but is there on the seafloor. There's lots of those "mountains" still to be explored!