Annette Broderick

Annette Broderick

Annette Broderick is Associate Professor of Marine Conservation at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the Penryn Campus. She studies the exploitation and status of marine vertebrate populations, with a particular focus on marine turtles; she also leads a long-term field study of the marine turtle populations on Cyprus, through which she’s not only been able to collect important conservation data, but also give a large number of undergraduate students their first taste of field biology—an especially important achievement for someone who says that one of her favourite things in life is “sharing the wonders of the natural world with others.”

Family has always played an important role in Annette’s life. When she was four years old, her grandmother—a successful businesswoman—moved in to help with child care and give Annette’s mother the opportunity to return to work. Both women were hugely inspirational; Annette says: “[They] were always telling me I could be whatever I wanted, encouraging me to work hard and be ambitious. Having positive role models at home definitely shaped my aspirations and ambitions.”

Luckily for the wildlife dwelling in marine habitats, Annette’s successes go beyond merely promotions and a growing list of academic publications. Her research has led to the protection of three areas on Ascension Island where marine turtles can now go to nest in peace and contribute to the perpetuation of the species. Annette says that these sorts of positive conservation outcomes are very rewarding: “Knowing that my research has had an impact is incredibly satisfying and is the major driving force behind my research.”

Annette encourages others to be brave and say “yes” to doing things that are outside of their comfort zone—even when it’s easier to say “no”. She says it’s especially important to ensure that women feel encouraged to be active and get involved with a variety of initiatives: “Without a doubt, women are different to men and we bring different ideas and opinions to the table. If we do not use these in decision-making, we may not be making the right choices, and we are probably not representing the population for whom we are making decisions.”

Unsurprisingly for someone who chose a career focused on aquatic wildlife, Annette says that she loves the sea—particularly “the amazing diversity of coral reefs.” She said: “Nothing can beat snorkelling or diving with my children.”