Mareike Donají Duffing Romero
I was born and raised in Mexico City before moving to Boulder, Colorado as a young teenager. Since, a young age I’ve always had a passion for animal welfare and the environment. Although I grew up being landlocked, I’ve always enjoyed family vacations to the ocean and after meeting a marine biologist, I was inspired to become a marine biologist.
I have a double bachelors of science degree in Marine Biology and Zoology from Humboldt State University in Northern California. After college, I took a gap year to conduct research in Costa Rica, take an animal behavior course in Sweden, and sail the Atlantic and the Sargasso Sea onboard the SSV Corwith Cramer while conducting research.
I received my masters in Marine and Environmental Science at the University of the Virgin Islands, where I studied the movement patterns of Atlantic tarpon and Lane snappers using acoustic telemetry. Through my graduate studies, I became more curious about understanding animal behavior, movement ecology and how these are influenced by changes in the environment and anthropogenic stressors. While living in the Virgin Islands (VI), I became an avid free diver and SCUBA diver, and spent many of my weekends volunteering for the VI Sea Turtle project free diving to catch, tag and release sea turtles.
I’ve had the amazing opportunity to grow up being multilingual (English, Spanish, German and French) and to have lived in many places around the world. Through my travels and my international life, I’m constantly immersing myself to different cultures, languages and people from different backgrounds.
In my spare time I love to be outdoors by hiking, free/scuba diving, sailing and I enjoy to cook, dance, hang out with friends, family and pets and travel.
I want to use my knowledge of the ocean with my language skills to share my passion for the environment and create better conservation efforts of our ecosystems. I’m interested in building more opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to become the next generation of scientists and environmental advocates.
I look forward to continue conducting cutting edge scientific research in marine ecology, participate in community outreach, and contribute to ocean conservation efforts with OFI.