Budding marine scientist

Mary Cowling took her interest in the environment to New Zealand to study fur seals.

"I've always been interested in the environment and wanted to focus on it as a career. I chose VU because it offered a range of research areas, and a lot of practical training and field work. That really appealed to me.

One of my teachers – who is well known for her work on the effect of tourism on dolphins – had been contacted by the New Zealand Department of Conservation to conduct a similar study on fur seals. She recommended I do it for my research project.

I spent four months in the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island. I received a VU postgraduate scholarship and the New Zealand study became the basis for my masters degree.

My goal is to further my skills and become a marine research scientist."

Courses studied

Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Sustainability) [see Bachelor of Science]

Master of Science

Find out more about science courses at VU

Mary Cowling