Who I am
I was born and raised in a Javanese household in South Tangerang, a city on the outskirts of one of the busiest national capitals in the world: Jakarta. Although I grew up far from the ocean, it was always my favourite place to visit, especially over weekends or during the long holidays with my family. My love for the ocean grew as I filled my days reading books and encyclopaedias about the marine environment and what was – and continues to be – my favourite animal, the shark. The documentaries and science-based television series I often watched fuelled my admiration for sharks, leading to my decision to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in marine science. In my second year at college, together with a friend who shares my passion for sharks, I founded a marine megafauna conservation community called GAIA Conservation, in which I immersed myself for the next three years, gaining many new skills and much knowledge and experience in shark and ray conservation. After that I continued to be involved in internships, research projects and training to increase my skills as a shark and ray researcher and conservationist. Since obtaining my Bachelor’s degree, I have dedicated my life and work to sharks and rays. As an aspiring shark scientist, I believe I still have much to learn – and to offer in terms of advancing shark and ray conservation, both nationally and globally.
Where I work
I am the leader of the Elasmobranch Project Indonesia (Yayasan Hiu Pari Lestari), a conservation organisation I co-founded with my partner, Maula Nadia. We aim to support elasmobranch conservation in Indonesia through citizen science, research and digital campaigns. The work I did for the project in 2020 and until mid-2021 was conducted remotely and virtually, but now we are trying to support species-specific conservation in several locations in Central Java, West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara.
What I do
My work with EPI involves analysing elasmobranch data we receive and communicating the information to the rest of the team, individual experts and government institutions, including the Research Centre for Oceanography, of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and the Research Centre for Fisheries, of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. As well as team and project management, I am responsible for developing new projects and maintaining external communications with experts, NGOs, governments and initiatives involved in elasmobranch conservation in Indonesia. EPI has now partnered with Thresher Shark Indonesia in Alor, Sawfish Indonesia in Merauke, Indo Ocean Project in Bali, Gili Shark Conservation in Lombok and Whale Shark Indonesia to collaborate on mapping the diversity and distribution of elasmobranch species in Indonesia. We have also established the Indonesian Elasmobranch Citizen Science Network to encourage the collection of data by citizen scientists and connect elements of elasmobranch conservation in the country.