Ms Leila Nefdt

MARiS Science Communication Officer

Leila is passionate about all things to do with nature, especially the ocean, and community development. She has a background in Marine Biology, where she recently graduated with her Masters (MSc) in Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT), looking at Marine Ecosystem Classification and Conservation Targets along the Agulhas ecoregion, South Coast of South Africa. She is particularly interested in getting more involved with science communication and engagement with the general public. She was appointed by UCT-MARiS as the Science Communications Officer from April 2022 until present.

Responsibilities of her role as Science Communication Officer:

  • General communications amongst the UCT-MARiS network and external marine network
  • MARiS Science Communication using social media (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube channel)
  • MARiS Website Maintenance and Website Development
  • MARiS Science Communication Networking
    • MARiS Early Career Researchers (ECRs), 
    • External researchers, 
    • Applied Ocean Sciences MSc Course (AOS)
  • Contribution to European AtlantECO project: Work Package 9 - Ocean Literacy across the Atlantic Ocean
    • Promotion of Ocean Cultures and Ocean Literacy in South Africa
  • MARiS Outreach liaison

In her spare time, she enjoys getting involved with community youth development, and finding ways of sharing her love for the ocean. Leila currently does this specifically through Directing an Ocean Initiative NPO, #SeaTheBiggerPicture where her and her team focus on creating ocean awareness and getting youth groups comfortable in the water through their Defenders of the Blue Citizen Science Programme in Cape Town.