Darcy Dunstan moved to Vancouver in September 2015 and a month later he was already working at the Sea Around Us.
Even though he is from a small town called Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, this 20-something has always pushed to expand his horizons. First, he moved to the British Columbia capital to pursue a biology degree at the University of Victoria. Having grown up close to the ocean and having explored the underwater world since age 10, Darcy was convinced that he wanted to focus his career on marine biology.
Even before finishing his university degree, he was already combining his passion for traveling and his love for nature. In the summer of 2013, he spent a couple of months in Belize researching tropical ecology and culture. Later on, in February 2015, he flew to Thailand to help conduct coral reef and seagrass bed surveys at a marine conservation centre.
On his return to Canada, Darcy did not stop at home. Instead, he landed in Vancouver and started a new adventure at the Sea Around Us. “I wanted to contribute to the valuable work that the Sea Around Us conducts on a daily basis as well as further improve my knowledge of fisheries. The chance to work with and learn from the world’s best fisheries scientists was a great privilege!” he says.
Darcy is very interested in the impacts humans have on marine ecosystems, so by working with the team led by Daniel Pauly, Dirk Zeller and Deng Palomares, he was able to better understand the connections between overfishing, ocean depletion, and food insecurity. “I have learned so much about the history of the global fishing industry and the importance of gathering reliable fisheries data,” he says.
As a research assistant, Darcy focused on data quality control and updating catch reconstructions to 2014. This work gave him the opportunity to become proficient with manipulating large datasets in Excel and “allowed” him become best friends with pivot tables.
However, after a year and a half sitting down at a desk, Darcy’s feet were starting to get itchy. Thus, he decided to start a new adventure. His first stop will be Indonesia, where he will spend a month hiking and resuming his childhood passion for scuba diving. Then he’ll jump to Malaysia, where he wants to explore the rainforest and check out some of the country’s macro diving sites.
The last stop? Australia, where Darcy plans to backpack and work in the marine science field for about a year before returning home… or going elsewhere.
Bon voyage, Darcy!