Marine Science | Student Perspective | Maïté Kesteleyn

MSc Marine Science & Climate Change

Maïté Kesteleyn

Maïté is a student on the Masters in Marine Science and Climate Change course at the University of Gibraltar. Originally from Belgium, Maïté had obtained Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical and Biological lab technologies at the University of Ghent.
As part of this, she spent a six month internship in the US working in a genetic aqua lab. After graduating, she searched for a masters programme to expand her knowledge and interest in the marine biology field and this led to her discovering the University of Gibraltar.

What attracted you to studying at University of Gibraltar and specifically, the MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change programme?

Ever since I was little, the sea and what lives in it fascinated me. I loved – and still love – spending hours at the sea and in the water. After finishing my undergrad, I wanted to do my masters within the marine field. I started looking online at different universities and their different master courses. I choose the University of Gibraltar because it is a small university, which I personally really like. It comes with a more personal guidance and connection, which I felt throughout the master course. With the strait of Gibraltar here, the university is located very beneficial when it comes down to marine science. The course comes with a very practical and skills focused mind-set, which I really appreciated about this course.

How has it been settling-in in a new country?

To be honest, the first couple of days were a bit hard. New place, new people, not my native language,… . So when I arrived in Gib, in the beginning I really missed my family and friends. However, after getting to know my fellow students and the place itself, I started to appreciate it and really like it. The more time you spent in a certain place, the better you start to know it. A bonus is the amazing view and I just love being this close to the coast.

How has the MSc programme aided you in terms of skills?

As I mentioned before, this master course had quite a good focus on developing certain skills that would come in handy in the work field. The course was very challenging in a good way. It made you push your own limits. I liked the variety of skills we learned. Its more than just science; communication and design are only two skills you might not directly link with this course but are very helpful to practice and improve them. This course definitely did expand my knowledge and my interests in marine science and climate change

What is your MSc dissertation project on?

My project (#projectSEACOMM) is about assessing and evaluating the underwater camera as a marine monitoring tool in Gibraltar to inform marine management practices to be able to conserve and protect the marine biodiversity. I assessed the underwater camera in Gibraltar by involving the locals by asking them to send in their photos and videos they have of marine life in Gibraltar. Making them aware about the beautiful marine environment they have is just a part of my project.
I am also looking at the management practices in place and I am looking at different ways to improve or change the protection of our marine environment. Using the underwater camera as a monitoring tool to assess the biological diversity in our waters is being evaluated as well as optimized.
Follow the project on twitter@KesteleynMaite

Tell us about your UniGib experience and the MSc programme how it has helped you towards your chosen career path

My experience at the University of Gibraltar has not only helped me to develop on a professional level but also on a personal level.
For me, it’s more than just getting “the ticket” to find a job, it’s about the struggle and the experience and everything in between from start till end… and it wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it, no regrets!