Aminath Angeela is from the southern tuna-fishing island of Gemanafushi in Huvadhu Atoll. She grew up in untouched nature, spending a lot of time by the beach and in the seagrass-dense lagoon around her island. Due to the lack of access to snorkeling equipment she didn’t have opportunities to see the underwater world, but she was always curious to see fish and corals. At a career guidance program when she was 14, she met a marine biologist – and immediately decided that’s what she wanted to be!
However, it was still a novel idea for a local to be a marine biologist in the Maldives and there was little guidance to know what this entailed. So Angeela enrolled in Bachelor of Environmental Management at the Maldives National University, which is the closest course to a marine biology degree available.
She then took up marine biologist internships at resorts to familiarize herself with working in the field, spending time at Angsana Velavaru in Dhaalu Atoll and Como Maalifushi in Thaa Atoll. In 2020, she was part of the first research expedition by Noo Raajje as a researcher from Maldives Marine Research Institute. This paved the way for her to become a Marine Officer at Como Cocoa island in South Malé Atoll, where she spent a year overseeing guest activities – and helping with sea turtle nests they had on island.
Angeela had always wanted to work with sea turtles and the opportunity to work with Olive Ridley Project is a dream come true. As a Sea Turtle Biologist and Guest Educator based at Six Senses Laamu, Angeela oversees the turtle population database of Laamu Atoll, monitors the nesting activity on the resort and at the neighboring nesting hot spot L. Gaadhoo, and conducts educational activities for guests and community members. She hopes to inspire others to love and appreciate sea turtles as much as does!