Photo Credit David Curnick
Get to Know Nikita...
So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! Ninety-eight and three quarters percent guaranteed.” - Dr. Seuss
Educated in the United States and the United Kingdom Nikita Shiel-Rolle has a Masters of Science in Biodiversity Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh. A current Zoological Society of London EDGE Fellow, Nikita is studying the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) Pillar Coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus). During her undergraduate career at University of Miami Nikita founded the non-profit organization Young Marine Explorers, that conducted environmental education and leadership development with youth from underserved communities of the Bahamas. Her uncontrollable passion for the ocean, exploration and education coupled with her love for The Bahamas has shaped her goals as a conservation biologist. Nikita is dedicated to developing capacity amongst the youth of the Bahamas by engaging them in citizen science and sharing her love for the ocean.
Nikita is continually aspiring for excellence and strives to inspire others through her actions. In 2013, Nikita was recognized during the 40th anniversary of the Bahamas as one of 40 under 40 that will make a difference in the Bahamas, in that same year she was honored with the former US Ambassador to The Bahamas, Nicole Avant award for Science for her dedication and hard work in the field of Marine Biology.
Exploration and adventure are two words that can be used to describe Nikita’s outlook on life. Learning to dive at 13 Nikita quickly realized that she was supposed to spend most of her life underwater. A PADI dive instructor and NACD Cave Diver Nikita participated in the National Geographic Expedition on Bahamian Blue Holes as a research assistant working on cave microbiology. A professional underwater photographer Nikita’s work is featured in the 350 page coffee table book Islands Of The Sun: A Tribute To The Northern Exuma Cay. Nikita has always been one to stay busy and is currently continuing to explore her creativity underwater on a collective effort to produce a documentary on coral conservation.
Nikita is currently leading a project called Empowering Youth Through Coral Conservation which is training youth as research divers and engaging them in coral research and outreach projects within their local communities.
Nikita’s passion for exploration and adventure extends to learning about other cultures and has her working towards a personal goal of visiting a new country every year, with 20 countries and 2 languages under her belt she aspires to embody the qualities of a world citizen.
Future plans for this early carrier conservation biologist includes completing her doctorate and developing a conservation biology institute in The Bahamas.