Sarah Perry


What I do

I work as the Living Seas Officer for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. I am also the Science Officer at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in New Quay, a role I undertake on a voluntary basis. I am particularly interested in the study of dolphins.

How I got my job

I have been involved with the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) since 2003 when I first started out as a volunteer. I’ve been involved in the project ever since in various capacities, both as a volunteer and in paid posts. Being involved with the CBMWC and my commitment to the organisation has enabled me to meet and make valuable contacts that have helped me to progress my career over the years.

What I love about my job

I love spending time out on the water, spotting, observing and collecting valuable data on the marine life that we encounter, in particular the bottlenose dolphins. I find them fascinating and every encounter is special. I also love to see other people encounter wild dolphins for the first time and I love to share my knowledge and interest with others.

What’s difficult about my job

Not having enough time to fit everything that I would like to fit into my day!

What skills I need

As well as academic skills, a passion for the marine environment, drive and determination to succeed are important. You also need to have commitment and the willingness to give up your time for free as a volunteer, in order to gain experience.  Being able to work well as part of a team and independently are other good skills to have, and it is essential to have IT skills and the ability to communicate well with others.

Where should young people start if they want to do the job too?

If you are interested in a career in working in the marine environment, for example marine biology or in conservation, then studying science-based subjects such as biology will help. Subjects such as maths may also be helpful, as research opportunities in the environment field often involve dealing with data that needs to be analysed in some way. I studied biology, geography and psychology at A-level and I gained a degree in zoology before going on to do a PhD focusing on marine megafauna in the Irish Sea.