UCL Careers


Sustainability Insights Blog - Diving Deeper into Marine Conservation Careers

Read about what it is like to work in a marine conservation charity within the Sustainability sector.

Love The Oceans Managing Director Francesca in the ocean with a camera.

20 March 2023

To mark the conclusion of another successful Sustainability Sector Insights event at UCL Careers, I sat down with Francesca Trotman, the Managing Director and Founder of Love The Oceans (LTO), a marine conservation charity working in Mozambique. Francesca holds a master’s in marine biology, has always had a passion for marine life, and is an emerging leader in the ethical tourism space. An avid diver since the age of 13 with a keen interest in all aspects of marine life, Francesca is particularly passionate about sharks. Results orientated, she constantly encourages people to consider conservation in everyday life and take a greener approach to modern living. She likes to stay close to the research and community, overseeing the majority of programs on the ground in Mozambique. 

It was a pleasure to have Francesca speak so passionately at our Careers in the Climate & Environmental Sector event on 16th March 2023. However, if you didn’t manage to catch Francesca in person, read on to discover her top recruitment and employability tips from her own personal experiences recruiting for roles at Love The Oceans. 

  1. What types of roles do you recruit for? 

We recruit for interns, volunteers and staff. These are largely scientific based roles so we look for students or graduates with a passion for conservation and a scientific background of some sort. 

  1. Do you follow a particular timeline for your recruitment activities? 

We usually recruit for our staff roles throughout January and do interviews through February. Generally, we're quite oversubscribed so we don't advertise hugely but we recruit for our field assistant roles throughout the year on an ongoing basis. 

  1. What levels of roles do you recruit to? e.g. graduate roles/internships? 

We recruit for graduate roles and internships, as well as early career scientists and work experience/thesis data collection too. 

  1. Do you look for candidates with a preferred subject of study? 

Yes, we're looking for candidates with a scientific background, ideally a marine or zoology background but we look at everyone. We do have a program for people who are not from a scientific background to give them a 'crash course' in marine biology and the relevant experience they'll need.

  1. Are there specific entry requirements you look for? e.g. degree class? 

For our staff positions we definitely look for a scientific degree of some sort, usually biology/zoology/conservation based. For our internships and field assistant positions we're much more flexible so we look at people who are still studying, want to study, perhaps considering a career change, want experience in the space etc. 

  1. Do you follow a particular application/assessment process? 

For our staff roles we take general applications, sort through those, and then select less than 10 people for an interview. From there we narrow it down to our top 3 candidates and offer our top 1 a role. Sometimes we offer an internship to unsuccessful candidates. For our field assistant positions we take applications via email using our application form which we email them, and they submit that with their CV. That process does not involve an interview. 

  1. How do you promote equality, diversity & inclusion in your recruitment practices? 

We have policies in place which ensure EDI within our organisation as well as within our partnerships. We have anti-prejudice clauses written into our contracts with each of our partners and have a code of conduct to which any visitor to our site must abide with. On our programs we do allyship training and we're partnered with Minorities In Shark Science to work to diversify this scientific space. We also have internships in Mozambique for Mozambican students only and most of our staff team are Mozambican - as it should be for a grassroots charity based in Mozambique. 

  1. Can you provide details of the desired skills & attributes for roles within your area of expertise? e.g. do you assess candidates against key criteria, or can you give any tips on the skills that help make an application successful? 

For our staff positions we require a related degree, first aid certificate, scuba certificate, driving certificate, and prefer experience working remotely and handling scientific data. For our internship and field assistant roles we're more flexible as part of the role with us is designed to enable the candidate to gain experience and grow professionally while they're with us. 

For more sustainability careers advice, remember to check out the event recordings on our archive, including complete panel discussions and in-depth interviews with experts. You can also use our resource library to locate and read a wide range of help sheets, resources and sustainability sector guides.