Woman of the Water

Our oceans and seas are our lifeblood.
I’m honoured to have been asked by @wearemona to share my story about why I am a #WomanOftheWater 🌊
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The sea has always been my true solace. I lead a double life connected by the sea, being both an underwater archaeologist and underwater model. I am fortunate both pursuits quench my thirst for travel and adventure. I was born in Seville, but raised in Lisbon by the sea with an English/Scottish mother and Egyptian/Spanish father. I grew up immersed underwater and seeking adventure, which eventually awoke my curiosity for exploring the ancient maritime world.
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Archaeology has taken me to Mediterranean coasts, Eastern deserts, tropical jungles and cavernous cenotes. I hold a PhD in Maritime Archaeology and ancient navigation in the Levant from the University of Southampton and an international accredited scientific diving certification which I acquired in the beautiful Balkans. Growing up multicultural, my Egyptian heritage fuelled my dream to one day work in Egypt. Archaeology has paved the way to many life experiences including the fulfilment of that dream. I found myself living on a boat recording a series of 2000 year old Roman shipwrecks in the mesmerising Red Sea. Ever since, I’ve been lucky to be a part of a myriad of maritime expeditions around the world with the goal of preserving our heritage and oceans!
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The fashion world has also taken me on many adventures, from Icelandic ice caves to paradisaical islands! This month I found myself journeying out to the Cayman Islands for my dream underwater photoshoot! Merging my passions linked by the sea, I shared unforgettable days with an inspiring team modeling and freediving in an ethereal mermaid-like dress, and exploring the local colourful reefs with curious turtles and abundant marine life – since then I’ve been yearning to further pursue freediving!
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I now live in sunny LA by the ocean, where I lead a photogrammetric project developing 3D models for the Natural History Museum’s collections and I’m an Expert Presenter for Past Preservers for scientific-educational research and documentaries. I’m also the founder of ArchaeoStories, a long-term project that brings real archaeological research to life through graphic novels and mixed media by experts in the field (with proceedings towards environmental and heritage protection) – coming soon, so stay tuned!
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Positive thought create a positive ripple effect around us. As archaeologists, we often join forces with environmentalists, oceanographers, ecologists and local divers/ fishermen with the common goal of learning from and protecting our oceans. The world of archaeology continues to inspire – and there is still so much to discover and preserve! I have made it my mission to keep bridging gaps between academia and the public – we all deserve access to knowledge!
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Oceans are time-capsules storing limitless stories worth telling and preserving! Let’s never stop exploring and keep striving to take educated action together, protecting our heritage, our oceans and our planet.
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Thank you @wearemona@thisisforthewomen @paragonsurfboards
for inspiring positive change 🌊

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