Gabrielle Martineau
Gabrielle is a 20-year-old aspiring marine scientist from Montreal, Canada. She was first introduced to the ocean through the Class Afloat program, during which she completed her last year of high school while sailing around the Atlantic Ocean onboard a 70-meter-long sailing vessel, accompanied by 54 strangers from the four corners of the globe. While crossing the Atlantic three times and learning how to sail, Gabrielle spent her free time onboard assisting with research on microplastics pollution in collaboration with the 5 Gyres Institute and taking part in dives, snorkels and sampling expeditions. She rapidly became fascinated by marine conservation and biodiversity and is currently a biology undergraduate student at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, where she is pursuing her dream of tackling marine climatic perturbations issues through graduate studies. Gabrielle is heavily involved in marine ecology research and spends her free time both in the lab and in the field, assisting professors and post-doctoral researchers in active climate change research. As part of a scientific diving team, she is happiest underwater. 

She has spent a fair amount of time at the Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, as part of a team that collects data on coral reefs and the fish that depend on them. The main focus of this project was to use fish gut content metabarcoding to analyze trophic interactions and reconstruct coral reef food webs. Her passion and her dedication to protect our oceans has allowed her to spend a month onboard a research vessel with the Arctic Research Foundation in the Canadian Arctic, one of the regions of the globe that is highly affected by global warming. There, she took part in one of the first projects to study an underwater kelp forest in this region of the world, aiming to understand the global impacts of climate change on these important primary producers and their ecosystem. As a co-captain in the Schulich Leader Network, a network gathering the most promising and entrepreneurial-minded Canadian college students in the fields of STEM, Gabrielle believes that a big part of leadership lies in acting as an example for others. She reiterates that the conservation of our oceans is a subject that concerns every single human on this planet and is dedicated to raising awareness for this global issue!