Angelique is a marine biologist with over 20 years of coral reef related experience blending science, management and more recently, sustainable finance for conservation.

Prior to joining the Blue Finance team where she coordinates scientific and management approaches, Angelique headed the Marine Research Section of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (Ministry of Environment) in Barbados, for over a decade. Her work involved developing and implementing coral reef related research projects; as well as management of reef systems within an integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) framework and communication of the results. She has further developed specific knowledge and expertise on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for marine conservation in the Caribbean and South Pacific Region, with a focus on beach protection.

Angelique is a scientist whose work history includes working as a Dive Instructor, Co-Pilot on a recreational Submarine, Crime Scene Investigator for Corals and Manager of a remote marine base. She is a well-rounded professional, embracing both the public and private sectors and with excellent communication skills used in the promotion of marine conservation.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early Bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

Dogs and more recently cats.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

Underwater photographs, underwater print cushion covers, paintings with coral and underwater themes, sculptures with marine elements.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

French – Intermediate, Spanish – Basic (I’m terrible at languages, but needs must)

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Perform on stage – Act, dance and sing

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Whale Research

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Sipidan, Malaysia

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To Make People Happy

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas by Forest Rohwer. If you’re into corals..I remember how amazed I was to find this entirely other world living on the corals that I had studied for years, without a clue. Sea Change A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia Earle -what a gorgeous book full of hope and all things marine.

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Read and/ go the beach.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Books, coffee, love.

15 What beverage gives you life?

coffee (mornings), coke (other than mornings)

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Great Ponds by Elechi Amadi & To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

Marine Biologist

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Hope and coffee

19 What got you excited in science?

My Dad and a guy on a motorcycle (who turned out to be a marine biologist – how cool).

20 What excites you about science now?

New discoveries…there are the face of despair …new discoveries.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Not guilty at all, but cakes, chocolates, french fries would probably all apply.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

None secret – I’m an ok dancer (but having trained since I was around 8 I should be so much better).

23 What is your favorite game?

Not really into games…sorry.

24 What is the last book you read?

The Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

Think about how you’ll feel on your deathbed – would you prefer regret that you didn’t try something or the knowledge that you tried – even if you fail. I prefer to always try. It’s lead me to some amazing places…

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

I’ve tried to conquer all my fears already – sky diving, fear of snakes, cave diving. I’m ready to just relax now and do what I love.

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?


28 What is the best way to de-stress?

The sea – looking at it, immersing in it…

29 What is the last thing you watched?


30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

A battery charger that connects to my coat and keeps me extra toasty.

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Don’t have one. I love all of Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler and Maya Angelou’s work though

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

French fries and chocolate (not together).

34 What is your favorite day of the year?


35 What is your favorite plant?

Plants don’t like me – they curl up and die. I have sea fan skeletons in pots.

36 What is your favorite science fact?

The Earth is NOT flat!!!!!!!!!

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

The sea, weaving its way around pebbles

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I laugh a lot

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?


42 What is your proudest moment?

I was running a marine/dive base in a remote part of Mexico. So many things had gone wrong and I was trying to fix a lot of mainly administrative stuff and I didn’t have the chance to go out and practice driving the boats. One day, my second, just grabbed me and said we’re going and we drove the boats out to the furtherest sites on a day with huge waves and really bad conditions. When we got back the entire base was on the beach cheering. It meant a lot as I was feeling fairly inadequate at the time.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Casuarina – I know it’s invasive in the Caribbean – but shelve that for a moment..they’re gorgeous and provide shade on beaches

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Barbados – the beaches and France – being close to a beach

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I’m afraid of lizards!

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Jahson Alemu @jahson_alemu