It Started With The Sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

This month we’re celebrating not only our connection to the ocean and the lifestyle we love (thanks to World Oceans Day and International Surfing Day falling in June), but inspiring women who draw their inspiration and experiences from the sea.


Meet marine biologist in training, Olivia Rose. Originally from the Mornington Peninsula, Australia, Liv has just spent a year of her studies on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where she has managed to rack up some pretty magical experiences.


Her passion for the ocean is hard to miss and her educational insta feed, LIVFORTHESEA, reinforces even the smallest changes we can all make to ensure our marine habitats are preserved for future generations to come.


Scroll down to get to know Liv and discover some of her incredible underwater moments.

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

What’s your earliest memory of the ocean?

I'd have to say my earliest memory of the ocean would be the summer afternoons spent at our beach box in Mount Martha. I remember swimming out just deep enough so I couldn't touch the bottom, holding my breath and sinking to the seafloor where I would hold onto a rock to weigh me down. I would just sit there and listen to the soft crackles and pops the water created around me. It simply fascinated me that there was an entire different world down there and I had it all to myself.

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

Where are you from originally and where are you based at the moment?

I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia in a coastal town called Mount Martha. I have just arrived back home from a year studying Marine Biology in Hawaii and am getting ready to move back down to Warrnambool to complete my studies. Yes, it’s freezing down there, but it’s the only place on the coast that offers Marine Biology in Victoria and with a 4x3 wetty on I still somehow manage to delve into the icy waters!

Just a few more seconds down here before I can escape this vortex of study @fatboybrock

A post shared by Liv Rose (@livvvvah) on

Can you describe what it is about water that inspired you to pursue marine biology?

There is this indescribable feeling of being submerged, exploring the seafloor, feeling the pressure of the water above me that I find irresistible. My childhood was all things water. Growing up spending weekends on a boat watching the crystal clear water from above as the seafloor ran beneath me, or below holding my breath whilst watching as the fish dance around me. The sea has always brought me so much joy and peace.


I feel like I was always destined to pursue a life surrounded by water however it wasn’t until I worked on an remote island at the tip of Cape York, along the northern Great Barrier Reef, where my passion for protecting and conserving the big blue came to fruition. I had underwater experiences that changed me forever.


I left the Island knowing that there is a huge difference between just doing something you're good at, and pursuing something you deeply love. So I came back from the island to change my degree from Architecture to Marine Biology, and here I am!

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

Making magic down here @cj_conrad

A post shared by Liv Rose (@livvvvah) on

What is the highlight of your job that you love to share?

Ohh that’s tricky, there are so many! One particular highlight would have to be on a picture perfect day out on the west side of Oahu. There was not a cloud in the sky or a ripple on the ocean's surface.


We’d heard that there were Pantropical Spotted Dolphins about 2km out from shore in a pod of about 100, so we swiftly made our way out to sea. It was also closing in on the humpback migration time through the Hawaiian Islands so we were keeping an extra eye out ;)


Once we found the dolphins we jumped in ready to guide the guests along with the pod. The visibility was incredible, the sea floor was far from sight (a couple hundred meters away) and the electric blue depth of the ocean against the striking prisms of light made us feel like we were in another dimension.


The pod approached us and I veered away from the guests to get some photos. The dolphins effortlessly glided beneath us, and in a moment they were gone. I turned around to guide the guests back to the boat to find a curious lone dolphin staring straight at me attempting to communicate with all sorts of clicks, whistles and squeaks. He did a few laps around me and kicked off to catch up with the others.


As he joined his pod in the distance, a thundering call of a humpback vibrated through the water column. Motionless, we all just floated there … in awe of the beauty of these magic creatures.

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

Where is your favourite place to surf?

With the balmy waters and endless breaks around the small Island, I’d have to say my last year in Hawaii on Oahu stole my heart. For kooks like me to get a fun wave, no matter how big it was, or where the trade winds were coming from, you were never lost for a dreamy spot.


Is there a dream destination you’d love to live and study/research?

I've been dreaming about exploring Raja Ampat, west Papua New Guinea for a few years now. It appears to be one of the last frontiers for thriving coral reefs in the world, with more recorded marine species than anywhere else on the planet! It’s not easy to get to and rather expensive, which explains why I haven’t made it there just yet. But there is definitely something brewing on the horizon!

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

It started with the sea - Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose

What are some of the ways we can be kinder to our marine environments?

There are endless ways we can change our day-to-day actions to benefit our oceans… A few simple steps in the right direction would be to avoid using plastic whenever you can!! Plastic bags are death traps for marine life. Tens of thousands of marine animals die each year after becoming entangled, or ingesting this man made creation. It’s not hard to bring a reusable bag with you wherever you go!


Buying sustainable seafood can be really difficult, just try and be as conscious of the impacts on the marine environment that certain seafood brands cause. Buying locally caught fish is a much more sustainable option than purchasing fish that has been shipped in from Japan for example. Avoid larger, long lived species such as tuna and shark (flake). If you’re ever unsure about buying fish sustainably just ask the fishmongers and restaurants questions; fishing technique, aquaculture method, where it was caught. These are all steps in the right direction.


Picking up rubbish wherever you are is always helpful, especially along our coastlines. Every little bit helps. Pollution is one of the greatest threats to our marine ecosystems worldwide. If you’re looking for a good documentary to shake up your thoughts on plastic, watch ‘A Plastic Ocean’ by Craig Leeson, it blew my mind.

Breaky on the beach anyone? I always manage to scramble up a good feast during my morning strolls...when rubbish enters the sea, we may never see it again, but it definitely hasn't disappeared. This kind of rubbish floats and flows it's way along the sea surface for thousands of kilometres. A lot of this rubbish ends up in the middle of the Pacific in places called gyres or eddies. These are huge HUGE areas where ocean currents slowly travel around in circles, trapping enormous expanses of rubbish, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Google it! It's insane! No one knows how much debris makes up the #greatpacificgarbagepatch The gyre is waaaay too big for scientists to trawl and besides a lot of the rubbish in this area tends to sink just below the sea surface, too deep for trawlers to catch. Charles Moore, the man who discovered the rubbish vortex says that cleaning up the garbage patch would "bankrupt any country" that tried!! It's super fascinating and a scary reality, but lucky I saved these little mongrels from entering the vortex!!

A post shared by Liv For The Sea (@livforthesea) on

Not a day goes by where I don't see our icky human footprint out here in the water. Even out here in 2000ft of crystal clear heaven, where a pod of 70 Pantropical Spotted Dolphins glide 30m below me, I am smacked in the face with this...come onnnnn. Plastic never ever EVER breaks down, it just breaks into smaller plastic pieces. Every single piece of plastic you and I have seen in our lifetime still exists in some form today. Australians use 10 FLIPPEN MILLION new plastic bags every single DAY! Let's all make an effort to never touch one of these again. They're not helpful anyway...they break with one carton of milk in them, they make your hands sweat and they sound funny...juggle your apples to your car if you have to!! I dare ya.

A post shared by Liv For The Sea (@livforthesea) on

View the series here > Meet the Rubias Collective // Meet Artist Reisha Perlmutter // Meet The Scandinavian Surfer Girls // Meet Photographer Carly Brown

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