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Jess explores

Jess explores

By Jess
Marine social scientist exploring the ins and outs of marine innovation, ocean life, everyday live, some within the comfort of things I understand but mostly things I know little about.
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Jess explores


Jess explores

Academic reading
I've been told countless times that reading academic papers is boring and dull - especially new students are often overwhelmed by the world jumble that is thrown at them for them to make sense of it all and it is exhausting! In this week's episode I'll share some tips and tricks on how to read academic papers, journals, government papers, or any scientific reports effectively and how you can get the most out of the papers without having to spend hours and hours trying to decipher what is said! Tune in anywhere you get your podcasts!
October 18, 2021
First Impressions
We have all been in a situation where we knew we had to make a good first impression or we met someone who did not make a good first impression. It's not rare that the first impression may not be the best but you end up being great colleagues or friends. But how do you prepare to meet someone new and how can you make sure that you leave a good first impression? I don't have any one-size-fits-all solution but maybe a few tips that may help!
October 11, 2021
Academic conferences
Have you ever wondered why there were so many academic conferences and who attends all of these? And also - why do academics go to all of these? In this week's episode we explore academic conferences, why they are important, and who should attend them, and when to maybe not to attend...
October 4, 2021
Aerial acrobatics for beginners
When I was younger, I loved the idea of going to the circus. In fact, I don't actually think I went all that often, but it was one of these magical experiences in my mind. It was never about the animals, but what I absolutely loved were the people and their ability to do things that just seemed so outlandish to me. Especially aerial acrobatics - hanging on silk ropes, catching themselves, climbing up again, flying through the arena - it always seemed so magical. So, naturally, I thought, why not give it a go myself? Well... Find out how this went on this week's episode!
September 27, 2021
These days it sometimes seems like everyone is a specialist - but what about all of us (including me) who are generalists who like to know a little bit about everything? There is a place for all of us in this world! In this week's episode, I explore what a generalist is and how they operate and why you should maybe also consider a generalist approach to whatever you do. I also talk about specialists and why we need their skills to even consider being a generalist!
September 20, 2021
Sailing for beginners
I absolutely love any water-based activities, no matter how terrifying they seem to some and believe me, this week's episode has some terrifying moments in it. I recently joined the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on one of their sailing trips on the Celtic Mist. This was my second time around and it was very different from two years ago. So tune in, know that no humans or animals were harmed during the course of this experience, and enjoy!
September 13, 2021
Constructive Feedback
Have you ever received feedback and thought to yourself - what on earth was that? Well, I've been at the receiving end of that more times than I care to remember and there was a time in my life where I would have taken any feedback as a critique on my personal being. And of course, when you feel like someone is attacking you, you will never be able to actually listen to what they are saying (if in fact what they are saying has any merit). But, it turns out, that when you give constructive feedback that it's never that case but rather that whoever is giving feedback - in many cases (not all) - has your best interest at heart and really tries to help and wants to be constructive. It's a power skill to give and receive feedback and one that requires lots of training and lots of understanding on how to communicate effectively. On this week's episode, I get deeply personal on constructive feedback and why it can really make a difference in your life.
September 6, 2021
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is that feeling you get when you at one place but wish you were some place else and while you are in that place, you are unable to enjoy yourself or really take in what is happening. While most of us think of this in the context of being invited to two parties at the same time, it's something we actually experience every day in our personal and professional lives. For instance, when you signed up for a webinar but are not paying attention to the webinar because you respond to emails because 'something important may be happening', you are experiencing FOMO on your emails. So, in this week's episode I want to draw attention to that and how to raise your own awareness when you're experiencing FOMO.
August 30, 2021
My first job
When I was 14, I made the decision to become a fashion designer/seamstress, thinking that I found my calling and that one day I would be the next Vivian Westwood. Spoiler alert: that didn't quite happen (yet?!). I worked in a theatre for about 4 weeks, clocked 38.5 hours per week and made a whopping 168 euros (not per week - that was one month's salary!). But I took a few moments in this week's episode and reflected on what I learnt in that job and how important it was to understand that what we learn in school isn't always useful in industry... I could talk for hours about all the funny episodes and experiences I had in those four formative weeks, but mostly I just wanted to take you on a short excursion on where I started my 'career' and while you may not end up becoming what you thought you'd be at 14, the lessons are still valuable!
August 23, 2021
As we are all taking a few much-needed days off, it is important to reflect on how you take leave! You may have heard the buzzword "ecotourism" thrown around quite a bit, but what does that actually mean and how far do you have to travel to really be an ecotourist? Turns out, not that far at all! Join me in this week's episode where I talk about ecotourism, what that means and how you can make sure that you travel environmentally-friendly and eco-conscious. 
August 16, 2021
Imposter Syndrome
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a tiny voice in your head told you that you don't have the skills, experience, or knowledge to participate in a conversation? Did it ever feel like anyone else around you knew much more and was much better equipped to respond to questions and make comments than you? Has this ever held you back in speaking your mind, applying for a job, or just feeling good about yourself? You may have a case of imposter syndrome and let me tell you, we've all been there and we all have that voice in our heads! But fear not, there is ways to overcome it and there are ways to make sure that you do get that job or that promotion that you deserve! So, on this week's episode, we'll be talking about the imposter syndrome! If you or someone you know suffers mental health issues related to the imposter syndrome or any other kind of mental health issues, please know that you are not alone and please seek help!
August 9, 2021
Surfing for Beginners
My image of surfers is quite stereotypical - carefree, lots of abs, and salty hair... Turns out, I was half right. In this week's episode I explore the ins and outs of surfing, talking about the board itself and what you should do in theory to be able to stand on a board... P.S. if it sounds like I am demonstrating the steps on how to surf, you are absolutely right, that is exactly what I was doing, although nobody could see it and I was talking to myself...
August 2, 2021
Rip currents
Being beach-smart is important - in this week's episode I'll discuss rip currents and how you can stay safe in the water. As with any physical activity, please consult your GP or medical doctor before engaging in any physical and/or water related activity. Disclaimer: I use riptide and rip current interchangeably, as I am sure many of us do. However, they are not the same thing and no matter how much I reminded myself to call it rip currents, the habit succeeded... A riptide is a tidal current is caused by the tide that pulls water through an inlet - i.e. tide water flows steadily out to sea.
July 26, 2021
Snorkeling for beginners
As the weather's heating up (and with that the urge to go to the ocean becomes stronger), I want to explore snorkeling with you! It's one of my favourite ocean-related activities because you don't need much experience, all you need is a snorkel and a mask and you're good to go! So on this week's episode I'll walk you through snorkeling for beginners, an easy guide to get you comfortable in the water and make sure you know what to do when your mask fills up with water! Please consult with your medical doctor or GP before engaging in any marine-related and physical activity.
July 19, 2021
Innovation has become a buzzword and while we all have ideas what innovation means and why it's important, on this week's episode I did a deep-dive on the theory of innovation and why so many governments and policymakers strive to be innovative.
July 12, 2021
Blue health
As we are moving towards warmer months and warmer waters, I wanted to take a second and talk to you about blue health. It's a new and interesting concept looking at the benefits humans can get from interacting with the ocean.
July 5, 2021
Sea kayaking for beginners
I love being in/on/at/by the ocean, so a couple weeks ago, I tried a new way of enjoying the marine space - through sea kayaking. I took a 2-day-course a couple weeks ago and what started as a fun excursion quickly transitioned into a nightmare of hand-eye-coordination resulting in very sore muscles and a somewhat painful sun tan... So, quickly summarised: a successful excursion. As with anything active, please consult with your doctor before undertaking any physical activities.
June 28, 2021
Grounding yourself
Sometimes I find myself in situations where I am somewhat lost. I know what I do is important and I typically can remember why I started to begin with, but when you loose sight of what is important, it becomes difficult to really make sense of it all. To avoid that utter confusion, it is important to ground yourself - find something that makes you go out of your own head and come back to what really matters. For that, I call my parents and we talk about anything for hours on end - you may do yoga, or you may go for a run, or do anything else to ground yourself. What you do, doesn't really matter as long as you find a mechanisms that makes sure you're not utterly lost. P.S. Yes, this episode too has suffered the dog-barking-treatment, which is why the audio may be a bit quiet but on the plus side my dog was very happy barking to her heart's content.
June 21, 2021
Power of Language and Definitions
Have you ever felt completely misunderstood or thought you knew exactly what you and your partner or colleague were talking about and then learnt that you couldn't be further from the truth? Misunderstandings like that make life very difficult and challenging when they don't have to be! On this week's episode I explore the power of language and definitions and why this is such an important way to create trust and build a long-lasting workforce but how it can also create barriers for new employees and can be incredibly isolating. P.S. Yes, this episode too has suffered the dog-barking-treatment, which is why the audio may be a bit quiet but on the plus side my dog was very happy barking to her heart's content.
June 14, 2021
Transferable Skills
When I was in school, my math teacher always used to say, "what you learn in this class will be usable in your other classes". That never made sense to me - was I supposed to calculate how many words per hour someone could write in class? It wasn't until much later that I understood the real lesson - the ability to take something I learnt in one context and use that knowledge, and the skills acquired in a completely different context. Transferable skills - as we like to call this learning experience. Join me today, as I talk about my 10+ years of sales experience and some funny anecdotes and how that relates to what I do today and how you too should not disregard experiences you've made in different contexts. They are all beneficial because they enable you to see the world in a unique way.
June 7, 2021
World Ocean Day - June 8th, 2021
World Oceans Day takes place every year on June 8th! This year's theme is The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods where we celebrate and shine a light on all that we've been up to in the realm of ocean space. To find out more about how to get involved, please visit:
May 31, 2021
SDG 14: Life Below Water
In this week's episode we look at Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water. I will give you a very detailed look into what SDG14 entails, its targets and indicators and why they are specific but broad. We'll also look at why SDGs are formulated that way and how everyone (no matter where in the world and no matter in which industry/research/government you work in) can and should participate in achieving the SDGs. Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals:
May 24, 2021
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
What are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and where do they come from? In essence, the SDGs are here to reach sustainable development and to do that we need a plan and some actions. In this week's episode I look specifically at the SDGs, its targets and indicators and how when you aim to promote one sustainable development goal, you are really working towards reaching all goals. Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals:
May 17, 2021
Running for beginners
I am a runner - this is not something I ever thought I'd say of myself. If you would have asked me twenty years ago to go for a run, I would have laughed... a lot. But today, it's my most favourite activity. I get asked a lot of questions, such as "how do you start running?" - and my most favourite question... "WHY?" This is a simple one, running is addictive and once you start running you just can't stop. I'll talk about how you start running, and how to make sure you'll run safely without hurting yourself! This is also a health warning, please consult with your doctor before you start to run.
May 10, 2021
STEM + feminism = STEMinist
Have you ever wondered what STEM was and why it was important? You're in luck! This week I'll be exploring STEM and how you can ensure that you are using this approach to problem-solving, even if you're not in academia (or perhaps precisely because you're not in academia). I will explore what STEMinism is - (a combination of STEM and feminism) and why this is still badly needed in today's world. And we'll talk about some practical things that you can do to ensure that in fact you are being an inclusive person, regardless of where you work!
May 3, 2021
Bioluminescence in Ocean Water
The water is getting warmer, the sun is out longer and you know what that means? Bioluminescence will be in its full glory along the shores and in oceans and I cannot wait to get my next magical experience but you may wonder - how is bioluminescence created in ocean water and how come you only see it during certain times of the year? In this week's episode we'll discuss all about bioluminescence in the water and why deep-sea animals are really the coolest!
April 26, 2021
Professional Tiktok
Tiktok took over everybody's life particularly as we all were craving human contact but were told to stay at home. And at this point, I believe many people have heard of tiktok and you're either addicted to it or you can't believe that people can be addicted to it. In this week's episode, I'll discuss what tiktok is and why you should give it a go from a professional point of view. We'll go through some of the things that you as an employer and employee and just general human being can gain from it and why it is a useful tool for anyone in your organisation to try out and learn from! Give it a go and let me know what you think!
April 19, 2021
Open Water Swimming - Update 🏊‍♀️🥶🌊
A quick update on my experience going open water swimming for the first time in 2021. Spoiler alert, IT WAS COLD.
April 15, 2021
Open water swimming for beginners
It's open water swimming season (well, to be honest with the right gear it's always open water swimming season!). So this episode, I want to explore with you the ins and outs of open water swimming. Safety first, so you'll hear quite a few health disclaimers to keep you safe and sound and then, and probably more importantly, I will tell you some of the health benefits of open water swimming and whether you need a wetsuit. Let me know how you like the icy cold! And as always, before any activity - consult your GP or doctor to make sure that this is safe for you to do!
April 12, 2021
European Maritime Day 2021
European Maritime Day is approaching fast - this year it is held virtually on May 20-21 in Den Helder in The Netherlands and it promises to be good and exciting. The agenda is out and I am looking very much forward to all the different active workshops and plenary sessions and just having an opportunity to see and learn about what has been done and what is yet to come from an industry, government, and academic perspective. Participation is free so come and join us as we celebrate European Maritime Day! Registration deadline May 4th
April 5, 2021
Seaspiracy - documentary review
Netflix's newest documentary "Seaspiracy" has been making waves. I watched it and there is much to say about it. This episode will provide some critical insight into why documentaries like this are important but also, why you should be careful to view the main message of this documentary critically. Listener note: This episode was recorded outside at the beach after having watched the documentary and there may be some spoilers and you may disagree with my observations. Please feel free to engage with my on social media to discuss your view points! 
March 29, 2021
Sperm whale logging behaviour
Do whales need to rest? And if so, how do they sleep? In this week's episode I explore how sperm whales rest and how they use their social family structures to protect themselves and their female companions. I'll also talk about why male sperm whales don't travel with female sperm whales and why calves will stay very close to their mothers. We'll also explore why and how whale calves could drown... So much to explore about sperm whale logging!
March 23, 2021
Outlines and reverse outlines
Writing is hard – there are no two ways about it. But there are tools to make it easier and one of the tools I have in my toolbox are outlines and reverse outlines. An outline is pretty much an introduction – a middle part – a conclusion – sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? It is and it isn’t. Join me today as I outline my argument of buying succulents and may even convince you why that is a good idea only to reverse engineer my own argument and realise that maybe buying even more succulents may not be the best idea... It's an easy writing activity that is designed to help you structure your thoughts and make it easier for you to accomplish your writing, even if you're in the middle of it - reverse outlining is also a very useful tool that you can use any time.
March 17, 2021
Inspirational women
When I started thinking about women that inspired me, my mind started racing into so many different directions. I could have spoken to you about women that I've had the opportunity to meet - women that are in the public eye - women that went against the norm to achieve something amazing - women that I have a close personal relationship with... The list is endless. But I thought about the way I see the world and how these incredible women inspired me and low and behold, this podcast episode is an extra long one. Join me today as I celebrate inspirational women, particularly four amazing people that have shaped my thinking and my actions in ways I never thought possible. These four individuals have shown me bravery, courage, curiosity, passion, and an ability to share these experiences.
March 17, 2021
Travelling false killer whales
Ever wondered why sometimes you see thousands of dolphins travel together? Ever wondered what it would feel like to witness that and maybe even, what it would feel like to all of a sudden being part of it? It's an incredible spectacle that I got to live in the summer of 2015 in the Azores in Portugal with a superpod of travelling false killer whales. An experience that left me in absolute amazement.
March 2, 2021
Humpback feeding techniques (and a happy accident)
My favourite thing to do is watch humpbacks feed - if you're lucky, you get to see every inch of their body as they move around, sometimes really fast and other times really slow and yet both behaviours serve the same purpose. I've never been more mesmerised than watching large animals feed in the water. On this week's episode I want to tell you about how humpbacks hunt their food and also how one humpback encounter had me covered in fish guts!
February 23, 2021
I've always wondered what it would be like to feel no gravity and at the same time be in complete darkness and while that sounds scary or in the least unsettling, it's actually quite the opposite, comforting and somewhat freeing. I tried the zero gravity floats and let me tell you, it is something else! In this week's episode we'll explore why and how sensory deprivation tanks work and why you should give it a go.
February 16, 2021
It took me forever to decide whether or not to get a drone and then one day, after having done some shore watching and realising that the thing I want to explore would be much easier to explore with a drone, I went for it and haven't looked back since. This week I talk about why drones are awesome, what you can use them for, and some of the rules and regulations that you have to adhere to when operating a drone in Ireland. Please check out the Irish Aviation Authority for what to do to responsibly operate a drone:
February 9, 2021
Brain dumps
I love writing, always have, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle with actually getting the words out. Join me on this week's episode where I talk about brain dumps and how this useful writing exercise helps structuring my professional and personal life. Give it a go and let me know what you think!
February 2, 2021
I recently 'cleaned' my perfectly fine pair of binoculars until they weren't perfectly fine anymore and then I spent days trying to figure out which new pair to get (it just wasn't feasible trying to fix the old ones). And then it got me thinking, why are binoculars such an important tool for marine mammal observers and how do you use them and why should you not use them on a boat if you're only on a boat for a short while and have no idea what you are looking for? So many questions! In this week's episode I explore the importance and necessity of binoculars when on a boat, figuring out why they are so amazing, and how to use them effectively and we get even in some of the nitty-gritty of marine mammal observation goodness!
January 26, 2021
Writing - or pure magic writing formula
We all write - all the time, but few of us actually think about *how* to write. In this week's episode I explore a magic writing formula. Writing is a four step process and if you know about it, writing and reading becomes so much easier and that much more fun. The four steps are: 1. topic sentence, 2. explanations, 3. examples or evidence, 4. conclusion or transition. It is that simple. If you build an outline with all your arguments as your topic sentences, filling in steps 2-4 becomes that much easier. Let me know how you get on either on @Jess_explores on twitter or Jess_exploresPodcast on insta. Happy writing, y'all!
January 19, 2021
I have a creative mind but when it comes to execution, I often overshoot the target but one way I know I can never go wrong is creating gigamaps which are brainstorming mindmaps. If you ever sat next to me in a conference or a meeting you will have seen me create these while listening intently to someone speak and while the maps may not make sense to anyone else, they are how I see the world and if you've never tried producing a gigamap, you should absolutely give it a try and see what pleasure you can get from it!
January 12, 2021
Ocean Decade (or United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030))
I am so excited for this - a UN proclaimed and dedicated decade to ocean science and generating ocean knowledge to achieve the sustainable development goals - particularly SDG 14 - Life below water. In this episode, I explore what the ocean decade is, why it is important, and how you can get involved - both in generating ocean knowledge but also how to be part of the participative, transformative, and two-way processes that the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is proposing. To find out more - and endorse an ocean-action, head on over to: and to find out more about what the framework for the ocean decade entails, look no further: Happy New Year, everyone!
January 5, 2021
Green flash
Have you ever been at the beach enjoying a lovely sunset and just as the sunset a green light flashed before your eyes? No - it wasn't Superman flying through the air, it was actually a natural phenomenon that this week we'll explore. Also, a word of warning - please do not EVER stare into the sun, you can damage your eyes and I do not want to be responsible for that! You can witness the green flash safely and in this episode, I'll tell you when to look!
December 30, 2020
Malaysia - a Christmas special 🇲🇾🏝️🎄🐢🙉🐍
Typically, I'd go short but this time I decided to take you on a longer exploration back to 2014 where I went from super busy Hong Kong to remote places in Malaysia. I did some ecotourism and feared for my life while experiencing things that even now I can't believe I ever got to do. This is a long Christmas special where I'll take you through a handfull of my travel highlights.
December 23, 2020
Wellbeing and sustainability
I've found myself separating the idea of wellbeing and sustainability but really, effective management strategies marry these concepts perfectly. But what does wellbeing and personal wellbeing actually look like and why is it important? I explore some of these concepts in this week's episode where I'll talk about finding my own heartbeat (literally) as a way of understanding the bigger idea behind wellbeing and sustainability.
December 16, 2020
I've met lots of people who would avoid getting on a boat because of fear of getting seasick. I'll let you in on a secret, I get terribly seasick but I've got some quick acting remedies! In this episode, we are exploring seasickness and what to do before, while, and after you're experiencing it!
December 9, 2020
Sustainable Development
What is sustainable development and what do we actually mean when we say that something is sustainable? And how come that when we talk about environmental sustainability and economic sustainability it seems like these two are not at all related? In this episode I explore the meaning of sustainable development in the marine space. We will look at where the term sustainable development came from and what the pillars of sustainable development are and how they are connected to each other.
December 2, 2020
Seabed mining
Seabed mining is a controversial topic - from why we are mining to how we are mining and things we need to consider before we go further, it is all explored in this week's episode.
November 25, 2020
Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or Law of the Sea - for short, is my favourite framework, not just because of its amazing name but because it is the foundation on which we build our management approaches when it comes to the sea. I could talk hours about what that means in practice, but for this episode I kept it short to the space boundaries of the UNCLOS and what that means and why it's important.
November 18, 2020
Artistry in science
Are scientists just mad? Or are they creative geniuses? Well, most likely they're a bit of both, but I believe that scientists are artists in every sense of that definition.
November 12, 2020
Smack of jellyfish and aquaculture with Dr. Damien Haberlin
Ever wondered what a group of jellyfish are called? Or what impact jellyfish have on aquaculture? And why jellyfish are important for our natural ecosystem? Dr. Damien Haberlin, MaREI (the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation co-ordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork) gave up his Sunday afternoon for a walk and talk with me, leading me into the fascinating world of jellyfish 🤯.
November 11, 2020
Reality TV
Do scientists enjoy "normal TV"? A 1000 times YES. Perhaps more so than we like to admit. Have a listen on today's episode and take a guess at my favourite (ocean-related) reality TV show but also, why I am enjoying - I mean loving - reality TV?
November 10, 2020
Professional cheerleading
I am a professional cheerleader and you should be too! By supporting each other and empowering each other we will get much further ahead than with creating doubt and tearing each other down. I've been on both sides and let me tell you, rejection is no fun. So, instead, I became a professional cheerleader!
November 4, 2020
Professional whale watching
Ever wondered if whale watching could be a career? The answer is yes. Join me as I explore marine mammal observation and why it's important. I'll explore what happens to sound underwater and the effects of that on marine mammals and how hard it actually is to detect any marine activity!
October 28, 2020
Marine social science - quickly 🌊
What is it I actually do? I ask myself that question a lot of times - here is a quick introduction to what I do.
October 21, 2020
Power skills
Have you ever wondered how some people just seem to communicate and network effortlessly? I've thought about that a lot too and put together a few "what to dos" to help change your soft skills to power skills!
October 20, 2020
Austrian coffee houses - quickly ☕🍰
It's a quick one! What do I miss the most from my home place? Austrian coffee houses! The concept of being able to meet someone and discuss anything from politics to hair colors while having a cup of coffee and a delicious piece of cake? Sign me up!
October 15, 2020
Blue growth
Blue growth has been all I've been thinking about in the past two years. One way or another we are more and more moving towards the ocean as a valuable way to create jobs and to create economies. But we cannot do that if we stay on the green course only. So what can we actually do? How can we make sure that we shift our minds to look at oceans as more than just blue water? And how do we avoid the risk of running color blind? - My take on why we cannot use Green Growth when we discuss developing the ocean and that blue growth is more than just developing technology.
October 14, 2020
When I tell people about having the joy of working on marine related issues, they ask if I'm a marine biologist. Which I'm not. I work on marine innovation and I work on policy and then I often get a very blank stare and I get it, on paper that does not sound sexy. But really it's the most amazing thing ever. In my research I look outward to the ocean but I also look inwards. That's actually one of my favorite parts because I get to look into countries and islands and coastal regions trying to understand what makes these regions special and how they can use existing research to their advantage?
October 4, 2020