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Women in Science: Nassirah Dorby – Project officer at the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority |14 February 2024

Women in Science: Nassirah Dorby – Project officer at the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority

Nassirah Dorby (Photo: Contributed)

‘Mentorship, attention, motivation play pivotal roles in nurturing successful young women professionals in science’


On Sunday February 11, 2024, Seychelles joined the rest of the work to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science – an annual observance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their involvement should be strengthened.

On this occasion, Seychelles NATION takes a look at one of the Seychellois women in the specific field, her contributions and aspirations.


Nassirah Dorby

“My name is Nassirah Dorby, a proud 26-year-old mother of two, an ocean enthusiast but most of all a woman in science. My interest for conservation started when I was fairly young.

“Growing up near the sea grooms you, it engraves that sense of responsibility in you that you cannot shake. For me it was a no brainer that I wanted to pursue my career in the marine field. As I was growing up I got involved in a lot of environmental volunteer programmes in order for me to get to know more people, to help the environment and most of all to widen my knowledge on the environment itself, from academy by the sea, to MCSS, mangroves for the future and so much more.

“After completing secondary school I figured that Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA) at that time was the perfect post-secondary for me. After two years of study I then graduated with a distinction in Advanced Certificate in fisheries biology, coming out top of my class for all my marine biology subjects.

“SMA was everything I ever hoped for. It introduced me to a wide range of experience in the marine field and it was also where I decided what I wanted to be when I completed my studies.  

“After four years of studying Environmental Sciences at the University of Seychelles(UniSey), I had an epiphany: sharks are my true passion. The field of fisheries holds immense importance, particularly for Seychelles, given its status as a small island developing state. Throughout my journey, I’ve encountered numerous instances where dedicated young professionals like myself are crucial.

“What’s heartening to observe is the rising number of females entering this field in Seychelles. When I initially embarked on this path, such representation was scarce. Now, I can’t help but feel immensely proud. I firmly believe that mentorship, attention, and motivation play pivotal roles in nurturing successful young women professionals in science.

“My motivation stems from the sheer adrenaline and exhilaration I experience every time I immerse myself in water – whether it’s diving or snorkeling. Those moments are etched in my memory, much like the advice I received from two influential scientists who have significantly shaped my career trajectory.

Dr Ameer Ibrahim: Never overlook an opportunity. It’s called an opportunity precisely because it may not come your way again. Seize every small chance, for that unwavering commitment will set you apart from the rest.”

Mr Rodney Bonne: I detect a spark within you, and I firmly believe that your unwavering passion will propel you to become one of the best scientists that Seychelles can be proud of one day.”


Was there ever a time when I thought this was not for me?   

“Yes, I’ve encountered discouragement from numerous individuals, to the point where I began questioning my own suitability for a career in science. My unwavering determination and clear vision of my desired path sustained me during those moments of doubt. The prospect of altering my career trajectory at a later stage in life was indeed daunting.

“However, the professional network I’ve cultivated throughout my journey provided a different perspective, they mentioned how proud they are of me and how much potential they see in me.

“My goal for the future is to be able to make the public aware that marine conservation is very important through leading various education and awareness campaigns, research and projects. I see myself as a force, because I am very outspoken and I love what I do.


What is my current post?

“I work at the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority as its project officer, whereby I fall under the research section. My job entails the coordination and management of all international and national projects. My project varies from coral restoration, coastal management, ecosystem based adaptations just to name a few. SPGA has empowered me in so many ways that I never thought possible.

“Challenging your mind by going out of your comfort zone means that you are developing in ways you never thought you would.


What would be my advice for the young budding scientists?

“Never surrender, regardless of others’ opinions. Your self-perception holds paramount importance. In the demanding realm of science, cultivating a resilient mindset becomes crucial. Tune out the naysayers, allowing your determination to illuminate why you rightfully deserve your place.”





















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