Sight Search

Women in Diving: Lauren Arthur, Conservationist & Natural History Story Teller

Lauren Arthur is a wildlife presenter, zoologist and marine biologist with a masters in Tropical Coastal management and is passionate about conservation and creative natural history storytelling. Join us as she tells us more about herself and her diving experiences.

I am originally from Edinburgh in Scotland but now live in South Africa in the middle of the African bush.

I first started diving in 2008 while working in Fiji and it was a really long time ago. I am currently a Dive Master which I completed in the Maldives. I remember my first dive as clear as a bell at Deep Sea World, Edinburgh. They offer a shark experience where you can swim with sharks using scuba equipment in a tank. Not quite the ocean but as I was still really young, this experience was perfect. I only completed my Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Rescue course In Fiji - on a remote island called Gau. I completed my Apnea Total Qualification in 2015 and started professional freediving in 2016.

About being a DAN Member

I have always been a member of DAN, ever since I first started diving. I’ve never actually dived without it. DAN provides security when diving especially in foreign countries and in remote places. This didn't affect me directly but when in Grand Cayman for DiveLIVE, the sister pioneering project of SafariLIVE, my colleague got the bends. She had to go into the chamber and undergo lots of tests. In the end they found she had a hole in her heart (a Patent Foramen Ovale, PFO) that she was unaware of. It was a worrying time for us all but DAN was there for her the whole way through, easy to communicate with and ultimately professional. Supporting my colleague through this was difficult but I was very proud to be a member of DAN.

There are still so many dive destinations on my bucket list but favourites so far has to be Baa Atoll in Maldives, specific during the SW monsoon when the manta rays and whale sharks flock to Hanifaru bay, or Lembeh strait in Indonesia to go critter hunting.  The Sardine run in Port of St. Johns on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa is a close second. It is so hard to choose.

Studying and Conservation work

Knowledge enhances every experience - the more you know, the more you can really appreciate something. I completed my masters in Tropical Coastal Management which was a very holistic course, focusing on a multidisciplinary approach to environmental research skills based on different dimensions: social, environment, economics and wildlife. Having a 'deep' (pardon the pun) understanding of the ocean and the species that live there, makes diving so much more thrilling and satisfying.

I travelled to Fiji as part of a marine conservation program to set up an MPA, working closely with the local communities. Research, monitoring and collecting data and completing my PADI underwater diving courses. It was an incredible experience living on an island with nothing, no fresh running water, sporadic electricity powered by a generator, supplies only brought from mainland once a week. Remote location, far from home, learning to dive from scratch and cooking for an entire camp - led to one of the best but most challenging experiences for me. It gave me my first ever experience with manta rays - the loves of my life.

During my time in Maldives, my work focused on manta rays, turtles and coral regeneration. I was a regional representative for MantaMatcher (www.mantamatcher.org) in Baa Atoll, Maldives and thrived on educating people about these majestic cartilaginous fish. Working closely with the Olive Ridley Project, ID'ing hundreds of turtles and rescuing many from ghost nets which are a huge problem in Maldives as the Olive Ridley sea turtles complete their 'arribada' to India's Odisha shores. resuscitating turtles with mouth-to-mouth CPR and waking up in the middle of the night to ensure newly-hatched turtles made it safely to the ocean, it was one wild adventure. Lastly, the other focus of my work was coral regeneration by collecting naturally-broken fragments of acropora coral which we attached to the jetty using monofilament fishing line. It was a unique pioneering concept which worked so well - incorporating recycling. The coral thrived until the El Nino of 2016 which was devastating to Maldives.

My work was really diverse and included working with the local communities, educating guests that came to the island doing conservation work and a lot of research work. Absolutely anyone can take part in conservation activities today to help the oceans. Citizen science is huge now and a simple underwater clean up can be organised so easily. Do some research into where you plan to dive and find out if there are any projects or programs running that you can participate in. Even snorkelers can make a difference if you have yet to complete your dive course. You don’t have to be a diver or even a swimmer. From beach clean-ups to underwater clean ups, everyone can make a difference.

SafariLIVE, DiveLIVE into WildEARTH

Before SafariLIVE, I was first brought into WildEarth to complete a pioneering project called DiveLIVE, presenting LIVE from underwater in Grand Cayman. Our broadcasts were to a global audience answering questions in real-time about the underwater realm. Connected to my cameraman with cables, I was fitted with a full-face mask containing a microphone and speakers. After this successful project, I got offered an opportunity to come to South Africa and present on land in the African bush. From underwater to land - I strive to connect people to nature.

I have so many wonderful memories of working as a marine biologist. But my favourite ones, the ones that stand out the most, are probably rescuing a female Manta Ray that was completely entangle in monofilament fishing-line. We managed to set her free. And another is of all the turtles we rescued. These were mainly Olive Ridley turtles that were on their way to India for the Arribada and they get caught in ghost nets. Huge conglomerates of plastic nets and they are not able to get free. This included giving them surgery, rehabilitation and even mouth to mouth CPR.

Note you can see Lauren presenting the natural wonders of the African bush and wildlife on SafariLive and follow her adventures on instagram @lauren_arthur7.

Categories

 2020
 2019
 2018
 2016
immersion and bubble formation Accidents Acid reflux Acute ailments After anaesthesia Air Quality Air exchange centre Air hose failure Airway control Air Alert Diver Magazine Alternative gas mix Altitude changes Altitude sickness Aluminium Oxide Ama divers Amino acids Anaerobic Metabolism Annual renewal Apnea Apnoea Archaeology Arterial gas embolism Arthroscopic surgery Aspirin Aurel hygiene BCD BHP BLS BWARF Back adjustment Back pain Back treatment Backextensors Badages Bag valve mask Bahamas Balancing Bandaids Barbell back squat Barometric pressure Barotrauma Basic Life Support Batteries Bench press Benign prostate hyperplasia Beth Neale Black Blood flow Blood thinners Blue Wilderness Blurred vision Boat safety Bone fractures Bouyancy compensators Boyle's Law Boyle\'s Law Bradycardia Brain Breast Cancer Breath Hold Diving Breath holding Breath hold Breath-hold Breathing Gas Breathing gas contamination Breathing Breathold diving Broken bones Bruising Bubbleformation Buddy Exercise Buddy checks Buoyancy Burnshield CGASA CMAS CO2 COVID-19 COVID CPR Cabin pressure Caissons diseas Camera settings Cancer Remission Cancer treatments Cancer Cannabis and diving Cannabis Cape Town Dive Festival Cape Town CapeTown Carbon Monoxide Carbon dioxide Cardio health Cardiological Cardiomyopathy Chamber Safety Chamber science Charging batteries Charles' Law Charles\' Law Charles\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Law Charlie Warland Chemotherapy Chest compressions Chiropractic Chlorophll Citizen Conservation Cleaning products Coastalexcursion Cold Water Cold care ColdWater Cold Commercial diving Commercial schools Compressed Air Compressed gas Consercation Conservation Contaminants Contaminated air Coral Conservation Coral Reefs Coral bleaching Corals Core strength Corona virus Courtactions Crohns disease Crowns Crystal build up Crystallizing hoses Cutaneous decompression DAN Courses DAN Profile DAN Researchers DAN medics DAN members DAN report DCI DCS Decompressions sickness DCS theories DCS DEMP DM training DNA DReams Dalton's Law Dalton\'s Law Dalton\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Law Danel Wenzel Dauin island Dean's Blue Hole Deco dives Decompression Illness Decompression Sickness Decompression Stress Decompression illsnes Decompression treatment Decompression Deep diving Deep water exploration Delayed Offgassing Dental Diaphragms Diseases Dive Chamber Dive Computer Dive Destinations Dive H Dive Industry Dive Instruction Dive Instructor Dive Medical Form Dive Medical Dive Pros Dive Research Dive South Africa Dive Training Dive Travel Dive accidents Dive buddies Dive computers Dive excursions Dive fitness Dive gear Dive heallth Dive health Dive medicines Dive medicine Dive operators Dive planning Dive safety Dive safe Dive staff DiveLIVE Diveleader training Diveleaders Diver Health Diver Profile Diver infliencers Diver on surface Divers Alert Diving Divas Diving Kids Diving Trauma Diving career Diving emergencies Diving emergency management Diving fit Diving guidelines Diving injuries Diving suspended Diving Dizziness Dolphins Domestic Donation Dowels Dr Rob Schneider Drysuit diving Drysuit valves Drysuits Dyperbaric medicines EAPs EAP Ear pressure Ear wax Ears injuries Eco friendly Education Electronic Emergency action planning Emergency decompression Emergency plans Emergency underwater Oxygen Recompression Emergency Enviromental Protection Environmental factors Environmental impact Environmental managment Equalisation Equipment care Evacuations Evacuation Evaluations Even Breath Exercise Exhaustion Extended divetime Extinguisher Extreme treatments Eye injuries FAQ Factor V Leiden Failures Fatigue Faulty equipment Female divers Fillings Fire Coral Fire Safety Firefighting First Aid Equipment First Aid Kit First Aid Training First Aid kits Fish Identification Fish Fitness Training Fitness to dive Fitness Flying Fractures Francois Burman Fredive Free Student cover Free diving Free flow Freedive INstructor Freedive Training Freediver Freediving performance Freediving Gas Density Gas consumption Gas laws Gas mixes GasPerformance Gases Gastoeusophagus Gastric bypass Gastroenterologist Gear Servicing Gordon Hiles Great White Sharks Gutt irritations HCV HELP HIRA HMS Britanica Haemorhoid treatment Hazard Description Hazardous Marine life Hazardous marinelife Health practitioner Heart Attack Heart Health Heart Rate monitor Heart rates Heart rate Heart Heat stress Helium Hepatitis C Hepatitus B High temperatures Hip strength Hip surgery Hippocampus History Hot Humans Hydrate Hydration Hydrogen Hydroids Hydrostatic pressure Hyperbaric Chamber Hyperbaric research Hyperbarics Hypothermia Hypoxia IdentiFin Immersion Immine systems In Water Recompression Indemnity form Indian Ocean Indonesia Inert gas Infections Infra red Imaging Injections Instinct Instruction Instructors Insurance Integrated Physiology International travel International Interval training Irritation Joint pain Junior Open Water Diver KZN South Coast Kidneys Kids scubadiver KwaZulu Natal Labour laws Laryngospasm Lauren Arthur Learning to dive Legal advice Legislation Leukemis Liability Risks Liability releases Liability Life expectancy Lifestyle Lightroom editing Live aboard diving Liver Toxicity Liver diseas Low blood pressure Low pressure deterioration Low volume masks Lung Irritation Lung function Lung injuries Lung squeeze Lung surgery Lung MOD Maintenance Malaria Mammalian Dive Response Mammalian effect Marine Biology Marine Scientists Marine conservation Marine parks Marinelife Masks Master scuba diver Maximum operating depth Medical Q Medical emergencies Medical questionaire Medical statement Medication Mehgan Heaney-Grier Mermaid Danii Mesophotic Middle ear pressure Mike Bartick Military front press Mixed Gas Mono Fins Mooring lines More pressure Motion sickness Mozambique Muscle pain Mycobacterium marinum Nausea Nautilus Neck pain Neurological assessments Nitrogen Narcosis Nitrogen build up Nitrox No-decompression Non-rebreather Mask Normal Air Nosebleeds O2 providers O2 servicing OOxygen maintenance Ocean Research Ocean pollution Oil contamination Open water divers Orbital implants Oronasal mask Osteonecrosis Out and about Outreach Oxygen Cylinder Oxygen Units Oxygen deficit Oxygen deicit Oxygen dificiency Oxygen ears Oxygen equipment Oxygen masks Oxygen supply Oxygen therapy Oxygen P J Prinsloo PFI PJP Tech Part 3 Partner Training Philippine Islands Philippines Phillipines Photography Physioball Physiology Physiotherapy Pills Pistons Planning Plastic Pneumonia Pneumothorax Poison Pollution Pool Diving Post-dive Pre-dive Predive check Preparation Prepared diver Press Release Professional rights Provider course Psycological Pulmanologist Pulmonary Bleb Pulmonary Edema Pulse Punture wounds Pure Apnea Purge RAID South Africa RCAP REEF Radio communications Range of motion Rashes Rebreather diving Rechargeable batteries. Recompression chamber Recompression treatment Recompression Recycle Reef Conservation Reef surveyors Regulator failure Regulators Regulator Remote areas Renewable Report incidents Rescue Procedure Rescue breathing Rescue breaths Rescue training Rescue Resume diving Return to diving Risk Assessments Risk assesments Risk assessment Risk elements Risk management SABS 019 SafariLive Safety Stop Safety SaherSafe Barrier Salty Wanderer Sanitising Sara Andreotti Saturation Diving Save our seas Science Scombroid Poisoning Scuba Air Quality Scuba Injury Scuba Instructor Scuba children Scuba dive Scuba health Scubalearners Sea Horses Sealife Shark Protection Shark Research Shark conservation Shark diving Sharks Shoulder strength Sideplank Signs and Symptoms Sit-ups Skin Bends Skin outbreak Skin rash Snorkeling Snorkels Social Distancing Sodwana Bay Solomon Islands South Africa Spinal pain Splits Squeezes Stability exercise Standars Stay Fit Stents Step ups Stepping up Stroke Submerged Sudafed Sulawesi Supplemental oxygen Surface supplied Air Surfaced Surgeries Surgery Suspension training TRavel safety Tabata protocol Talya Davidoff Tattoes Technical Diving The Bends The truth Thermal Notions Tides Tips and trick Tooth squeeze Transplants Travel smarter Travel tips Travel Tropical Coastal Management Tunnelling Tweezers Ultrsound Umkomaas Unconsciousness Underground work Underwater hockey Underwater photographer Underwater photography Underwater pho University of Stellenbosch Urinary retention. Vaccines Vagus nerve Valsalva manoeuvers Vape Vaping Vasopressors Vasvagal Syncope Venting Virus infections Volatile fuels Washout treatments Wastewater Watchman device Water Resistance Water Weakness Weigang Xu Weights West Papua Wet diving bell Wetsuit fitting Wetsuits White balance Wide angles Winter Woman in diving Woman Women In Diving SA Women in diving Work of Breathing Workout Wound dressings Wreck divers Wreck dive Wreckdiving Wrecks Yoga Youth diver Zandile Ndholvu Zoology abrasion acoustic neuroma excision air-cushioned alert diver altitude anemia antibiotics anticoagulants antiseptics bandages barodontalgia bent-over barbell rows bioassays body art breathing air calories burn carbon dioxide toxicity cardiovascular cerebrospinal fluid checklist chemo port child clearances closed circuit scuba currents cuts dead lift decompression algorithms decongestants decongestion dehydration dive injuries dive medicing dive ready child dive reflex dive tribe diver in distress diver rescue diver training dive diving attraction doctors domestic travel dri-suits drowning dry mucous membranes dry suits dry e-cigarettes ear spaces elearning electrolyte imbalance electroytes emergency action plans emergency assessment equalising equalizing exposure injuries eyes fEMAL DIVERS fire rescue fitnes flexible tubing frediving freedivers gas bubble gas poisoning gastric acid gene expression health heartburn histidine hospital humidity immersion and bubble formation immersion pulmonary edema (IPE jaundice join DAN knee longevity lower stress malaise marine pathogens medical issues medical procedures medical risk assesment medications mental challenge micro-organisims minor illness mucous membranes nasal steroids nasal near drowning nematocysts neurological newdivers nitrogen bubbles off-gassed operating theatre operations orthopeadic outgas pain perforation phillippines physical challenges pinched nerves plasters polyester-TPU polyether-TPU post dive posture preserve prevention psychoactive pulmunary barotrauma rebreather mask rebreathers retinal detachment risk areas safety stops saturation scissors scuba equipment scuba single use sinus infections smoking snorkeling. spearfishing sterilising stings strength sub-aquatic swimmers ears tattoo care tecnical diver thermal protection toxicity training trimix unified standards vision impaired warmers water quality