Network of Women in Marine Science

Inspiring women in ocean science: Chamsia Ibrahim

Chamsia Ibrahim, a scientific researcher specialising in biodiversity, holds a Master’s degree in Planning and Management of Tropical Ecosystems from the University of Lomé. Currently serving as a technical assistant at the National Herbarium of the University of the Comoros, she is dedicated to conserving ecosystems and educating local communities on biodiversity protection. Notably, she was the focal point for WiMS in the Comoros from 2021 to 2023.

Chamia’s research work focuses on biodiversity and ecosystems, with a particular interest in the unique context of island nations. The marine ecosystems of Comoros hold significant importance and face heightened vulnerability due to their island setting. Given the impacts of climate change, coastal zones play a crucial role in adapting to these changes, offering vital functions such as carbon sequestration by mangroves and providing habitats for various animal species. Chamisa shares that, “our work involves collaborating with local communities to conserve mangroves in specific areas and pursuing research initiatives centred on marine ecosystems.”

As a marine/ocean professional, what three critical lessons have you learned? Share your insights and experience with others who aspire to become experts in this field.

As a scientist, the various lessons learned firstly is that, in marine sciences there is no distinction in gender. Women have a great opportunity to lead a scientific career in the field. Secondly, marine sciences offer a lot of economic opportunity and can contribute to the survival of local communities. Thirdly, be determined and have self-confidence.

In celebration of the International Women’s Day theme “Invest in women, accelerate progress”, what progress do you envision for women in the Western Indian Ocean region?

The progress to be considered for women in the Indian Ocean is the awareness of the value of women as well as the important contribution they make in the field of scientific research in general and particularly in marine sciences. I also envision the future female generation taking ownership of scientific research in marine sciences in order to ensure the sustainability of the preservation of coastal ecosystems throughout the Indian Ocean region