Our world-leading marine research underpins a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes: Research-led teaching | Exeter Marine | University of Exeter. In this #MScGraduateInFocus series we are looking back on some of our MSc graduates who have excelled in marine conservation around the world since studying with us.

Today we meet Ana Veiga, MSc Conservation and Biodiversity graduate (2009) and now Vice President of NGO Lantuna and coordinating a seabird project with BirdLife International in Cabo Verde!

Hi Ana! First off, why don’t you tell us a bit about what you have been up to since studying your MSc with us in 2009?

After graduating from Exeter, I came back to Cabo Verde and worked during six years at the National Directorate of Environment. My role was to follow up the management plans of protected areas and species conservation, I was also the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Political Focal Point and Ramsar Convention Focal Point. Since I did not only want to work in the office, I left the government and founded an NGO called Lantuna. I have been implementing biodiversity conservation projects in Cabo Verde and I also do consultancies services. At the present, I am coordinating the Cabo Verde seabirds project for BirdLife International.


Such amazing work! How do you think the MSc helped to prepare you for your career?

It was a key milestone in my career to broaden my view on biodiversity conservation and ecotourism. It also encouraged me to return to my country (after living 7 years in Europe) to contribute on biodiversity conservation. The conservation action planning skills gained through several subjects of the MSc Conservation and Biodiversity helped prepare me for a career in conservation project management. The program allowed me to have a cross-sectional view on conservation actions.

The lecturers were very dynamic and the several field trips allowed students to gain a significant experience. The University support for overseas students (e.g, English class, support in english correction for the essays, etc) was very useful.

The University offers a diversity of study programs, excellent campus facilities and continuous innovation.

What are you plans for the future?

I chose this path due to my passion for the environment. What I most enjoy in my work is the opportunity to improve communities’ life through sustainable conservation practices.  My plans are to make Lantuna grow and keep implementing biodiversity conservation projects in Cabo Verde. I am working to promote the legalization of more protected areas. I would also like to do a PhD related with marine biodiversity.

Finally, Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of applying to any of our programmes at the University of Exeter and pursuing a career in conservation?

My advice would be: do it for passion! Try to strengthen the relationship with the university researchers and always try to keep a close contact with them when you leave university, it might help you on your future projects.

The University of Exeter is an excellent university and for sure it will allow you to significantly improve your skills. I’d definitely recommend this University to anyone.

Thanks Ana!  


If you want to find out more about any of our suite of #ExeterMarine Masters and Undergraduate courses use the links below!