Amica Benoit-Limosani ‘18 has long been passionate about marine life. When Benoit-Limosani was a child, she and her family would spend their vacations visiting various beaches in Florida and, as she recalls, her parents would have to “drag her out of the water.” Even then, the vastness of the world’s oceans and the personalities of its inhabitants sparked her curiosity. It’s not surprising that when it came time for the Montreal, Quebec, native to select a college, she chose one whose mascot is a Dolphin; nor is it a surprise that one of her favorite courses was Professor Devon Keeney’s Biology of Sharks. In fact, it was in Keeney’s class that she truly grew to appreciate sharks as an “underdog species that needs a little bit of attention” and set her sights on a career as a scientist-conservationist-diver.

A biology major on the Heights, Benoit-Limosani recently earned a master’s degree in marine biology from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. As part of that program, she completed an internship with Sharks and Rays Australia, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve marine wildlife through a combination of scientific initiatives and public outreach. It was a “transformational” experience, Benoit-Limosani says. Over the course of the semester-long internship, the Le Moyne alumna conducted literature reviews, ran a social media campaign to bring awareness of a species that is in danger of going extinct, and conducted fieldwork in the Great Barrier Reef, which contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs.

The experience reinforced for Benoit-Limosani precisely what she hopes to do professionally: to work at the intersection of research, conservation and eco-tourism. She is well on her way. In addition to her master’s degree, Benoit-Limosani earned her diving certification following extensive training in Thailand and Malaysia. Looking forward, she is particularly interested in working with sharks because she believes that they are largely misunderstood. Far from being uniformly dangerous, they are actually an extremely diverse species and play a pivotal role in the health of the oceans. One of her primary professional aims is to make people more aware of how critical they are to our entire ecosystem. To that end, she believes that one of her most important roles will simply be working with other people to help them better understand these majestic creatures, working in marine protected areas or with threatened species.

She credits her time at Le Moyne, where she refined her capacity to communicate, to think critically and to approach scientific questions with an open mind, with helping to set her on this path.

“I’ve been privileged to be able to find something that I really enjoy and have the opportunities I’ve had to be able to pursue it,” she says.