Neha Acharya-Patel

Neha Acharya-Patel


Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Canada

Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Canada is a national node of the international program endorsed by the Ocean Decade to elevate and strengthen the diverse perspectives of new generations of ocean professionals. It has grown a network of over 200 members and provides opportunities for professional development and to improve knowledge transfer and sustainability in the ocean sector.

In 2021 Neha was one of the co-founders of this program. It now has members and partners across the country and has received over 300,000$ in funding for programming and growth in the next three years.

Blue Futures Pathways (BFP)

Blue Futures Pathways (BFP) is an initiative of the Students on Ice Foundation that connects Canadian youth with education, employment and funding opportunities that inspire and support them in developing successful careers in the Sustainable Blue Economy. An amplified focus is placed on under-represented, remotely located and Indigenous youth. 

Neha served as a regional coordinator for this program from March 2022 to March 2023 supported by the Mitacs Accelerate Grant. Through this partnership she spoke about her research and the diversity of careers available In the Canadian Blue Economy sector to youth in remote communities and in universities across BC.

Exploring by the seat of your pants

The goal of Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants is to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers. They do this by bringing those on the frontlines of science, exploration, adventure and conservation, live into classrooms through virtual guest speakers and field trips.

In 2022 and 2023 Neha participated in virtual talks to over 200 kids in classrooms tuning in from across North America. This was an extremely fun and enriching experience! You can watch these talks here.

Science Storytelling with Story Collider

In February 2023 Neha told a science story As part of the #NatureForAll Storytelling Festival. This was an event hosted by the Story Collider, a podcast that tells personal stories about science that focus on the love of nature and how that love inspires us to conserve nature.

Counting Jaws

“There’s a buzz along the California coast. The waters are teaming with great white sharks. Nearly every day there are reports of beachgoers, kayakers and swimmers having close encounters. Every so often, the result is a deadly attack. An animal once on the brink of extinction has made the ultimate comeback. Or has it? Have sharks simply moved closer to human hubs? Or does data tell a different story? In Counting Jaws, researcher Dr. Mike Domeier attempts to unravel this mystery.”

Neha appeared as an environmental genetics expert on this NatGeo sharkfest show produced by Hazmat Productions. They collected eDNA and biobsy samples from a poorly understood populations of Great White Sharks off the coast of California.

OWUSS Scholarship

In 2019 Neha was selected to be the North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. This Scholarship provides a hands-on introduction to underwater and other aquatic-related endeavors for a young person considering a career in an underwater-related discipline. The scholar spends approximately one year working side by side with current leaders in underwater fields around the globe. The range of experiences may include active participation in field studies, underwater research, scientific expeditions, laboratory assignments, equipment testing and design, photographic instruction, and other specialized assignments.

This experience was extremely valuable to Nehas trajectory and has facilitated many opportunities for her since! You can read about her experiences here.