Li Ling Hamady has always loved the ocean. At age four, she knew she was going to be a marine biologist, ballerina, and pilot when she grew up. Born and raised in California, she has proud memories of being the only girl in a first-grade summer marine biology course, in which she dissected a fish all by herself since her lab partner was too squeamish to cut through bone. She graduated from the College of Creative Studies program at University of California-Santa Barbara, where her research took her to Baja, Australia, and South Africa. After several years as a technician in a paleoclimatology lab, she decided to meld her lab skills and fishy passions in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. When not elbow-deep in shark, she enjoys early-morning swims, biking, and for good measure, some run-staggering, all followed by copious amounts of food. And a nap. Her mentor for this article was Jayne Iafrate, former editor at the Los Angeles Times and now assistant director of development communications at WHOI.
(Photo by Sabine Wintner, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, South Africa)