North Sailing News
July 5th 2012
Getting to know ... Sabrina
The newest team member of the North Sailing guides is Sabrina Brando. Sabrina has joined us this summer for the first time, and we would like to get to know her a little better.
Sabrina runs her own company, AnimalConcepts, a consultancy company working on animal welfare, in zoos, research institutes, universities, public services and wildlife centers.
She is joining us this summer to combine work, i.e. guiding, with her interest in marine mammals. She has also given a lecture for the students at the research institute next door during the marine mammal course.
Q: Sabrina, where does your passion for animals and their welfare come from?
A: My grandparents told me that as very small kid I ran around with my favorite animal soft toys. I remember, since I was 5 years old I knew that I wanted to work with animals. Today I dedicate my professional and personal life the conservation of wildlife and the welfare of animals in zoos. parks and research laboratories as well as wildlife centres and sanctuaries. My interest lays in researching and understanding the interactions between people and animals and how this affects welfare in a positive and or negative way.
Q: What are your plans for after the summer?
A: I have a lot of workshop, seminars and lectures on the agenda, traveling world wide. I am also currently studying for a MSc. in Psychology and another MSc. in Animal Studies. One of my interest is and what I would like to further investigate is how people’s attitudes toward and perceptions of animals affect how people think and treat animals.
Q: These are some very interesting subjects you are working on. But, with your passion for animals and wildlife, isn‘t it strange to work with animals that live in captivity?
A: Well, we can learn a lot from working with animals in captivity and through an interdisciplinary approach we can collaborate to not only work on captive animal welfare but also how can this information help in the conservation of wild animals.
And, when working with animals in zoos or marine parks we can for example ask the animals to voluntary participate in research projects to get a better insight in how they perceive the world, how and what they hear, what they can or can not detect with echolocation, how they think and understand others in a social group, and many other interesting questions we can research.
Q: How did you come to work for North Sailing here in Húsavík?
A: I have known Marianne Rasmussen who is the director of the Húsavík Research Center at University of Iceland for many years and we have worked together in Denmark 15 years ago on harbour porpoises. She told me about North Sailing and put me in contact with them. It allows me to spend time on the water, to watch and study the wildlife in the bay, as well as work in education and awareness for wildlife.
Q: If you had to choose, what would be your favorite animal or species?
A: The killer whales are my favorite. I find them fascinating, their social life and their ways of problem solving, their sounds, and also their cooperation and adaptation. A real top predator.
Q: So, being here and working for North Sailing, is it what you had expected or hoped for?
A: Oh yes, I am glad to be here, North Sailing is a wonderful company to work for, fantastic wildlife and nature, and there is this homy feeling to it here too.
Thank you Sabrina!
Húsavík, 05.07.12, Ute Zimmer