Meet Arzucan "Zuzu" Askin, the interdisciplinary conservation scientist who defies any one label.
A qualified sailor, CCR diver, and HSE Class IV commercial diver, Zuzu thrives at the nexus where human society intersects with marine megafauna. As a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), she carries a banner of exploration that few can match. Fresh off a year-long stint of marine science and advanced technical dive training—funded by the coveted 2021 European Rolex Scholarship—her return to land is anything but a retreat. Rather, it marks the continuation of her quest to pioneer transformative solutions for marine megafauna protection and the livelihoods that hinge on these magnificent creatures.
With an innovative spirit, Zuzu unites science and storytelling to act as a catalyst for change, inspiring audiences to connect with marine life from the Equator to the Arctic.
"I love all sharks, but if I had to pick one favorite shark it would be the thresher shark. They’re absolutely beautiful and very unique in their appearance and behaviour."
"My research looks at the intersection where sharks meet society, specifically the impact of human activities on sharks. That means I research the “human” side of sharks, covering everything from illegal wildlife trafficking of sharks, to the impact of tourism on sharks, human-shark relationships in different cultures, questions around the extinction of these amazing creatures, human-shark conflict, all the way to shark charisma. I'm trying to better understand how humans harm sharks, why they are loved in some parts of the world and feared in others, what conservation lessons we can learn from these insights and how we can better protect sharks."
"I recently founded the Fuvahmulah Shark Research Programme, together with my partner Jono Allen and two of our inspiring Maldivian shark conservationists Basith Mohamed and Hamna Hussain."