Awarded the 2015 Bahamian Icon Award for Youth Development, Nikita Shiel-Rolle has a deep passion for the ocean, exploration, and education coupled with her love for The Bahamas, which has shaped her goals as a conservation biologist.
In 2013, Nikita was recognized during the 40th anniversary of The Bahamas as one of 40 under 40 that will most likely shape the future of the country. A PADI dive instructor and NACD Cave Diver, she participated in the National Geographic Expedition on Bahamian Blue Holes as a research assistant working on cave microbiology. She also co-produced WAVES, a documentary about conservation and social change in The Bahamas. Additionally, she co-authored “Islands of the Sun: A Tribute To The Northern Exuma Cays” which features her photography.
She founded Young Marine Explorers during her undergraduate career at University of Miami. As a Zoological Society of London EDGE Fellow, Nikita developed the framework for a youth driven citizen science coral monitoring program in The Bahamas. Her innovative approach drew international attention and is currently featured in a documentary that is part of a major coral reef exhibit at the Natural History Museum of London.
The recipient of a number of scholarships and awards, Nikita is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Miami, studying the conservation impact of Young Marine Explorers in The Bahamas. She has a Masters of Science in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh.