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The Importance of Small Things 

By Cam Molland

Cam Molland is studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Exeter’s campus in Penryn, Cornwall. His passion, however, is marine mammal rescue and conservation. Cam is a trained Marine Mammal Medic with British Divers Marine Life Rescue, where he regularly takes part in the medical assessment and rescue of marine mammals in distress.


Cam is currently moving his studies from humanities to biosciences, and his main interest in the field is cetaceans. In addition to his work with BDMLR, Cam also works with the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute in Galicia, Spain, and Falmouth Marine Conservation in Cornwall. Cam is an Education and Outreach Coordinator with FMC, where he and two other coordinators lead a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers who visit schools and youth groups across Cornwall, with the aim of passing their shared love for the oceans on to the next generation, teaching environmental responsibility, and inspiring positive change. He also leads on FMC’s participation in the Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking Project.


In this talk, Cam will be speaking about the rarest and most threatened marine mammal of all: the Vaquita. He will be discussing the threats faced by this critically endangered species (of which less than ten remain in the wild!), and the actions that can be taken by the government to halt its march towards extinction.

Dive into the Ultimate Marine Experience at the South West Marine Fest Conference! 

Join us for an exhilarating annual event celebrating the wonders of the marine world, right here in the heart of the southwest of England. Immerse yourself in the captivating realm of marine life and conservation at the most anticipated conference of the year, held every May/June half-term.

Why Attend?

  • Engaging Presentations: Uncover the latest insights and breakthroughs in marine research through dynamic presentations.

  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded professionals, students, and early career researchers passionate about the marine environment.

  • Local and Global Perspectives: Explore the diverse marine life from our region and beyond, gaining a comprehensive understanding of conservation efforts.

What to Expect?

  • Inspiring Talks: Thought-provoking discussions led by experts in the marine and conservation sector.

  • Networking Sessions: Forge valuable connections with industry professionals and fellow enthusiasts.

  • Eco-Friendly Challenge: Embrace a plastic-free experience and bring your own lunch to contribute to a sustainable event.

Ticket Information:

  • Limited Availability: Secure your spot now for an unforgettable experience!

  • Affordable Prices: We've kept ticket prices low to ensure accessibility for everyone.

  • Peace of Mind: Attend confidently - full refunds are guaranteed if the event is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the Coronavirus.


Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to participate in the South West Marine Fest Conference! Click here to snag your tickets and embark on a journey into the fascinating world beneath the waves. 

Sea Turtle


All ticket holders will receive a welcome pack including the programme on arrival to the conference.


Join us for this year's conference at Brixham Marine Lab.

You can see our growing schedule of presentations below.

SWMF Conference 2024
Guest Speakers


South Devon seals and their stories

By Sarah Greenslade

Seals pop up around our shores and they are just a moment in someone's day.  But to us, they are so much more. Every seal is an individual personality, each one knows its favoured resting place. From birth to parenting, rehabilitation to release, we love being part of all we do.


Evaluating the significance of the factors contributing to the Orca interactions with marine vessels in the Gibraltar Strait

By Leila Moore

Leila Moore is an Ocean Science and Marine Conservation student at the University of Plymouth and she is in the final year of her undergraduate degree this year. She has always been interested in marine mammals, specifically orca research and behaviour.


Leila has spent the majority of her life sailing and due to this, she has taken a particular interest in the interactions that have been occurring between orcas and marine vessels in the Gibraltar Strait and Portuguese Coasts since 2020. 


This prompted Leila to look into the interactions in more depth for her undergraduate dissertation project, and she is hoping that she will be furthering her research through a master’s degree next year in hopes of finding more sustainable actions for those who encounter the orcas to take, to protect both the orcas and the people involved.

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The Fish in Our Hands: re-imagining coastal communities and our relationship with the sea

By Kim Funnell

Jim is a marine campaigner and writer who has worked in the visual arts, communication and education for over 25 years. He produced Sky Atlantic’s ‘Fish Town’ which featured life in Brixham over 10 x one-hour episodes. Jim is passionate about communicating practical ways for a new relationship with our sea, and one that puts coastal communities and marine ecosystems first. 

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Marine Nature Recovery in North Devon

By Chloe Nunn


Chloe is a marine ecologist and social scientist whose work focuses on the contributions of coastal habitats to people, with a particular interest in seaweed and community resilience. She is currently working as the marine project coordinator for the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In her capacity as a consultant over the last five years, including for the UN Ocean Decade, she has worked to implement transformational ocean action in support of sustainable development. Her work spans coasts in the UK and in the Arctic, across projects such as the Study of Environmental Arctic Change and aquaculture in the southwest UK.

As a 2018 National Geographic Explorer, she is an avid writer, public speaker, and photographer, with a particular interest in education outreach. She provides ongoing support to the UK Polar Network, currently as its vice president, representing over 500 early career polar scientists.

Pack of Fish

The Biodiversity Value and Carbon Storage of Seagrass Habitats in the Carrick

By Emily Sissons


Emily is a Master’s student studying marine science at the University of Exeter. She is particularly interested in conservation and rewilding, and how humans can interact more sustainably with nature. Her undergraduate dissertation looked at how a potential reintroduction of wolves to the Scottish Highlands would impact perceptions of nature. Emily has previously worked on a turtle rescue project in Kefalonia and volunteered at a seal rehabilitation sanctuary. Emily is passionate about making science and education more accessible to everyone, having been senior editor of the science section for her university’s student newspaper, and involved in lots of higher education access and outreach work.

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Title to be confirmed

By Holly Baigent

Holly Baigent is a marine biologist and passionate advocate for the fascinating world of cuttlefish. She is currently working as an International MPA Project Officer at JNCC, focusing on preserving marine ecosystems in developing nations through the effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).


In her spare time, she volunteers at the Cuttlefish Conservation Initiative (CCI), where she holds the title of Director. As one of the founding members, she's been supporting and shaping the charity from the beginning, with a particular influence on the charity's strategy, branding, research, and outreach initiatives.


CCI has emerged as the pioneering UK non-governmental organisation solely focused on safeguarding the common cuttlefish. During her presentation, Holly will take you on a journey through the establishment of CCI, shed light on the threats faced by cuttlefish, outline ongoing conservation efforts, and provide actionable ways for you to join the cause.


Find out more:

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Learn with us!

The SWMF Conference offers a great opportunity to learn about the marine environment. We cover topics such as marine mammal monitoring, marine engineering, conservation-conscious business and the impacts of humans on wildlife (to name a few). We can guarantee that you will learn a lot at our conference and will come away feeling inspired!

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Sponsor us!

Advertise your business by sponsoring the SWMF conference. We offer a variety of packages which you can use to promote your business to passionate, marine-loving people!

More information will be available soon.

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Present for us!

Do you have a project or passion that you wish to share with our audience? Promote your research, organisation, or vision at our conference.

Even if you dont want to speak at the event, you can host a stall and showcase your organisation and sell your products during refreshment breaks.

To apply to be a speaker at the next SWMF Conference or to host a stand, simply email us at

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