10 Questions With Influential Women- Bonnie Mirisch

Our very first chat! And with my beautiful Cousin!

We ask Bonnie 10 questions and find out some very interesting and informative facts about Marine Life and our Eco-System.


1. Introduce yourself, what do you do, where are you headed?

My names Bonnie, I’m a 21-year-old Marine Science graduate, based in Coffs Harbour. Starting in 2020 I will be conducting honours research in partnership with Southern Cross University and Department of Primary Industries, studying White Sharks Carcharodon carcharias. The focus of my project is on the movement patterns of juv. White Shark populations on the east coast of Australia and the use of dorsal imagery and facial pigmentation in identifying individual White Sharks. I have always had an intense love for the ocean and our natural environment, which is what lead me to studying Marine Science in the first place. I wanted to combine my passion of the ocean while also researching ways to help our fragile marine ecosystems. My future plans are to finish my honours year, have a (well earned) break, travel for a little while and then move down south to do my PhD.

2. Favourite part of what you do?

My favourite thing is that I get to constantly learn new and interesting information. The ocean is full of mysteries. The more we can learn about these ecosystems and the organisms that inhabit them the more chance we have to save them in the face of our rapidly changing climate.

3. Thoughts on climate change?

We are amid the largest global emergency since the beginning of human civilisation, our ecosystems are changing at such a rapid pace that nothing can adapt. If we continue on a business as usual schedule the worlds ecosystems as we know them today, will be no more. We are currently on target to have a 2°C increase in temperature by 2100 which will see a decline >99% of the world's coral reefs, with other global effects (increase in storm intensity, temperature & CO2, sea-level rise, etc.) being rapid and far-reaching. We need to not only cut down our CO2 emissions but engineer ways to ‘suck CO2 out of the atmosphere’. I urge everyone to read the IPCC report summary.

4. What’s something people may not know much about when it comes to the environment?

There is SO much people don’t know!

5. Two fun facts about marine life?

• Mangroves play a really important role in our marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They have an enormous capacity for sequester CO2 and other greenhouse gases, trapping them in sediment for centuries. They are among the most carbon-rich tropical forests and can store twice as much carbon on a per-area basis as salt marshes, with only the arboreal forests in the Americas storing more CO2.

• Grey Nurse Sharks are a critically endangered species of shark living from the NSW- Vic border to the north of Brisbane. They are incredibly friendly and loved by divers, however, are often viewed as fearsome due to their ragged teeth. Grey Nurse are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. Female Grey Nurse have a 2 lobbed uterus, this is because embryonic nurse sharks partake in embryophagy (they eat their siblings in the womb). Having a doubled lobbed uterus allows two baby sharks to survive and grow to a larger size before birth.

6. 2-3 of your fav go-to skincare products/ brands?

I have very sensitive skin so I have to be careful what I use, I adore Berts Bee’s, especially their moisturiser, I also really like Sukin products and I use Sunbutter for sunscreen, it is made with all naturally sourced products, is completely reef safe and smells divine!

7. What advice would you give women who want to feel beautiful in their own skin?

I am a big advocate for mental health, you can never truly feel beautiful if you don’t love who you are inside. Focus on improving how you feel, if that means speaking to friends and loved ones, taking some time out for yourself or seeing a therapist. You should also focus on your passions, young women now days spend too much time worrying about what they look like and not focusing on everything else that makes them truly beautiful and unique.

8. How can we be more mindful of our relationship with Mother Earth?

Educate yourself on what is going on around you, in both the scientific and political sphere.

9. Favourite animal?


10. Zero-Waste tips?

Reduce, reuse, refuse, recover, regift, repair and recycle! Have a compost bin, reduce your plastic consumption, never leave the house without a full reusable water bottle or keep-cup, don’t buy food that comes in packaging (go to your local food grocer or market), turn old sheets and towels into handkerchiefs, rags, napkins, and cloth produce bags, if you are going to buy new shop from websites such as Fauna and Flora (they have amazing eco-friendly alternatives to most products). It is important to know where your items are coming from and make sure they are sustainable and ethically sourced.


Thanks for an amazing chat Bonnie! You are going to be one great Marine Biologist!

You can see more of the wonderful things she is up to at IG: @ocean_bon98