Scuba diver Mae Dorricott is on a mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic waste.
And the Preston-born marine biologist is off to chase her dream by spending a year working in underwater scientific exploration after winning a top international scholarship.
Mae, a former student at Runshaw College in Leyland, will put her Masters studies on hold in Bristol to work with some of the world’s leading marine scientists over the next 12 months as reward for scooping the Rolex-sponsored award.
Only three are handed out each year globally and the 22-year-old, whose family live in Tarleton, has won the European prize.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet what an amazing opportunity I have been given,” she said. “It means I can follow my dream and make a big difference to marine biology and conservation. I can choose to work on field studies, research, join scientific expeditions or any other assignment. I will work with a coordinator and choose where I want to go and what I want to study. It means I spend a year working with scientific leaders in their field. I have a real interest in plastics and how we can remove them from the oceans.”
Next Mae is off the States to pick up her award before starting her mission in June.
She added: “I need to sit down with the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society and decide what I am going to do and where I’m going to go and the logistics of it all. Norway and Iceland will most likely be my first choice.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet what an amazing opportunity I have been given. It means I can follow my dream.”