National Geographic job in Antarctica for Knockrow film grad
FROM the lush and humid plains of Botswana to the frozen, windswept shelves of Antarctica, 20-year-old documentary filmmaker and Knockrow local Marli Lopez-Hope is well on her way to becoming the next David Attenborough.
It's been just over a week since the enthusiastic ex-Trinity student discovered she had been selected from almost 2000 applicants across 52 countries to travel to Antarctica to assist National Geographic photographer Jason Edwards capture life on the snow-covered continent.
"I was packing my bags on my way from Melbourne to Byron for the school holidays when I got the call, about an hour before I left," she said.
"My mum squealed in the car when I got off the plane for about half an hour."
It was a family friend who stumbled across the opportunity and sent the link to Marli's Facebook page with the comment: "Marli, I think this is for you".
Having only recently completed her first year studying Film and Television Production at Swinburne University of Technology, Marli said the trip to Antarctica would be a "big push forward".
But Marli is no stranger to adventure. In 2012, the avid explorer spent a month filming wildlife in Botswana's Okavango Delta with South Africa's Wildlife Film Academy.
On January 12, Marli will fly to New Zealand where she will learn what to expect, and how to prepare mentally and physically, before heading to Antarctica for two weeks.
During that time, Marli says the team will be researching and documenting climate change, which will involve ski-dooing across the Ross Ice Shelf to measure the thickness of the ice.
"We will also visit an area where instruments have been drilled through the ice, where there's a lot of data collection," she said.
Afterwards, Marli said the team would be meeting up with a New Zealand-based Landcare research team, to study three resident Adelie penguin colonies.
When asked about what the future holds, Marli said she plans to finish her degree, before embarking on a further six years of study in zoology.
A career path that sounds remarkably similar to a well-known broadcaster and naturalist, David Attenborough.