Brinkley Davies might be the most badass scientist the world has ever seen. The Australian beauty just finished up her BS in Marine Biology at university, and when she’s not pushing herself to more extreme depths free diving, she occasionally models and acts as an ambassador for brands like Reef and GoPro. Not to mention that she absolutely rips. But with over 60k followers on Instagram, Brinkley doesn’t just use her popularity for selfies, she uses her social media as a platform for conservation issues close to her heart.
Raised on the southern coast of Australia, she began surfing at age four with her family. Her dad taught both Brinkley and her brother to surf, and since then she has been obsessed with everything to do with the sea. Spending so much time in the water, Brinkley naturally developed a curiosity about the oceans and the animals she encountered. At the same time she became interested in learning about conservation issues that affect the ecosystems, and she wanted to find ways to contribute to these efforts.
She determined that pursuing a degree in Marine Biology was the best way to gain a foundation of knowledge she could use for conservation efforts. However, in addition to schooling, she has spent a great deal of time studying in the field and experiencing ecosystems first-hand. An avid freediver, Brinkley has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world for both holiday and research. Her favorite memories include diving with humpback whales off Tonga last year and diving with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo in Western Australia.
Her interactions with these animals have shaped her stance on the two conservation initiatives she is most passionate about: the fight against cetaceans in captivity trade and the fight against the Australian shark cull. She vigorously opposes the slaughter and capture of cetaceans in the Taiji cove, and she someday hopes to one day go there herself to help stop the brutal practice. Additionally, she can’t bear to see any animals in captivity, especially orcas, and “the day that Sea World shuts down may just be the best day of her life.” The Australian shark cull poses a threat even closer to home. In what she calls “one of the stupidest and most barbaric things the Australian government has ever decided to do,” the cull called for baited drum lines near popular beaches used to catch and kill large sharks. The cull was instated in January 2014, but with a recommendation from the Western Australian Environment Protection Authority alongside public support from advocates like Brinkley, the cull was abandoned in September 2014.
Alongside her conservation efforts, Brinkley also maintains a successful modeling career. She started modeling at age 17, and she covered it all: runway, commercial photographic, music videos, and more. The sans makeup beauty who prefers wetsuits to high heels quickly found herself surrounded by superficial people who didn’t share her same values. She made the decision to only model for companies she loved that tied in with her surfing, diving, and marine biology. Fortunately, this allows her to conduct many of her shoots quite literally on her own turf. Most comfortable below the surface, Brinkley has worked closely with her good friend Kane Overall to shoot some incredible underwater photographs.
For now, her priority will be running Keiko Conservation. Brinkley, along with her good friends Natalie Parra and Sienna Schaar (based in Hawaii), founded the organization this past year, and the team will hit the ground running in 2015. The organization will be running campaigns, awareness blogs, marine science and biology updates, and contributing to individual marine projects around the world. Brinkley will serve as a key marine biologist contributing information to Keiko, especially as she studies great white sharks in Australia this summer. Thus far, Brinkley Davies has had no problem breaking the mold, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.