Trainer Mandy van der Klij

Why do you work at DA?

My master thesis project was a study on behavior of the bottlenose dolphins here at dolphin academy. During the six months I spend here initially, I was offered a full-time position which I happily accepted.
This job gives me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds: I get to know the animals up close and personal during my time as a junior dolphin trainer, and get to spend the rest of my time carrying out several interesting research experiments. This combination ensures me to know every dolphin and his or her personalities, details and capabilities, while at the same time gaining valuable and new information about them.

What is your favorite memory at DA?

It must have been around 7A.M., somewhere at the beginning of March 2013. I was about to finish a stint of behavioral observations which required me to stay awake for about 50 hours in a row and, as you can imagine, was quite ready to go home and get some sleep. I sat down in my observation spot at the rocks, dangling my feet down towards the water, trying to catch some rays from the rising sun. While most of the dolphins were still sound asleep some of the young calves had woken up their mothers already. Suddenly I felt someone pushing underneath my foot and there was one of them: Tela, presenting me a piece of coral that she picked up somewhere on the lagoon bedding. That little unexpected gift was exactly what I needed to get through the last hour! The ever-increasing enthusiasm of the whole team every time there is a research project! It is great to work in an environment where everyone is very interested, curious, happy to cooperate, and helping out when necessary. The support and feedback is much appreciated and indispensable for me, both as a researcher and trainer.


Researcher/ Junior Dolphin trainer

Origin: NL

Joined Dolphin Academy in 2013

Meet Her dolphin team

Meet Her team mates