Anshika Bagla headshot photo

Anshika Bagla

Ocean Science Intern
University of California, Santa Barbara

Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?

I will be entering my third year as an undergraduate student studying biology with an emphasis in marine biology in the fall, and I am very interested in the synthesis between marine research and educational outreach. I also enjoy studying interactions between marine species.  

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

Since I was young, I’ve always been entranced by the wonders that the oceans held. Through visiting aquariums and snorkeling since I could barely walk, I’ve constantly found myself in awe of the vastness of the underwater world and how many mysteries it holds. Now that I’m in college, I’ve had the chance to take classes and start participating in research for our aquatic environments, and I’ve only fallen deeper in love with the ocean.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My family has been an instrumental factor in encouraging me to do what I love. My parents provide me with the support and means to pursue many opportunities. My brother has been one of my biggest supporters and often has believed in me when I haven’t believed in myself. I’m so thankful for my amazing support system.

What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?

I love the sheer amount of time that I get to spend underwater. Whether it’s SCUBA diving for fun or for research, any time I can spend getting my gills wet makes me happy. It truly is another world, and being able to visit it is amazing.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

As an undergraduate, I have not yet had a real career. However, the opportunities that I’ve been lucky enough to have definitely have contributed to my love for the ocean. From working at the Aquarium of the Pacific to being a camp counselor for the Santa Monica Aquarium to working at the Research Experience and Education Facility here at UC Santa Barbara, I’ve solidified my passion for teaching people about the ocean. Through working on various research projects, I’ve had the chance to aid in the creation of new knowledge.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Currently, I am working towards earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at UC Santa Barbara. I am an avid SCUBA diver with both a Rescue Diver and a Scientific Diver Certification.

What are your hobbies?

I very much enjoy spending time outside, whether through SCUBA diving, hiking, photographing nature, or simply going on a bike ride. I also love writing poetry and reading a good book!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Be open to exploration! Don’t be afraid of failure, because everyone experiences it and it just makes you stronger. Keep on pushing, and pursue what you love!

How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?

I’ve heard a lot about Nautilus through the various expeditions they conduct, and have watched the live streams as a study break many times. My mentor informed me of this opportunity to work aboard the ship, and I had to apply!


Anshika participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: