DR. RACHEL GRAHAM
For 30 years, Rachel has worked with institutions such as the United Nations, the University of York, the Smithsonian Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Working with partners in several countries to identify threats, research needs and conservation opportunities for threatened marine wildlife and their critical habitats. An active member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, she helped to found several National Shark Advisory Committees. in 2011, she won the Whitley Fund for Nature Gold Award for her work with sharks and communities. In 2014, Rachel founded the international NGO MarAlliance to promote impactful and inclusive grassroots science and conservation of marine wildlife.
SCOTT GUTSY TUASON
An award winning underwater photographer, Gutsy first started shooting at the early age of 16. His first co-authored book "Anilao" won the Palme D'or at Antibes. Gutsy is an artist who thrives on thrills. Whether it is throwing himself into the middle of a shark feeding frenzy in South Africa or charging bull sharks during snapper spawning aggregations in Palau, he is sure to be at the center of the action to get the winning shot. His photos are published in the 2013 book titled "Notes from the Sea" and is working on a new book featuring his blackwater photography titled "Blackwater / Open Blue". Gutsy is a staunch advocate for shark and ocean conservation, and shares his passion for marine life through his work.
Dr. Erika Woolsey Langbein
Erika is a coral reef ecologist, teacher, and CEO of the Hydrous, a San Francisco based nonprofit that uses frontier technologies like virtual reality and 3D printing to share the oceans with everyone. She conducted her PhD research on the Great Barrier Reef, where she investigated the effects of warming temperatures on coral reef ecosystems, and enjoys translating scientific discovery into public understanding. Believing that education and technology change the world, she is using both to demonstrate why marine environments are worth protecting.
Jero Prieto is the founder and Board Director of Pelagic Life an NGO dedicated to protecting open ocean marine life in Mexico. Jero is the director of the award winning documentary film Mexico Pelagico. He has worked with National Geographic and Discovery Channel to bring pelagic life to the screen. As a scuba instructor and expedition leader he also strives to bring the ocean closer to the public with the effort to make pelagic species be worth more alive than dead. With background in engineering from ITESM and business administration from Northwestern Kellogg School of Business he is constantly working to bring realistic solutions to protecting open ocean marine life.
Kathryn Berry is a marine biologist (PhD), whose research focuses on the impacts of pollution on coral reefs. Her current projects include baseline quantification of microplastic contamination in coral reef environments in Australia, Maldives and Myanmar. Winner of The Nature Conservancy Conservation Award, Kathryn is passionate about ocean education and communication. She actively promotes powerful messages about ocean conservation and is frequently a guest speaker in high school science classrooms, inspiring young learners about plastic pollution mitigation and ocean stewardship.
Noel is an award-winning photographer and director based in Manila, Philippines. For the past 8 years he has directed commercials, online videos, and documentaries for a variety of local and international clients. He also runs a design and social media marketing firm, Burnwater Design Studios, which he founded back in 1998 in high school. As a photographer, Noel specializes on portrait and conservation projects, and has worked with organizations such as WWF, Coral Triangle Initiative, and Large Marine Vertebrate Research Institute (Lamave). His underwater photos have won recognition in international competitions such as Sony World Photography Awards, Scuba Diving magazine, and DEEP Indonesia. He focuses heavily on shark conservation and is currently working on a book on this topic.
Nora is a coral reef enthusiast and plastic waste adversary. As the COO for the Hydrous, Her goal is to merge the core of human consciousness with the forefront intelligence of technology, such as virtual reality and 3D modeling, to build new channels for ocean literacy. She strives to find solutions through engagement and empowerment and believes in bringing the oceans to all by harnessing sensory science, art, and innovative experiences.
Tane is a marine field ecologist, award winning adventurer and Explorers Club International Fellow originating in Australia / New Zealand. He is a remote marine field specialist and is regularly deployed on research expeditions to isolated and often poorly understood regions across the globe to tag megafauna, collect museum specimens and conduct surveys in collaboration with various research institutes including the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, California Academy of Sciences, James Cook University and The University of Queensland. As an accomplished photojournalist and Cinematic Science collaborator, Tane often documents his research for scientific communication and marine conservation efforts and has been published by numerous media outlets including National Geographic.
Canadian Julie Ouimet is an underwater and wildlife camerawoman with a passion for sharks and big animals. She is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, Associate Member of the Boston Sea Rovers and co-owner of N2Pix, a company that specializes in underwater imagery and organizing exploration oriented expeditions. Julie is a guest speaker in dive shows and events throughout Canada and the United States and as a filmmaker, her underwater images and films have been presented throughout the USA, Canada and Europe. She co-writes articles, is a regular contributor with En Profondeur Dive Magazine and is one of the co-founders of an International underwater film festival. Julie is a Trimix diver and Technical supervisor, PADI Assistant-Instructor and DAN Instructor.
DR. JOHN BURNS
John is a coral reef biologist whose research focuses on coral health and disease. He conducted his PhD at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology where he studied coral reefs throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago. John developed innovative methods to create high-resolution 3D reconstructions of coral reefs to determine how disturbance and disease alters the structure and function of these ecosystems. He is dedicated to sharing his work with the public and developing new digital tools to help connect people to coral reefs through virtual platforms. John was a finalist for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise and has received several grants and awards for his innovative research.
Richard has spent the last few years diving at sun rise and drifting in the middle of the pacific ocean at night to photograph and document some of these little known about events. While not spending time underwater Richard likes to write about what he has learnt and been able to witness. He has published articles for Asian Diver magazine, Scuba Diver, Diver Training, Tauchen, Alert Diver, Submerge and Dive Photo Guide.
Richard has also worked with numerous production companies including ABC (Australia), Brazil TV, and most recently BBC "Shark" .
Riley Elliott is a shark researcher and has a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Zoology and a Masters with distinction in Marine Science. His interest in sharks started during time spent working for and then helping run the Oceans Research Great White Shark Station in South Africa. Here he learned to freedive with sharks alongside experts Mark Addison and Ryan Johnson. Riley is also a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland studying the Blue Shark. With the use of high tech satellite transmitters Riley hopes to learn more about sharks and investigate the effects of global pressure from fishing. He is currently working to address international conservational issues as the presenter of Shark Man TV.
Paul is a diver, videographer and research scientist involved in a number of research projects both jointly with the Coral Reef Research Foundation (Palau), SCRIPS Oceanographic Institute, The University of Delaware and the University of Southern California. Paul researches varied topics but most recently spawning aggregations throughout Palau, and has filmed spawning behavior that have not been previously documented anywhere in the world. Why the spawning events happen at these specific locations is one of the big questions, and by capturing bathymetry data Paul is able to generate 3d models of the spawning locations to compare and contrast these sites with other spawning locations in the world to find clues.
Forrest Galante is an international wildlife adventurer and conservationist who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of amazing animal encounters and previously unaccomplished expeditions. Growing up in Zimbabwe, Forrest spent his time discovering the depths of the African bush. He wrangled snakes, trapped mammals, snorkeled in muddy dams and explored remote islands of the Mozambique archipelago looking for untouched reefs. Forrest graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Biology. Forrest found one of the best ways to study and appreciate the aquatic world is through responsible sustainable harvest of his own proteins by becoming part of the food chain via freedive spear fishing. Forrest is a skilled freediver and renowned spear fisherman with 3 world records to his name. Check out his new show "Extinct or Alive" on Animal Planet and more of Forrest’s adventures at:
Mark is a wildlife filmmaker, cameraman and editor. He has worked on projects for BBC, DisneyNature and National Geographic, and works closely with Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Rick Rosenthal of Wild Logic LLC producing wildlife documentaries for international broadcast. While much of Mark’s work-life is spent underwater, he also builds and flies custom octocopters for cinema-grade cameras. With a background in ecology and research, he focuses on capturing rarely seen behavior and stories of the natural world.
Yasmeen Smalley-Norman is an underwater photographer dedicated to using visual storytelling to promote awareness of our oceans. A published underwater photographer and Fulbright Scholar, Yasmeen is using 3D modeling to map endangered and vulnerable coral species in the Philippines. She is also an Associate Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, an Explorers Club Student Member and a PADI Divemaster.
A marine scientist turned designer and serial entrepreneur, Sly incorporated his passion for technology, photography, and design to develop a method to 3D capture coral reefs underwater. His goal is to utilize technology to create a space for conversation around human centered design and sustainability issues surrounding oceans and climate change. He is an award winning photographer, Singularity University GSP 2015 alumni, 2015 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award nominee, and World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Michel is a full time underwater photographer, photojournalist and expedition leader. His images and articles are internationally published. They have been featured in several magazines in both print and electronic versions. His credits include Smithsonian, National Geographic, Sport Diver, Diver (Canada and UK), Ocean Geographic and Plongez!, amongst others. Michel is a Fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club, a PADI Ambassador, an Associate Member of the Boston Sea Rovers and a guest speaker in major North American dive shows. His teaching credentials are numerous: he is a PADI Master-Instructor, DAN Examiner, IANTD Trimix Instructor, PSI Instructor, Tec Rec Technical Instructor, TDI Technical Sidemount Instructor, EFR Instructor Trainer, Trimix Gas Blender and Equipment Technician Instructor.
Kaʻilikea C. Shayler
Ka‘ilikea is a marine conservationist from Hawai‘i. He specializes in indigenous ecological monitoring and traditional ecosystem-based resource management techniques. His work ranges from program development & capacity building to field monitoring & ecosystem restoration. Currently he works as a Community-based Marine Management Trainer for the State of Hawai‘i’s Division of Aquatic Resources and as a Coral Reef Management Fellow for NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. He holds close to 4,000 hours spent underwater on SCUBA alone with over 11 years’ experience teaching recreational, rescue, and scientific diving. When Kaʻilikea isn’t underwater or working with communities, he can be found surfing, fishing, paddling, or sailing traditional canoes.