Featured Image Credit: scuba-diversion.com
By Jessie Kittel
If you have any interest in the marine science field you’ve probably heard of either Jane Lubchenco, Sylvia Earle, Rachel Carson, or Eugenie Clark, if not all of them. These badass lady scientists have been around for decades making their mark on marine science and taking names. However, there’s a whole new generation of marine science ladies that have arrived on the scene to inspire a new generation of girls to live out their dreams.
Dr. Andrea Marshall
Her Majesty, Dr. Andrea Marshall, Queen of the Mantas. Her title is, in fact, well earned. Her 2008 graduate thesis made her the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays and since then she’s devoted her time to research and conservation of these majestic creatures along with other charismatic megafauna. She founded the Marine Megafauna Foundation which conducts research on marine megafauna and uses scientific evidence to educate the public. She even discovered a new species of manta ray! You can watch her 2012 TED talk on manta rays here.
Dr. Tierney Thys
How amazing would it be to have the legend that is Dr. Sylvia Earle take you under her wing? The answer is, pretty amazing. Dr. Thys earned a spot on Dr. Earle’s team after graduating with her bachelors degree from Brown University. Dr. Earle eventually went on to write Thys a letter of recommendation for the doctorate program at Duke University You can probably assume that a letter of reccommendation from Sylvia Earle is pretty much a golden ticket for getting into graduate school. Dr. Thys has since spent much of her time researching the giant ocean sunfish (aka molas) and has even done a TED talk on them. Dr. Thys has been involved with numerous films and shows that aim to educate and raise awareness on environmental issues.
Dr. Mariana Fuentes
Dr. Fuentes is not about to let the sea turtles of the world go down without a fight. After working in Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Vanuatu, and Barbados, she earned the distinction of being a National Geographic Young Explorers Grantee. When asked for advice to give girls who want to be marine biologists she replied “Try to learn the multifaceted reality of being a marine biologist; there are many different directions that you can follow and areas that you can work. If possible try to volunteer and learn about as many as possible, so that you have a better understanding of the various possibilities.”
Cramp is a marine conservationist, shark researcher, and National Geographic explorer. However, before she was all of these she was a medical lab researcher in San Diego. She took a huge leap of faith by quitting her stable job and journeying to the cook islands to manage the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative. Since then she has spent her days devoted to halting the over-exploitation of sharks and is currently working on getting her PhD at James Cook University.