Live Events

Coral Live 2018 Speakers

During Coral Live 2018, we are inviting scientists and researchers based at the CARMABI Research Centre to speak about the restoration of coral reefs, coral ecosystems, impacts of climate change, deep ocean corals and the genetics of corals. The speakers will be hosted by Digital Explorer’s founder and educator, Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop and science communicator, Ellie Mackay. Stay tuned, speakers’ profiles coming soon…

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop
Director, Digital Explorer
Educationalist and expedition-leader, Jamie recognised the need to narrow the gap between science and his students. In 2004, he began experimenting with the use of technology in the classroom to find ways to spark his pupils’ imagination. By 2007, he founded Digital Explorer to provide his students with real-life encounters with field scientists working in the remote corners of the planet. A decade later, Digital Explorer has made science an exciting subject for millions of children around the globe. In addition to the Oceans Education Explore Live programmes, it has added 360 Virtual Reality as a new tool to support teachers in their mission to inspire students to learn. In 2017, Digital Explorer’s Arctic 360VR reached over 1.1 million views.

Mark Vermeij
Dr Mark J.A. Vermeij
Scientific Director, CARMABI
Mark’s research interests include evolutionary and ecological dynamics of benthic marine organisms, with emphasis on corals, algae and, more recently, microbes. Currently, his work focuses on the earliest life stages of corals and the processes that operate during these earliest life stages. The results of all scientific work conducted at CARMABI are disseminated through the organisation’s local network (i.e. parks, museums, educational programs) to stakeholder groups that are directly or indirectly involved with coral reef management and conservation. Mark also works as an associate professor for the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam and is an editor for the journal Coral Reefs.

Kristen Marhaver
Dr Kristen Marhaver
Marine Biologist, CARMABI
Dr Kristen Marhaver is marine biologist working to protect and restore coral reefs through discovery and innovation. Marhaver’s research lab produces coral probiotics, 3D-printed settlement surfaces, and advanced reproductive technologies to increase the survival rates of juvenile corals. Marhaver’s work has been featured by NPR, BBC, The Economist, The Atlantic, and Popular Science, and she has spoken to audiences at TED, Google, Harvard, and at ocean festivals around the world. Marhaver is a TED Senior Fellow, a National Geographic Explorer, and a World Economic Forum Young Scientist. Dr Marhaver graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Pim Bongaerts
Dr Pim Bongaerts
McCosker Chair, California Academy of Sciences
Before commencing his position at the California Academy of Sciences, Pim was a Research Fellow at The University of Queensland in Australia, and served as the lead scientist for the Deep Reef component of the XL Catlin Seaview Survey. Pim’s research focuses on the molecular ecology of coral reefs, using genome sequencing methods to study adaptation and connectivity in coral populations. He has a particular interest in mesophotic coral ecosystems, the deepest stretches of tropical coral reefs, which he studies with underwater technologies such as remotely operated vehicles and closed-circuit rebreathers.
Dr Valerie Chamberland
Coral Reef Ecologist, Research Scientist at SECORE International
Valerie is a coral reef ecologist and research scientist at SECORE International, an organisation dedicated to restoration and protection of coral reefs. Valerie’s research interests are broad. They range from natural history studies documenting the reproductive biology and early life ecology of coral, to manipulative experiments investigating the effects of anthropogenic disturbances like overfishing and coastal pollution on the health of young corals. For over seven years, Valerie has been conducting research to improve understanding of the environmental processes affecting larval recruitment in Caribbean corals. Her work is focused on identifying the conditions under which recruitment will be successful. Part of the research aims at identifying coral populations that produce offspring better capable of coping with stressful conditions on modern-day reefs, whether it is through maternal effects or longer-terms mechanism such as adaptation. The findings of her studies are being used to optimise and upscale restoration efforts designed to increase larval recruitment in threatened coral communities.
Photo ©SECORE International / Paul A. Selvaggio
Eleanor Mackay
Science communicator & field producer
Ellie is an award-winning science communicator and extreme environment filmmaker with a passion for social impact. She specialises in conservation, tech and environment as well as humanitarian relief. She has a postgraduate degree in Science Communication following 7 years’ international science teaching and previous experience in TV production. She is now combining her production skills and love of scientific storytelling to create engaging content. Her particular passion lies in highlighting environmental solutions through mixed media, including online written, visual and audio materials, short films and podcasts.

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