Dr. Kristen Marhaver, Marine Biologist, Conservationist, and Researcher who studies Caribbean reef corals.
"I’ve been frustrated with messaging we use in science and communication for a long time. Part of that is because the relationship between scientists and the press has been fraught for so long. By that I mean that scientists were not allowed to speak to the press. That was considered tarnishing their neutral perspective on the world. The messaging around ecosystems, especially coral reefs, has for so long tended to be either over simplified, or hysterical, or off tone. Somehow the messaging has skipped over what a coral actually is and straight to just – “save the coral reefs!” in an angry tone of voice. And no one wants to hear you scream at them about things that they didn’t know they were doing wrong. So part of my mission is to back off with the screaming and just talk about what interesting animals they are."
"We still have to act on such huge scales to move the ship, but I think finally there’s more of a global understanding that not only can we move the ship, but that we should all be helping to steer. There’s this great quote from Nancy Knowlton who is a mentor of mine. She said, 'We went from thinking the ocean was too big to hurt, to thinking it’s too big and too sick to help.' I think slowly we’re getting out of that idea."
"We know the right actions to take to protect [coral reefs], and what we’ve learnt is that the action you take on the scale of the reef matters more than the global assault. So we will definitely have reefs in 50 years, but we have to choose where we want to protect them, where we want to put in the muscle and give them the best chance of making it. We won’t have them if we just hope for good luck."
52insights, Photograph via CARMABI Research Station