Dr. Kristen Marhaver, a marine biologist, completed her NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship studying the ecology, reproduction, and juvenile behavior of Caribbean reef corals at the CARMABI Research Station in Curaçao. To help restore the damaged signals and factors that corals need to survive, she developed new settlement surfaces, bacterial probiotic tools, and rearing strategies for juvenile corals, including for threatened species. Marhaver's research has been covered by hundreds of national and international media outlets including NPR, BBC, The Atlantic, and Popular Science. Her honors include five fellowships and grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, numerous awards for science communication, and recognition as a TED Senior Fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Scientist. Marhaver earned her Ph.D. from the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 


Year of Birth: 1982

Hometown: Originally Wichita, KS, currently Willemstad, Curacao

Education: Ph.D. in Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Occupation: Coral Biologist

Expeditions: 12 years of coral spawning expeditions in Panama and Curacao, over 1000 hours underwater across three seas and 20 countries

Favorite Place to Be: Underwater at night, or talking about corals with clever colleagues

Best Discoveries: Discovering the spawning time of threatened pillar corals in Curacao and raising the first lab-reared juveniles, discovering bacteria that cue coral settlement, observing how quickly a healthy coral can regrow

Favorite Items In The Field: Waterproof cameras, waterproof paper, waterproof bandaids, waterproof eyeliner

Personal Heroes: Mimi Koehl, Rembrandt, the TED Fellows

Hobbies: Photography, painting, dancing, tropical gardening

Advice: Speak up. Reach out. Be the first person who dares to fix what's broken.