Meet award-winning wildlife educator
Melissa Cristina Márquez
Melissa Márquez is a marine science education expert, currently finishing her doctoral degree at Curtin University. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Mexico, Melissa has worked at the forefront of marine science education and communication for over a decade, hard at work combatting the misinformation that's rampant in ecological fields — and paving the way for Latina women like her in science.
With her TEDx talks garnering thousands of views in their first weeks alone, Melissa is a prominent thought-leader and has engaged at global forums such as the National Academy of Science, Oxford, University of Western Australia Global Leader Experience, and National Science Policy Symposium, among others.
Named one of Sachamama’s “Los 100 Latinos Más Comprometidos con la Acción Climática” in 2021, “Forbes 30 Under 30: Science” finalist in 2020, and named in InStyle’s 2021 “50 Badass Women” list, Melissa has been touted as “the most enthusiastic shark scientist” people ever meet. She has been featured in NPR, Allure, InStyle, GQ, Seeker, Popular Science, and appeared on Disney+, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Acciona, and Good Morning America.
When the ocean conservationist isn’t at sea filming for various TV shows, she has been instrumental leading the DEI charge in marine science, fighting for and advancing inclusive science communication efforts, and challenging the status quo for women in STEM.
Through her advisory roles in Women in Ocean Science, Beneath The Waves, Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), and PangeaSeed, she hopes to leave a wake of opportunities for generations to come. A marine scientist by training, Melissa holds a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Victoria University of Wellington. Her first children book series, Wild Survival, was published in 2021-2022 by Scholastic to rave reviews. Her picture books, Mother of Sharks (Madre de los Tiburones) is set to be published in May 2023 by Penguin Random House.