Ana-Belen Yanez Suarez is a National Geographic Explorer for a research grant she was awarded to investigate the cold-water corals’ biodiversity and distribution across oxygen minimum zones on the Galapagos and Isla del Coco on board Falkor 2023. Ana-Belen contributed to a systematic characterization of the Galapagos seamount deep-sea ecosystems at the Charles Darwin Research Station in 2016-2017. She also worked in shallow water coral reef restoration in the Caribbean leading underwater monitoring and evaluating survival of outplanted corals. Later she was awarded a competitive Erasmus Mundus scholarship for a MSc degree at University of Gent and Sorbonne University, where she studied the effects of ocean warming and eutrophication on corals. Ana-Belen is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland at 4d Oceans Lab, where she studies deep-sea ecology of megabenthic cold-water corals communities, developing 3D models of deep-sea structures.
“We as species have taken action to destroy the most beautiful places on Earth. It is our responsibility to take action to recover the affected areas and protect the remaining healthy reefs to conserve life in the oceans and our own.”