Igor Pessoa

Oceanographer at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)

Igor took an undergraduate degree in Oceanography at Rio de Janeiro State University and since then he has been studying pollution sources in marine protected areas. In 2021, Igor receive a scholarship to conduct part of his Ph.D. research at the Paytan Biochemistry Lab, at the University of California (UCSC). Igor conducted geochemical work on coral samples from Brazil but later he expanded his work to Hawaii to include field based coral resilience and restoration. The main challenge of Igor’s research is to assess coral biodiversity security and prevent the extinction of certain coral species. As an oceanographer researching anthropogenic influences on corals, Igor sees the current environmental stressors as a difficult challenge for the oceans and for coral reefs, and he is profoundly alarmed about the threats that coral reef ecosystems around the world face.

In may 2023, Igor received an ICRS Ruth Gates Fellowship to undertake research focused on reef corals and the coral reef crisis.


“Healthy coral reefs are extraordinary beauty and host remarkable diversity, from the tiniest coral polyps to the large whales ever to draw breath. The value of the reefs is priceless.