Sylvia Earle: Marine Biologist

Sylvia Earle is an American marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer.

The world-famous marine biology expert is known for her marine algae🪸 research and for raising awareness on the issues of overfishing and littering.

Sylvia has dedicated her career to protecting the Earth's oceans. 🌊

Her Deepness

The ocean is so fascinating, it invites us to uncover the secrets of its mysterious depth.  

But if there’s one oceanographer brave enough to discover its waters, it’s Sylvia Earle!

Known to many as Her Deepness, Sylvia is one of the world’s best-known female marine scientists.

From a young age, her mum and dad taught her to respect nature and to not be afraid to explore it. She learned to dive using SCUBA gear 🤿 while at university, where she studied botany, the science of plants. 

"No water, no life. No blue, no green."

- Sylvia Earle

Sylvia believed that understanding plants was the first step to understanding any ecosystem.

That’s why she has made it her mission to document every plant species that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico!

After having already spent thousands of research hours underwater, she decided to create and lead Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition. With this project, she set the record for the first all-female aquanaut research team. 🫧

image of sylvia earle

Sylvia and 4 other women dove 50 feet underwater to the small area they would live in for the next 2 weeks (!!!), and that’s how she broke another record for the longest time spent living in an underwater fixed habitat by a female.

During the 2-week experiment, she watched the effects of pollution on coral reefs. 🪸

Her book Exploring the Deep Frontier described her experience walking untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any person ever before! This experience got her the record title for the deepest untethered sea walk (female).

More records

Later on, she teamed up with an engineer and together they designed the submarine Deep Rover, a vehicle capable of going 914 metres (3,000 feet) underwater.

In fact, Sylvia achieved the deepest solo descent by submersible (female) by descending 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) on the Deep Rover submersible! 🌊

A few years later, she became the first female National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief scientist and, later on, the first TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet.

"With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea."

- Sylvia Earle

Today, Sylvia has spent over 7,000 hours underwater exploring the ocean and analysing its inhabitants. 🐳

Now she is 87 years old, and still very passionate about exploring the ocean - she still dives at least once a month!

Find out more about Sylvia's amazing records in Guinness World Records 2024, available now.