Melissa Cristina Márquez, MSc
Founder of The Fins United Initiative
Known as the "Mother of Sharks," she is the Latina marine biologist everyone is talking about! While Melissa studies sharks, she became a household name when she stayed calm while being bitten and dragged by a crocodile on Discovery Channel's Shark Week. In 2019 she was hailed as "everything that's right with Shark Week" for her enthusiastic performance on her show.
A well-regarded TEDx speaker, she writes for Forbes Science and has had articles get up to 770,000 views! She helped create the #BillMeetScienceTwitter hashtag that made 1.2 billion impressions in less than a week and inspired Nye to create a segment in his Netflix show dedicated to the hashtag. He specifically called out Melissa on his show.
As founder of The Fins United Initiative (TFUI; www.finsunited.co..nz), Melissa introduces audiences to the diverse sharks and scientists who study them via the program's site and the hundreds of talks she does worldwide Melissa has travelled to over 20 countries as a professional speaker and passionately discusses the conservation of our oceans as well as diversity and inclusion in science. She melded these two passions together and created the Spanish podcast ConCiencia Azul, which already has 10,000 downloads in just over a year!
Melissa is actively engaged in research, exploration, communication, and application of scientific knowledge related to the conservation of marine ecosystems. Her research and outreach efforts have been featured in various media outlets, like the BBC's 100 Women tribute, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Scholastic books. Melissa is committed to continuing her work through different avenues, including children books! She is represented by Alexandra Weiss of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. To learn more about Melissa's professional experience, please examine the tabs above.