These saltwater lovers aim to share their love of marine and coastal environments and increase awareness of the many threats now facing the world’s oceans through the medium of art and cartoons. They realise that sometimes these super complex problems are often quite difficult to hear about. Cartoons can be a lighter way to get across important messages and inspire people to get involved and find out more about the seas around them.

Meet the Saltwater Sketches team below, and click on the pictures to expand them!

Lauren McWhinnie recieved her PhD at Heriot-Watt University, where her work focussed on developing tools using GIS to aid Marine Spatial Planning and aquaculture site selection. Through her PhD work her resarch interests expanded to include several aspects of marine management including MPAs, climate change and the inclusion of stakeholder inputs and collaborations. In addition to research and teaching work, Lauren sits on the MASTS Marine Planning forums steering group, she also helped establish ScienceSea Sketches an initative for communicating marine science through the use of cartoons. Since joing the CORAL research group she has been working on the MEOPAR funded NEMES project that is mapping marine acoustic noise from shipping using acoustic and AIS data, the impacts this has on marine mammals and potential mitigation and management scenarios for minimising noise pollution.

Rob Newell obtained a PhD in Geography from the University of Victoria, where he examined the potential immersive virtual environments have for facilitating decision-making around marine and coastal resources. Rob has also worked as a researcher in sustainable development for the Community Research Connections program based out of Royal Roads University, and one of his responsibilities was exploring creative and interactive ways of disseminating research ideas and getting the greater public involved with the research program. Rob has a keen interest in exploring tools that help broad, diverse audiences understand complex issues concerning the biosphere and sustainability in general. His previous work has included developing environmental education programs for settlement agencies, as well as leading conservation and community development projects in Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Norma Serra Sogas is a researcher with the Coastal and Ocean Resource Analysis Laboratory (CORAL) at the University of Victoria and a Training Program Manager with the Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association (PacMARA). Her research interests include spatial analysis and visualization for marine pollution monitoring and risk assessment, specifically oil pollution from anthropologic marine activities. She currently works as program manager and Marxan trainer for the Pacific Analysis and Research Association. Norma has a strong background in GIS and marine biology, and her previous work includes a GIS Specialist for Environment Canada and Project Manager for the Oil in Canadian Waters project.