Julie Packard is a founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Based on a lifelong passion for science and nature, she and her family founded the Aquarium over 30 years ago to expand awareness and understanding of Monterey Bay and the ocean beyond. Today, the
Aquarium is a major provider of environmental education programs for California teachers,
students and teens, as well as a growing player in ocean conservation worldwide. Julie chairs
the board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, a leader in deep ocean science
and technology and she’s deeply engaged in ocean conservation through her work as a trustee
of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Julie served as a member of the Pew Oceans
Commission which published a blueprint for improving governance of America’s ocean waters,
and more recently served on the California Parks Forward Commission to develop a sustainable
path for California’s state parks. Julie holds a master’s degree in biology from U.C. Santa Cruz
with a focus in marine algal ecology. When not at the Aquarium you can find Julie on, in or
around water, enjoying the natural wonders of California, her native state.
Dr. Chen is a Research Scientist at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), a position he took up in April 2018. Born in mainland China, he moved to Japan at the age of five and again to Hong Kong at 10. He received a BA (Hons.) degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford in 2011, followed by a DPhil in Zoology in 2015 also at the University of Oxford. Chen then moved to Japan to take up a three-year International Postdoctoral Fellowship at JAMSTEC until starting in the current position. To date, he has participated in 20 research cruises totalling over 300 days to explore deep-sea ecosystems around the globe. Widely interested in how different animals are adapted to ‘extreme’ ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, one major theme of his research investigates anatomical adaptations of deep-sea animal using state-of-the-art 3D reconstruction technology. Chen is also a taxonomist and systematist with an expertise in gastropod molluscs. The scaly-foot gastropod (Chrysomallon squamiferum) he described in 2012 was selected as one of the top 10 marine species of the last decade by the World Register of Marine Species.
Dr. Anela Choy is an assistant professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, with the Biological Oceanography group of the Integrated Oceanography Division. Previously, Anela was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Anela’s research centers on the structure and function of open ocean and deep-sea food webs, uniquely applying a targeted combination of biochemical tracers (stable isotopes, fatty acids, trace metals) alongside in-situ observations and traditional diet methods. Anela received a Ph.D. (2013) and M.S. (2008) in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and has recently been recognized for her research and outreach efforts with the 2018 UNESCO-L’Oréal International Rising Talents Award, and the 2016 AAAS-L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship.
Dr. Shana Goffredi’s research interests mainly concern beneficial symbiotic partnerships between bacteria and marine invertebrates. For 25 years, she has been exploring the deep ocean. She focuses on the physiology and biochemistry of deep-sea symbiotic systems, within the context of ecological questions and how environmental influences dramatically affect their functioning. At Occidental College, she teaches courses on Zoology, Microbial Diversity, and Symbiosis. Her B.S. is in Biology/Marine Science from the Univ. of San Diego and her Ph.D. is in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology from UC Santa Barbara.
Janet Voight studies octopods and wood-boring clams. After earning her PhD at the University of Arizona, a mere 212.5 mile drive through the Sonoran Desert to the intertidal zone of the Northern Gulf of California, she began to focus on deep-sea mollusks. A veteran of 22 research cruises, all undertaken after she turned 40, she served as Chief Scientist on two cruises with the HOV ALVIN, and was a Principal Investigator on nine other cruises. Dr. Voight studies octopus biology and evolution using tools ranging from morphometrics to sexual selection to morphology-based systematics of the order; her work on wood-boring bivalves (Xylophagaidae) encompasses ecology, taxonomy and systematics. Some of her scientific papers (especially those involving octopus sex) generated press and media attention that vastly expanded the impact of her research.