Eric Thuranira is 25 years old, and from the Eastern part of Kenya – far away from the Coastal region. Where he was born, no one who works in the marine science field but he was encouraged me to make a difference and break the norm. He completed a graduate course in Marine Biology and Fisheries at Pwani University, Kenya in 2018. After graduation, he joined A Rocha Kenya as an assistant marine scientist. His work is to conduct in water surveys and BRUV research for sharks, rays and guitarfishes in order to identify key habitats and nursery areas used by these species and to understand the role of marine national parks in the protection of elasmobranchs. He coordinated projects for microplastics studies on the sandy beach of Watamu Marine National Park, with the aim of understanding the extent of microplastic pollution in the marine environment. Through the Fidra Global Nurdle Hunt project, we have raised awareness of nurdle pollution throughout the world. He has also been involved in Coral reef mapping in the WIO through Allen Coral Atlas Project, Marine Governance Project,Monthly Coral Reef monitoring in Watamu Marine Park, Seahorse studies and Seagrass monitoring. He is a Certified PADI Open Water Diver
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud to be studying sharks, rays and guitarfishes in the Western Indian Ocean and to be generating information that will ultimately contribute to developing Kenya’s National Plan of Action for the Conservation of Sharks.
Who has inspired you in your career?
Dr. Robert Sluka, who leads A Rocha’s Marine Program. He is a passionate marine scientist. Beyond the scientific side, working with him has taught me to approach things holistically, and to view learning about and protecting ocean creatures as a way of glorifying God.
What is your dream research project? Where would you work and with whom?
I would love to work with a group of passionate scientists on actively restoring the coral reefs in the Western Indian Ocean and uncovering new ways to mitigate the bleaching.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
I see myself being a renowned marine scientist and a consultant in matters relating to marine ecosystems preservation.
What secret talent do you have?
I love cooking, not so many people know this. It’s really creative and has a sense of beauty, with the different flavours and the creation of something new.
What do you miss most about the pre-Covid19 world?
The freedom of movement, being out in the ocean diving, interacting with my colleagues and with other scientists around the world.
What is your quote to live by?
“Be willing to go all out, in pursuit of your dream. Ultimately it will pay off. You are more powerful than you think you are.”Les Brown