Master Reef Guide-Marine Biologist- Diving Instructor-Photograoher, The Ocean. But Sunlover Reef Cruises. Parley for the Oceans. Reef Restoration keep me busy.
I am Pablo Cogollos. After studying marine biology in Spain for 5 years I performed further research studies in Coral Reef Ecology at the Autonomous University of Yucatána. My research placement was at Scorpion Reef in the Golf of Mexico. I worked for The National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) who are the management body for the coral reefs of Mexico. I did research studies in the Caribbean and Sea of Cortez and volunteered between my studies in many places including Indonesia. At present, I am very active with the Reef Restoration Foundation, Parley for the Oceans, Cafnec Marine Response Team and Great Barrier Reef Legacy.
I’m based in Cairns and work as a coral reef ecologist and diving instructor for Sunlover Reef Cruises. Over the past four years I’ve had the privilege of sharing the beauty of the world’s largest coral reef system with guests from every corner of the world. Changing and inspiring people is the most rewarding part of my job.
My favourite days at work are when I coordinate the Marine Biologist for a day program. When it comes to educating school groups about the reef using Eye on the Reef Rapid survey, the younger generations are most important as they will look after our coral reefs in the future.
The highlight of this experience is a one hour guided snorkel tour, on which we monitor a selected area of Moore Reef and collect data to be used for the government’s “Eye On The Reef” program. I aim to teach the students about the environmental impacts on The Great Barrier Reef and how they can lower their carbon footprint in their everyday lives.
Coral reefs around the world are under threat. Kids can fix it in the future by forming good habits at an early age that are environmentally conscious. It’s incredible how they listen and follow advice.
With this program I aspire to invoke a spark of passion in these kids for reef conservation and hope that many of them will go on to become marine biologists themselves. The knowledge they take can potentially inspire the beginning to the key of the future The Great Barrier Reef.
My role within the Reef Restoration Foundation revolves around fieldwork. Some days I spend 4 hours underwater tying coral fragments into a coral nursery in an attempt to increase their rates of growth and survival. I also teach people how to maintain the nursery. On occasion I use underwater video and photography to survey corals and to create awareness about how important they are. I like to influence the local community members of the diving industry and make them a part of the reef restoration process.
Being a research assistant at university had prepared me to leading conservation projects around Cairns with Reef Restoration and Parley for the Oceans.
Change doesn't happen by itself. It's a lifestyle and that passion to make a difference is what I try to impart on to the volunteers of Restoration or Parley and all the guests that are going to visit the reef.
There is instant gratification in ocean conservation as we're building a future for future generations including those who haven’t yet been born. I do not have hope for coral reefs around the world, because hope is what people do when they don’t have the power to act. I truly believe that we will take the necessary actions to protect coral reefs. I am looking forward to be able to participate at Pecha Kucha Night.