Meet Antonella: Biologist, Diver and Fantasy-Geek

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Dr Antonella Rivera, Program Manager

Dr Antonella Rivera, Program Manager

Recently, we welcomed Dr. Antonella Rivera to the Coral Reef Alliance family. Antonella is a Honduran biologist born in the city of Tegucigalpa and will work with local communities on fisheries reform and management efforts along the North Coast and Tela.

Antonella first became aware of the profound benefits coral reefs have on the sustainability of coastal communities while diving off the coast of Honduras in the Bay Islands. This new appreciation for reefs motivated her to earn a Ph.D. in marine socio-ecological systems from the University of Oviedo. Her multidisciplinary research background ranges from analyzing the management implications of larval dispersal to the use of perception research to assess the adaptive capacity of coastal communities. Through her studies and work experience with fishing communities in Europe and Latin America, she has become a firm believer in the need for bottom-up, holistic and adaptive conservation strategies. We are excited to have Antonella working in Honduras to protect the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, the Mesoamerican Reef.

Fun Facts about Antonella:

What’s your favorite coral reef destination and why?

My favorite coral reef destination is Guanaja in the Bay Islands (Honduras) because of the reef formations and underwater caves making you feel like you are part of the reef and not just an observer.

If you could be any reef animal, what would you be and why?

I would be a mantis shrimp; besides being cool looking, the mantis shrimp has sixteen types of color-receptive cones in their eyes, which allows them to see a variety of colors undetected by the human eye. I would love to see the reef through their eyes!

What was the last book you read?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

What’s one word to describe you?

Determined

Why are you excited about working for CORAL?

I am thrilled to be working for CORAL because I admire the multidisciplinary and participative approach CORAL employs in coral reef management and conservation.

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