4 Sep September 4, 2019 in Expedition CoordinatorBacalar Chico, Belizeaiara@blueventures.orgAiara is Brazilian, born and raised in João Pessoa in the Northeast coast of Brazil, and holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Biological Sciences. As everyone that grows up in a tropical coastal city, she has always felt connected to the sea. Her interest in marine biology and conservation increased after her first snorkelling experience, where she was fascinated by the environment and animal’s different colors, shapes and behaviors. Yet, she was also concerned about their future in the face of so many threats. Months later, she got her first PADI certification and after each dive, she was more and more certain she wanted to pursue marine sciences (and so she has done!). She believes in the power of integrating diving, research and environmental education to drive action towards the protection of marine ecosystems and guarantee the sustainable development of the human communities they support. Her latest research regarded the diversity of fishes on shipwrecks in her region. While in Brazil, she worked in dive centres particularly in the ecotourism sector, also assisted in scientific surveys focused on the marine fauna (e.g. fishes, corals, and turtles) and participated in the process of creation of a Marine Protected Area. Her favourite activities have always some to do with water: diving, surfing, swimming, traveling to different beaches… For her, life is much better with sandy toes.