Lauren de Vos

Twenty-four-year-old Lauren de Vos’s work as a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Marine Research Institute contributes to a growing body of scientific knowledge aimed at protecting our vulnerable oceans. In a bid to uncover a method to overcome the challenges facing regular marine monitoring of our coastline, de Vos conducted the first GoPro underwater camera survey of False Bay. An avid pianist, de Vos has channelled her creativity into finding innovative ways to communicate science. She writes regularly and edits her photographic footage into knowledge capsules that inspire her audience to fall in love with “the barefoot joy to be found in the wilderness”. de Vos often speaks publicly and has represented South Africa at United Nations Environment Programme conferences in Kenya and South Korea. She is proudest of the regular talks she gives in schools that encourage younger generations to recognise their individual role in conservation and their potential as future scientists. — Taryn Mackay