Grace Young: ocean conservation

Leveraging my background in robotics and ocean engineering, my research focuses on developing underwater imaging tools for studying coral reefs. It furthers my larger goal of developing technologies and policies to better understand, manage, and conserve our oceans.

I spend a lot of time underwater, presently in the reefs off the Honduran island of Utila. With two fellow graduate students in Professor Alex Rogers’ Ocean Research & Conservation Group, we’re the first UK-based team using advanced rebreather technology for scientific diving. We can dive deeper (100m) and stay underwater much longer than traditional SCUBA, vastly expanding our underwater efficiency and research capabilities.

We’re racing against time to explore complex marine ecosytems that are little understood, yet fast disappearing. Our ultimate goal is to develop remediation technologies and policies for threatened ecosystems, upon which human survival depends. This is the challenge that drove me to Somerville. Our group is committed turning knowledge into action. It’s no accident that the Global Ocean Commission is headquartered at Somerville.
I’m incredibly fortunate to be a part of an impassioned team doing critical work, while at the same time interacting with international policy-making organizations that can act on our discoveries.

Somerville’s Grace Young is a Marshall Scholar and DPhil candidate in Oxford’s Ocean Research & Conservation Group. She earned her BSc. at MIT in Mechanical & Ocean Engineering. She’s worked at MIT, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CERN, and the Joint Quantum Institute developing software, marine robots, and imaging systems. Last year she lived underwater for 15 days as an aquanaut on Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 expedition.