marah J. Hardt, PhD


For a quick, formal version of the tale told below, simply click here for my CV: Hardt_Marah_CV_09_16.pdf
Packed with fact, but lacking the fancy...

A Life Of Sea and stuff 
Born in Bermuda, I’ve been playing in the ocean for as long as I can remember.  Perhaps it’s evolutionary instinct, perhaps just early exposure, in any case, the sea has always felt like home. 

It is my work, and my refuge.  

It is the place where my intellect, passion, and spirit all converge.  The scientist in me sees species names and patterns of change, cause and effect; the writer and artist in me finds inspiration in the light and color, in the strange and familiar unfolding of life beneath the waves; the essence of me knows the peace that comes in the silence of a single breath, suspended in space, and the flawless beauty only Nature can carve out of an endless empty blue.

Innocence Lost  Around the age of 8 or 9, I began to learn about the ways people are damaging the oceans, and my interest in the life aquatic morphed from a fascination into a passion.  

I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist, with the goal of studying and protecting the ocean.  I took a rather circuitous path to get there though, involving an undergrad major in History of Science and a hiatus as a yoga teacher in Australia for awhile.  But in April 2007, after 5.5 years of exploring coral reefs and reading pirate journals, I received my PhD from Scripps Institution of  Oceanography.  

My experience in academia, however, led me to conclude that what the ocean needs right now more than anything— more than more science or statistics— is a voice. I want to be the Lorax who speaks for the seas. 
Into the now 

In this space between science and story, I can blend my creative and scientific sides to help find innovative solutions for the complex problems facing the ocean and all of us who depend (directly or indirectly) upon it. 

This journey led me first to work with the non-profit, Blue Ocean Institute ( where I was fortunate enough to work under the mentorship of Carl Safina, one of the most talented nature writers of our day. As a research fellow, I helped to develop a new climate change program and published numerous articles about climate change impacts on ocean life and other conservation issues.  

From there I entered the realm of the creative consultant.  I enjoy the opportunity to work on multiple, varied projects, engaging with brilliant minds from diverse backgrounds (from artists to designers to academics) to carve new solutions out of the knowledge that lays at our fingertips.   From creating handouts for elementary school kids to helping design ideas around the next big sustainable business venture in the world of fisheries, I thrive when tasked with imagining the possibilities for change— and then inventing ways to realize them.  See the Research section for more details about my current and past work.

Since 2014, I’ve been directing research over at Future of Fish. I think of myself as the Chief Ocean Scientist and Storyteller—it is a fantastic job that allows me to pull from my science and story brains. Check out our website to find out more about what we are up to.

Most recently, I’ve put the finishing touches on my first book, SEX IN THE SEA, which hit the bookshelves in Feb. 2016.  It’s been a tremendous journey and I’m excited to keep expanding this concept into a movement that can inspire more folks to join the ocean conservation movement. 

Underwater photos this page by Tim Calver.http://www.blueocean.orghttp://www.futureoffish.orghttp://sexinthesea.org
Currently on the Nightstand

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

The Righteous Mind : Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by John Haidt 

Crossing Open Ground by Barry Lopez

When not in the water or writing, I’m most likely 
playing with my family
trying out new recipes with local produce
listening to a podcast of Radiolab or This American Life