From discovering new fish to mapping the ocean floor, women scientists have done amazing things for our oceans. This International Women's Day, let's dive into the stories of ten women who made big waves in ocean science. Join us in celebrating their work and the discoveries they have shared with the world.

Rosa Smith Eigenmann


Rosa Smith Eigenmann broke gender barriers in marine science as one of the first widely published female ichthyologists. Her significant contribution included describing over 150 new species of fish.

Marie Tharp


Marie Tharp was a pioneering oceanographer who mapped the Atlantic floor. By revealing its mountains and canyons, she changed what we know about the ocean floor.

Katsuko Saruhashi

GEOCHEMIST | 1920-2007

Katsuko Saruhashi was a groundbreaking geochemist who created the first methods to measure carbon dioxide in seawater. She established the Saruhashi Prize, inspiring future generations of Japanese women in science.

Eugenie Clark


Eugenie Clark was an ichthyologist who revolutionised shark research and marine conservation. Besides dispelling myths about sharks and challenging the stereotype that they are dangerous killers, she also pioneered scuba diving for research purposes.

Dr. Tiara Moore


Dr. Tiara Moore is a marine ecologist and founder of Black in Marine Science (BIMS), a non-profit dedicated to highlighting and amplifying black voices in the scientific community.

Sylvia Earle


Sylvia Earle is a marine biologist and explorer who holds the deepest sea walk record at 381 metres. She was the first female to head  the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and boasts numerous discoveries and awards.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson


Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and co-founder of 'Urban Ocean Lab', a think tank developing equitable solutions at the intersection of climate, cities, and coasts.

Asha de Vos


Asha de Vos is a marine biologist and ocean educator, best known for pioneering blue whale research in the Northern Indian Ocean, and for her efforts to enhance diversity and inclusivity in her field.

Amani Webber-Schultz


Amani Webber-Schultz is a shark researcher and co-founder of 'Minorities in Shark Sciences', a non-profit supporting women of colour and gender minorities in shark science.

Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover


Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover is a deep-sea biologist who discovered new species of bacteria shrimp, tube worm and mussels. She was also the first female pilot of the Alvin, a research submersible.

Image credits: WHOI Women's Committee, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp, Getty - Contributor, St Petersburg Times | AP,, Tyrone Turner—National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy, Gilberto Tadday / TED, Spencer Lowell,, Daily Science