Back to the Sea: Marah Hardt

Continuing with our celebrations for Real Scientists’ third birthday, we have a special returning curator, Marah Hardt (@marahh20). We welcome Marah back to the curator’s role to talk more about her studies of underwater life – and underwater sex. We caught up with Marah to see what she’s been up to since her last stint that also began on Valentine’s Day last year.  You can find out more about Marah and her work in our intro here.
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Marah has since published her book, Sex in the Sea, moved across the US and continued with her work on the health of the oceans. Marah’s book looks at the whole life cycles of the life in the oceans: how they grow, reproduce, and how humans affect these cycles.
We’re also hosting a giveaway of Marah’s books this week, so watch out for trivia questions based on the science she tweets! We’ll be picking 4 lucky winners to get copies of Marah’s book. Welcome back, Marah, and Happy Birthday, Real Scientists!
What have you been up to since your curation stint – has anything changed, personally or professionally? (New jobs, new projects, in jail for embezzling grant funds etc)
This past year, I journeyed from the east coast to set up life as a mermaid in the mountains in Boulder, CO.  It’s my first time living away from the coast–ever. It has been an adjustment, but the Rockies are beautiful and we’re enjoying time out on the slopes.  My work as Research Co-Director at Future of Fish continues to be fantastic, challenging, and rewarding.  Our small, scrappy team continues to focus on bringing greater traceability and transparency into seafood supply chains—something desperately needed if we want to end overfishing and restore health and abundance to the sea.  Keep an eye out for our new research on Storied Fish (a topic I’ll tweet about as part of this week’s curation) coming in March.  You can find out more on Future of Fish and our work here: www.futureoffish.org.
And of course, since Valentine’s, I’ve been busy finishing writing Sex in the Sea.  I’m thrilled to have this book now out on the shelves, and sharing the marvelous world of undersea dating and mating games with a wider audience.  It’s been a labor of love about ten years in the making, and I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks!
What are your memories of curating @RealScientists the first time?
I absolutely loved my week curating last year. I remember most the surprise and curiosity—just having a reminder that so much of this material is new to folks, even die-hard ocean lovers or biologists.  Its a great feeling to get to share these stories and hear people’s reactions…
Has social media, particularly Twitter, changed the way you communicate about your research – and if so, how?
Yes.  I find that I’m more conscious of what I am doing in the short term, and how I can share progress on my work even if it is just partial progress, in order to keep connected.  I also heavily rely on Twitter as a news source. It’s my go-to to find out about recent publications, catch up on what’s happening at conferences I cannot attend, and so on.

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