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Alumni Profiles

About SEA

Mike Gil

Marine Biologist, TED Fellow

About Mike Gil

SEA Semester year: 2007
College/University: University of Texas at Austin
Class: 2008
Major: Biology
Graduate School: University of Florida
Graduate Degree: PhD, Biology

SEA Semester graduate Mike Gil is passionate about the ocean, and about sharing that passion with others. As a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Davis, Gil studies human impact on marine ecosystems, and how social interactions among fish that eat harmful algae can counteract coral reef degradation. He was recently selected as a TED Fellow, and delivered a talk in August, 2017 at TEDGlobal stage in Arusha, Tanzania.

Gil is also the founder of, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation of science. He creates videos and gives talks which he says are designed to “reveal the lesser-known side of science: an adventure, accessible to all.”

Of his SEA Semester experience, he writes: “This was no ordinary sailing expedition; this was a science-intensive research cruise … to explore the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle. I thought I wanted to be a scientist before joining the crew, but it was the camaraderie of my shipmates, whose passion for science, sailing and the sea was infectious, that made me know I wanted to be a scientist.”

profile photo by Marina Garland

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