We are extremely proud to announce Colin Foord as the second speaker for ReefStock 2012, alongside Tony Vargas. Colin Foord is a marine biologist and artist educated at the University of Miami and James Cook University (Australia). He is one half of the marine biological art-duo Coral Morphologic, whose mission it is to bridge the gap between art and science with the aquarium as their primary medium.
Without exaggeration Colin is one of the brightest young minds in the wider world of marine life, as his exploits go beyond just marine aquariums, nature photography and creative marine life inspired art exhibitions. We’ve been after Colin to speak at ReefStock for a few years but he’s so busy doing that this is the first chance he’s had to come speak in the Denver Colorado and boy what a talk it will be!
To our knowledge Colin Foord is the only TED-alumn from the marine aquarium scene; his ReefStock presentation will be the first of its kind to take a phenomenal TED talk and expand it for a full length aquarium event presentation. In case you missed it, here is the TED talk that Colin gave about the ‘Urban Corals of Miami’ with his Abstract for ReefStock below the video.
Abstract: Colin will take us on a tour of the ‘Urban Corals of Miami’ that will impress with just how remarkably hardy and opportunistic corals really can be. Beginning from satellite imagery of Miami’s unique geographic location, he will zoom us down to the micro habitats that have developed within a man-made framework of islands, tidal cuts, and artificial reefs (both intentional and unintentional). With these corals in mind, Colin will explain what he sees as the metaphorical similarities of the city and the reef, and how our hobby can foster positive contribution to our scientific understanding of coral reefs worldwide.
Bio: Through Coral Morphologic, Colin is currently working on a collaborative multi-media project titled ‘Aqua/Cultural Transformation’ with the Miami Science Museum to promote its new $275 million facility and their future aquarium exhibits. This two year Knight Foundation-funded project will utilize living corals to create a naturally fluorescent and pop-culturally relevant iconography for the city of Miami. Colin is also currently filming corals for a Fulldome Cinema production titled ‘Rekindling Venus’, that is slated to premier world-wide at the Royal Observatory Planetarium in Greenwich, England during the Transit of Venus on June 5th, 2012.
In addition to his artworks, Colin recently co-authored a paper (in review) on the first comprehensive genetic analysis of the zoanthid diversity of South Florida, including the discovery of several likely undescribed species. Outside of Florida, Colin has explored the coral reefs of Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. Before launching Coral Morphologic, Colin spent nearly a year living in Bali working for the Marine Aquarium Council where he was tasked with teaching local fishermen how to farm corals as a sustainable alternative to more destructive fishing practices. It is his goal to promote aquaculture as the means of developing a more sustainable reef aquarium hobby.