CERF 2021 Keynote 

Presented by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
Founder of Urban Ocean Lab & Co-Founder of the All We Can Save Project

Keynote Speaker Dr. Ayana Johnson

About Dr. Johnson

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native. She is founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities, and is co-creator and co-host of the Spotify/Gimlet podcast How to Save a Planet. With Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, she co-edited the anthology All We Can Save, and co-founded The All We Can Save Project. Recently, Dr. Johnson co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including the ocean in climate policy. Previously, as executive director of the Waitt Institute, she co-founded the Blue Halo Initiative and led the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning effort. She also developed ocean policy at the EPA and NOAA, and was a leader of the March for Science. 

Dr. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology, with a dissertation on the ecology, socio-economics, and policy of sustainably managing coral reefs. The fish trap she invented to reduce bycatch won the first Rare/National Geographic Solution Search.

Her op-eds have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Time, and she blogs on Scientific American. She was named one of Elle’s 27 Women Leading on ClimateOutside Magazine called her “the most influential marine biologist of our time.”

Dr. Johnson serves on the board of directors for the Billion Oyster ProjectGreenWave, World Surf League's PURE, on the advisory boards of Environmental Voter ProjectOceanic, and Scientific American, and as a fellow at The Explorers Club. Her mission is to build community around solutions for our climate crisis. Find her @ayanaeliza.