Dr. Kerry Sink is the Marine Programme Manager and Principal Scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). She loves what she does, which entails exploring the ocean and mapping all the habitat types in South Africa’s oceans, assessing the state of marine biodiversity, supporting the establishment of Marine Protected Areas, and training a new generation of marine scientists with a passion for sustainable oceans.
Kerry is inspired by the infinite possibilities of the ocean, the discoveries, the beauty, the wonder and things that there’s yet to find out. The writings of South Africa's first marine biologist, John Gilchrist, has also inspired her to “go deeper, try harder and look more closely”. She says her students also inspire her to keep learning, try new methods and help maintain options for future generations.
We asked her how she feels about being a TEDxCapeTownSalon speaker, to which she responded that she’s “amped” and excited to participate in the event because of “the opportunity to share the special places in our oceans”. She hopes her talk will inspire others to take care of our oceans.
We fired a couple of off-the-bat questions at Sink to try and get to know her a little better.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
Like Moses - I would be able to part the ocean - just for a fraction of a millisecond - so I could get high-resolution satellite images of the seafloor in incredible detail.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
The octopus - just imagine what I'd get done with 8 arms!
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Way-way back... the Cambrian (600 million years ago) to witness life evolve in the early ocean.
Which fictional character do you wish you could meet?
Fiction! I am all about facts.
If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?