Yara is a marine scientist interested in biogeography, phylogeny, taxonomy and biodiversity. Her main research focus on nudibranchs, but she has also collaborated on a range of other projects including seahorse surveys, creation and management of a manta ray database, humpback whale population studies and reef monitoring. For the past a decade and half, Yara is dedicating her life to the conservation and study of marine life.
Educated in Brazil, Australia and Spain, Yara completed her PhD in October 2017. For her PhD she investigated the diversity of nudibranchs of Mozambique; which resulted in an inventory of about 270 species of nudipleura and description of nine new species for science. A beautiful nudibranch was named after Yara in honor of her contribution to our knowledge of the western Indian Ocean nudibranchs (Hypselodoris yarae Gosliner & Johnson, 2018).
Yara’s story goes beyond academy. Before university she participated in several environmental education programs, during her university she internship at the Fisheries Museum and after completed her degree, she internship for two years at Projeto Recifes Costeiros. There, she learnt the challenges and joy of marine conservation in the most practical way. She taught local fisherman to dive and monitoring the reefs and got hundreds of kids interested in marine life.
She moved to Australia to get further training in marine science and reef monitoring. Yara volunteered in uncountable number of research projects, whenever someone needed a hand (or a diver), she would be there, regulator in, mask on, ready to go.
In 2009 she moved to Mozambique and founded the Zavora Marine Lab. At first, the only thing she had was an idea and a dream. By putting these elements together with willpower and a few good people she transformed this dream into a field laboratory. Like that (and lots of hard work and new grey hair) she built what is now the Zavora Marine Lab. Following her principles and conservation ideas, the building uses environmental friendly techniques, including bottle and can walls.
Yara is now a researcher collaborator of the lab. and is currently working at the Instituto Universitario de Investigation Marina (INMAR), University of Cadiz as a field technician assisting scientists to collect biological and physical-chemical data for their project, managing the marine invertebrate collection of the INMAR and contributing to diverse nudibranch research.