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Alexis Chappuis

National Geographic Explorer Alexis Chappuis is a French marine biologist, technical scientific diver and underwater photographer who spent hours on and under the sea, documenting ocean biodiversity and human impacts like plastic pollution and fisheries. He has been living in Indonesia since 2014, gaining extensive knowledge of the inherent complexity of the Malay Archipelago. There, he is leading pioneering scientific expeditions, co-supported by grants from the National Geographic Society and in close collaboration with local universities.

Believing that we best protect what we know, he and his team are using Close Circuit Rebreathers to document for the first time – in some of the remotest parts of Indonesia – one of the least-known habitats of our Blue Planet: Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems. These deep-reef environments are challenging to investigate with regular open circuit diving as they are typically found beyond recreational dive limits, at depths of 40 to 150 metres. Images play a crucial role in Alexis’ work, showcasing the unseen and the unknown. They are a non-destructive way to collect important scientific information, and they help reconnect people to the natural world by conveying emotions and raising awareness. This makes them a powerful medium to encourage behavioural change and advocate for better conservation of our oceans.