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A Quick Interview with Communications Officer, Maya de Paz

Thrilled to meet you!
Introducing our Communications Officer, Maya de Paz

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What’s been the highlight of your time at Ocean Census so far?

At the time of answering this question, I have only been at Ocean Census for two weeks. However, I’ve already had a really insightful experience here. It’s been lovely meeting everyone in person, getting to know each individual’s role, and understanding how it all fits together (like our own mini marine ecosystem!).

A highlight for me has been getting involved with the launch of the Arctic Deep expedition in my first week. It was great to see all the excitement come together, and I can’t wait to find out what we discover!

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish in your first few months here?

As I settle into Ocean Census, I’m hoping to come out of my shell a little bit (I had to include a fish pun – I am so sorry). I want to put forward creative and innovative ideas for the website and communications in general and, in turn, grow my professional confidence.

I’d love to get involved with all the exciting campaigns we have coming up and find unique ways to share these communications with the world.

Why are comms so important during Ocean Census expeditions?

When it comes to the importance of communications, I always like to use the analogy of someone holding up a signpost. If no one is pointing you to the latest discoveries or incredible newfound knowledge, how is the audience—whether that’s the scientific community or the general public—meant to know what’s going on?

I think communications are fundamental to the Ocean Census expeditions. Getting the word out about what we’re doing captures the public’s imagination and the attention of newsrooms, which spreads the word further. This amplifies our fascination with the ocean and highlights how important discovering new marine species is to our lives.

What’s your favourite memory/experience of the sea?

My most recent experience of the sea has to be my favourite. In September 2023, I stayed near Dubrovnik, Croatia, while working remotely for a month. I had the luxury of snorkelling every morning in the crystal-clear waters, as the rocky coves were only a five-minute walk from my accommodation.

The waters were perfectly calm and so warm – it was like getting into a bath!

Diving under the undulating waves, I experienced a whole new world. From colourful wrasse to the crackling of urchins, to even spotting a few eels and octopuses, there’s an incredibly complex ecosystem under there, and I feel lucky to have been a spectator.

Favourite sea creature?

This changes very often as 1) I am indecisive and, 2) there are just so many incredible species out there that I want to give them all a spotlight. But right now, I’m really fascinated by the Giant Phantom Jellyfish (Stygiomedusa gigantea). There’s something amazing about its ribbon-like arms that almost make it look like it’s made of velvet. I just think they’re really cool!


Interested in finding out more about the expeditions comms Maya gets involved with? Take a look at our live and past expeditions.

Featured image credits: 2021 MBARI

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