Christine Figgener is a German marine conservation biologist and ocean advocate. As a doctoral student at Texas A&M University, she is writing up her dissertation on sea turtle trophic and movement ecology. Before starting her PhD, Christine worked in marine turtle research and conservation in Central America for over a decade and is the founding member of the grassroots organization Costa Rican Alliance for Sea Turtle Conservation & Science (COASTS) in Costa Rica.
Her shining public moment is a viral video from 2015 that documented the removal of a plastic straw from an olive ridley turtle's nose. That video helped inspire the now-global anti-straw movement, leading to several straw bans by businesses such as Starbucks, Disney, and Alaska Airlines. It has also given her a voice in the conversation around the use of single-use plastics and other environmental issues affecting marine life. She was recently named a "Next Generation Leader" by Time Magazine, and was identified as a Texan of the Year finalist by the Dallas Morning News.