Vinicius (Vini) Souza, is a recent marine biology graduate from the University of California Santa Cruz. Having been born in Rio de Janeiro, being in and around the water was natural to Vini at an early age, instilling a love of the ocean that led him to pursue a career in marine science. Vini is passionate about conducting science that aims to address critical marine issues, in particular, research involving coral reef conservation and restoration.
His hobby as a coral aquarist fueled his interest in coral reef systems and led him to meeting Stephan. Since January of 2019, Vini has been an integral team member, assisting Stephan in maintaining a 130 gallon coral aqua culturing system. In addition, through weekly meetings, lab responsibilities, and grant writing, Vini developed an independent project comparing manual and automated zooxanthellae counting techniques. The experiences Vini has gained under Stephans mentorship has allowed him to continue maturing as marine scientist, learning lifelong skillsets that will be applied in all his future endeavors.