Featured as an “Ocean Witness”

Ocean Witness Verena Big quote.JPG

“An Ocean Witness is a person who is dedicated to have a positive impact on preserving our oceans. Everyone contributes in his or her own way: from sharing their story and taking part in a local beach clean up to making use of sustainable fishing techniques and setting up a homestay for alternative income.”

Read Verena’s story here.


TEDxUWA talk “Super corals and the future of coral reefs”

presented on 2 December 2017 at the TEDxUWA “The Future Blueprint” conference


Public forum talk “Life on Australia’s wildest coral reefs – the quest for super corals”

I was invited to speak at the Public Forum of the Coral Reef Futures Symposium, which was held by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the Shine Dome in Canberra in June 2017.


Video “WA Corals in Crisis” for Particle science communication website

I was interviewed for Western Australia’s new science communication website Particle to speak about the unique – and much less well-known – coral reefs in Western Australia. Just like the Great Barrier Reef on the other side of the continent, Western Australia’s coral reefs are under threat from warming ocean temperatures. Read the full story here.


ARTE documentary “Verena Schoepf – Super corals”

Filming at the UWA Special Collections Library. Photo credit: UWA.

In 2015, I was selected as one of five female marine scientists to be portrayed in the documentary series “Women and Oceans”, which was filmed by Alexandra Sorgenicht and produced for German/French TV broadcaster ZDF/ARTE.

Aired in early 2016, this series features five episodes showing female marine scientists conducting research in the world’s five oceans. Among the portrayed women is for example Dr Sylvia Earle, a pioneer in the field of marine science who broke down many barriers for female scientists.

I spent three weeks of filming at field sites across Western Australia, though the main focus of my 45 min episode was my research on the “super-corals” of the Kimberley region. An international version of the documentary is currently in preparation.

Recently, the documentary was shown at selected movie theatres in Germany as part of a series of events to bring science to high school students (“Schulkinowochen”). I connected with the students live via Skype for a Q&A session.

Q&A session via Skype at the movie theatre in Bonn, Germany. Photo credit: Frauke Bagusche.


Communicating the impacts of the 2016 mass bleaching event on Australia’s coral reefs

As a member of Australia’s National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, I gave many interviews for national and international newspapers and radio stations to communicate the impacts of the 2016 mass bleaching event on Australia’s coral reefs, particularly in Western Australia. I also wrote articles for The Conversation and Science Network WA.

Please see In the news for more details.


Outreach officer during the Perth Canyon Research Cruise


In March 2015, I had the opportunity to serve as ship-based outreach officer during the Perth Canyon research cruise aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor.

During the 12 days at sea, I wrote daily blog entries, Facebook and Twitter posts, and facilitated media interviews for scientists on board. I also conducted live Google hangouts and skype video calls to connect high school and University of Western Australia (UWA) students directly to the scientists while doing research, and gave post-cruise presentations at UWA as well as at St. Stephen’s High School in Perth.


Articles for Science Communication websites

Schoepf V (2016) “The third global bleaching event took its toll on Western Australia’s super-corals”, The Conversation and Australian Geographic

Schoepf V (2016) “Perspective: local coral reefs battle bleaching conditions”, Science Network WA

Schoepf V (2015) “Even the super-corals of Australia’s Kimberley are not immune to climate change”, The Conversation


Other outreach activities

2018: Invited presentation at a community event showing “Chasing Coral” and raising awareness for coral reefs, organised by Peel Bright Minds and Little Genius, Mandurah WA

2018: Invited presentation at “Professors and Pints” – public event at the Australian Coral Reef Society Conference, Exmouth WA

2015: Presentation for the Kimberley Science Program – Teacher Workshop, The University of Western Australia

2014: Public lecture: “Resistance of Kimberley corals to future ocean warming”. Kimberley Marine Research StationCygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Western Australia

2013: Interviews with Hilliard Darby High School (Ohio, USA) students about ocean acidification

2012: 4Coral Research Group: Open House at the Reef Systems Coral Farm (Ohio)

2011: 4Coral Research Group: Open House at the Reef Systems Coral Farm (Oh