2019 - Zale Parry Scholarship Recipient  

Emma Strand

Originally from Seattle, Emma Strand is currently an Evolution and Marine Biology Ph.D. student at the University of Rhode Island. Her diving career started as a coral reef research intern at Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) in Honduras. Emma’s work focused on conducting benthic and coral reef health surveys, aiding Roatán Marine Park’s lionfish management project, and maintaining Acropora spp. coral restoration nurseries. This experience fueled her passion for coral reef conservation and was extremely formative moving forward into graduate education. While completing her undergraduate degree at Loyola Marymount University, she was on the executive board of LMU’s SCUBA Diving club and assisted with planning boat dives to the Channel Islands. In the last several years, field work and diving has taken Emma around the world - diving in the Puget Sound, Southern California, Hawaii, Bermuda, and Honduras. Now a scientific and rescue diver for the URI SCUBA program, Emma aids with various laboratory’s field work and specimen collection around New England. 


Her research focuses on both the physiological and genomic stress response of corals to climate change stressors like warming waters and ocean acidification. To mediate declines in coral cover, coral conservation efforts have included coral gardening and more invasive measures like selective breeding and assisted evolution; however, long-term efficacy is not well defined. In order for these approaches to be successful, the genomic mechanisms, such as gene expression regulation and epigenetic markers, underlying an organism’s phenotypic response and potential for environmental memory need to be fully elucidated. Emma’s long-term career goal is to integrate this critical research with conservation efforts in order to create more effective restoration plans. After finishing her graduate education, she plans to pursue a full-time research position with access to diving programs, and science communication and outreach platforms to create inspired change and lead research-based ocean advocacy. 

“Effective change requires the support for conservation, which starts with education and exposure to the major issues threatening coral reefs today. SCUBA diving provides a unique opportunity for the non-science community to be involved in coral reef restoration efforts and expand their knowledge of current research. The opportunities that I have to push boundaries as a strong female scientist extend much further than my written dissertation, but in my outreach activities and diving career as well. I am very grateful for the support from the AUAS Zale Parry Scholarship and will continue to bring my research to a broader, non-scientific audience and inspire support for conservation through a common passion for diving.”


2018 - Diving Medicine Scholarship Recipient 





Dr. Peter Lindholm

Dr. Peter Lindholm is the 2018 recipient of the AUAS/DAN Diving Medicine Scholarship in support of his research project “Nitrogen gas uptake in breathhold diving.” 

Peter Lindholm MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Physiology at Karolinska Institutet and Senior Consultant in thoracic radiology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. His research field is the pulmonary system with special focus on diving.

He has studied humans in severe hypoxia and the mechanisms of loss of consciousness to improve safety in breathhold diving. Dr. Lindholm has shown that breathhold diving after fasting or heavy exercise facilitates holding one’s breath until loss of consciousness, which can explain some drowning accidents. Peter has also studied respiratory muscle training for divers and glossopharyngeal breathing (lung packing) to improve lung function in both competitive breathhold divers and patients with spinal cord injuries. He has studied pulmonary edema from lung compression and described tracheal squeeze from deep breath-hold diving as explanations for bleeding lungs after diving. He now proposes to further study lung function and lung compression in breathhold divers.