brookes pics
brookes pics

Brooke Bessesen is a marine biologist and award-winning author, who strives to inform and inspire protection for the natural world. She actively serves conservation through field biology, veterinary medicine, and wildlife rescue, and every animal connection strengthens her passion to preserve our planet's disappearing biodiversity.

Brooke earned her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, where she continues to work. Since 2010 she has been conducting marine studies in the remote Osa region of Costa Rica. While her research encompasses several charismatic species, her primary focus is the Golfo Dulce yellow sea snake, Hydrophis platurus xanthos. The 2017 description of this beautiful and rare serpent went viral in the media. To learn more about Brooke's scientific work click on the Golfo Dulce page, or read her profiles on Google Scholar and ORCID.

"Bessesen became interested in the yellow sea snake while surveying the biodiversity of the gulf in 2010. The region, she discovered, is a crucial habitat for many creatures, such as endangered green sea turtles."  —Newsweek

Brooke's seventh book Vaquita: Science, Politics, and Crime in the Sea of Cortez based on her first-hand experiences and research in Mexico led to presentations, interviews, and articles spanning the globe. She also wrote the Arizona Highways Wildlife Guide, as well as five children's books (including Look Who Lives in the Ocean!) that make science fun and accessible to early readers. Brooke has been honored with a Celebrate Literacy Award from the International Literacy Association, a Glyph Award, Judy Goddard Award, and Grand Canyon Reader Award nomination. She was the founder and director of Authors for Earth Day: between 2010 and 2020, she led an international coalition of award-winning authors who mentored young readers through special school visits, raising more than $100,000 for conservation.

"With her in-depth experience visiting with and educating young people, Brooke Bessesen truly understands their almost-innate passion for nature, saying 'They are both environmentalists and idealists, so they are just the kind of crusaders we need to combat the challenges of our changing world,'"  —Earth Day Network

Brooke is a certified veterinary technician who worked many years at the Phoenix Zoo and with wildlife rehabilitation organizations. She now deploys as a senior rescue responder (medical lead) for the Humane Society of the United States and is certified in swift-water rescue, large-animal operations, and other field tactics. She lives in Arizona with her husband, Kevin.