Juli Berwald portraitMarine invertebrates stole my heart on my first snorkel in the Red Sea during college. Hoping to study the ocean forever, I spent seven years building mathematical algorithms to interpret satellite imagery of the ocean, receiving my Ph.D. in ocean science.

My husband stole my heart next, and I drifted away from the ocean to Austin, Texas to be with him. Over the years, we added two children and a couple of dogs to our family.

Landlocked, I began writing textbooks and popular science articles for National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, NatureScience, The Wall Street Journal, Discover, The Smithsonian, and Texas Monthly among others. Eventually, the story of jellyfish led me back to the sea. Once there, I stayed, writing a book about corals as well.

Even though I still live at a physical distance from the ocean, my mind is usually surfing among the waves. My two kids call the look I get when I've drifted off to a story I'm trying to work out "the stare."

I find the moments when the stare overtakes me one of the sea's greatest gifts. There's nothing I love more than writing about the oceans and its creatures, and sharing all of my wonder with readers.