Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza, Executive Director Ocean First Institute

Mikki is passionate about sharing her love of the ocean. Mikki is one of the top shark researchers in the world. Her work focuses on the sensory biology and ecological physiology of sharks, skates and rays. Mikki is a tireless advocate for sharks and shark habitat. She seeks to to highlight their global population decline and to frame new directions for their conservation.

Mikki speaks, teaches and conducts research around the world including in South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Her outreach efforts have been covered by the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel's Shark Week, and CBC National Radio Canada.

Mikki strives to bridge the gap between research and public engagement. She believes that when people are aware, they care and when they care, they act. Her current position as Executive Director of Ocean First Institute allows her to promote research, conservation, and sustainability. The Institute also supports expeditions and a variety of education initiatives that reach students of all ages.

Mikki holds a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University and is the author of numerous scientific publications.

Deby Stabler, Program Manager Blue Certified

Deby is a sustainability expert specializing in analysis, reporting, and strategy to help communities and organizations reduce their negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts.


She leads Ocean First Institute's Blue Certified program, where her skills and passion synergize to spark positive global change through responsible tourism.


Deby enjoys exploring and caring for our natural world, so she is often seen promoting sustainability and conservation on her local mountain trails and even on vacation.

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BLUE CERTIFIED by OCEAN FIRST INSTITUTE            3015 Bluff Street         Boulder, Colorado 80301