Renowned Speakers

on the Saroyan Stage

Cristina Mittermeier

Marine Biologist, Photographer

“Putting a Human Face on Climate Change: A Photographic Journey”

January 17, 2024 | 10:30am | William Saroyan Theatre

Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, “Mitty”, was born in Mexico City in 1966 and grew up in nearby Cuernavaca, in the sunny state of Morelos. Hailed as one of the most influential conservation photographers of our time, she has dedicated her entire life to protecting the World’s oceans – inspiring millions of people to do the same.  She graduated from the ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in Biochemical Engineering in Marine Sciences. She later attended the Fine Art Photography program at the Corcoran College for the Arts in Washington, D.C. She has three adult children, John, Michael and Juliana, all of whom are passionate about nature. She lives on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

In 2005 Mittermeier founded the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues and coined the phrase “conservation photography”.

In 2014 she co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization using strategic communications at the intersection of art, science, and conservation to protect and rewild the ocean for the benefit of biodiversity, humanity, and climate within our lifetimes. 

Cristina’s work has published in hundreds of prestigious magazines, including National Geographic, TIME, McLean’s, The Men’s Journal and O. Along with her partner, Paul Nicklen, she was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2018, and in 2021, she was featured in Welcome to Earth on Disney+. 

Cristina is honoured with many prestigious awards, including the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award, the Humanity Content Creator Award from HIPA and the Imaging Award for Photographers who Give Back. In 2021, she received the Seattle Aquarium’s Sylvia Earle Medal and Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award and was named one of the 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action. Additionally, she is a World Photographic Academy member and the first female photographer to reach 1 million followers on Instagram.

Cristina is a committed impact investor and an influential voice in bridging financial returns while creating a positive social and environmental impact.