Afelandra Gonzalez began her professional life as a model but always knew that science would be her calling. Today, she is a marine biologist specializing in the study of opisthobranches (sea slugs and nudibranchs). Afelandra is responsible for discovering several new species of nudibranchs in the Sea of Cortez; these finds led to her collaboration with various national and international institutions.
Afelandra combines her investigations and scientific publications with a career as a PADI Instructor and field producer in film and television broadcast. Her broadcast credits include productions for Animal Planet and the BBC, which have led to a somewhat dramatic increase in the size and type of animal she studies. Afelandra’s passion for the ocean is evident. Her mission is to ensure more people fall in love with the ocean and to conserve it.
Currently a PADI Instructor at Cortez Expeditions in La Paz, Mexico, Afelandra continues to take PADI courses that increase her level of knowledge and skills for diving. “I hope to make more people fall in love with nature so they know the wonder of the aquatic world through diving,” she says. “I believe you cannot want to take care of something or respect it if you do not know it. I love that throughout a dive I can see how people totally change their perspective. It is the perfect time to raise awareness and send them back home with a new vision. By doing so, they can share their passion with more people and form a huge chain of awareness and love for wildlife, thus ensuring the future of ecosystems.”
- Discovered and named several species of nudibranch
- Became a PADI Instructor
- Worked and appeared on a BBC Natural History Unit episode with Sir David Attenborough, “Light on Earth”
- Became a PADI Tec Diver, learning to use double tanks and perform deep dives