Octavio Aburto at the intersection of science, art, and conservation

Starling murmurings have always fascinated me. Their sheer beauty and the seeming impossibility of such elegant and synchronized movements, swooping and swirling, turning and twisting where each bird moves with seven others, kindred waves of wings, are images that can humble. Can humans work together in that manner?

Then I saw this video of Octavio Aburto filming a "tuna tornado," a vast underwater swarm of murmuring Jack Fish, and I was again reminded of the expansive and continually surprising beauty of this planet and how humans like Aburto bring their various talents to bring us this and other stunning images. This led me to his social media accounts and stories about his conservation research, award-winning photography, and his dedication and passion for saving the planet from human devastation.

"Octavio is the Director of the Gulf of California Marine Program. He is an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and a professional photographer associate with the International League of Conservation Photographers…his research and photographs have focused on marine protected areas and commercially exploited marine species in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the U.S. His photographs have been part of several conservation projects worldwide and have won international photography contests, including a gold place in the Our World Underwater 2016."

Here is a video and audio of Aburto sharing his work.

Aburto's numerous and simply mind-haltingly gorgeous documentary projects include still and video images of reefs in Cabo Pulmo, Baja California, Mexico; the Coral Atoll and American Crocodiles in Banco Chinchorro, in Quintana Roo, Mexico, near Belize; kelp forests in the San Benito Islands; and a Fishing Cooperative in Punta Abreojos, among many others.