Tierney Thys

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Tierney Thys
Thys in 2014
Alma mater
Occupation(s)Biologist, filmmaker
Known forNational Geographic Explorer

Tierney Thys (born 1966) is an American marine biologist, science educator, and National Geographic explorer.[1][2] In 1988 she earned a degree in biology from Brown University, and in 1998 she earned a doctorate in biomechanics.[3] She was formerly the director of research at the Sea Studios Foundation.[4] She was also the science editor for The Shape of Life and director for Strange Days on Planet Earth.[1] She has also written, narrated and produced short films.[5] Since 2000 she and her colleagues have been studying the giant ocean sunfish (mola).[3] In 2004 she was named a National Geographic "Emerging Explorer".[1] She has since joined National Geographic expeditions and developed a National Geographic children's television conservation series.[1]

She has given two TED talks, "Swim with the giant sunfish", and "The secret life of plankton".[4] As of 2015 she was producing an online series for TEDed titled Stories from the Sea.[5]

A chapter of Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean, by Fran Hodgkins, is about her, and she is briefly profiled in Girls Research!: Amazing Tales of Female Scientists.[1][6] Science Methods and Process Skills: Meet Tierney Thys, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, by Kathy Cabe Trundle, was published by National Geographic School Publishing in 2011.[7] A virtual aquarium in the educational game Animal Jam is named after her.

She is a certified pilot and diver.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Fran Hodgkins (22 June 2012). Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean. Dawn Publications. pp. 123–. ISBN 978-1-58469-469-4.
  2. ^ "National Geographic explorer Tierney Thys shines new light on ocean life - Earth Science | siliconrepublic.com - Ireland's Technology News Service". siliconrepublic.com. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  3. ^ a b "National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth . Troubled Waters . Tierney Thys, PhD". PBS. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  4. ^ a b "Tierney Thys | Speaker". TED.com. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  5. ^ a b "Meet Tierney Thys". Oceansunfish.org. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  6. ^ Jennifer Phillips (1 January 2014). Girls Research!: Amazing Tales of Female Scientists. Capstone. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-1-4765-4056-6.
  7. ^ Bell, Randy L.; Trundle, Kathy Cabe (2011). Science Methods and Process Skills: Meet Tierney Thys, National Geographic ... - Kathy Cabe Trundle, National Geographic Society (U.S.) - Google Books. ISBN 9780736277105. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
  8. ^ "Tierney Thys, Marine Biologist/Filmmaker Information, Facts, News, Photos". National Geographic. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved 2015-06-13.

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