Episode 32 – Gilbert the Grouper

In this second of a three episode series, Andres Hernandez reads his story of Gilbert the Grouper. The story explores concepts of resilience and was written as part of a Duke Engage summer program at Duke University Marine Lab.  The program was run by Dr. Liz DeMattia, director of the Community Science Initiative, with the assistance of PhD student Laura Givens, who was the site coordinator for Duke Engage, in 2022.  Following the ‘reading’, Laura interviews Andres on his experiences in the program and the logic of the story.

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Series Hosts

Lauren Givens head shot

Laura Givens is a PhD candidate in Dr. Tom Schultz’s Marine Conservation and Molecular Facility at the Duke Marine Lab. The focus of her research generally takes advantage of advances in genomic technologies to address community response to environmental change. Her current research uses environmental DNA to examine the success of oyster reef restoration and the extent to which introducing aquaculture supplements biodiversity. Laura graduated with a B.S. in Biology from California State University, Sacramento in 2018 and has received the Smithsonian Graduate Student Fellowship. She co-leads the coastal branch of the Scientific Research and Education Network and in her free time enjoys painting and beach walks with her dog. 


Twitter: @LGivens27 

Lauren Givens head shot

Dr. Liz DeMattia is a Research Scientist at the Duke University Marine Lab and the founding director of DUML’s Community Science Initiative. Liz has more than 25 years of experience conducting ecological research and developing environmental outreach for community-based conservation programs. When not working on education and conservation programs, Liz can be found swimming in the ocean, hiking in the forest, or hanging out with her family.



Andres Hernandez, author of ‘Gilbert the Grouper’

Andres Hernandez photo

Andres Hernandez is a sophomore at Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, where he plans to co-major in global health and international comparative studies with a minor in French. This Summer at the Duke Marine Lab, Andres worked with the Wildlife Resources Commission in producing a mockumentary and website with the goal of promoting sea turtle protection practices. He also collaborated with the Carteret County Public School System in building a Resilience curriculum and workshop. In his spare time, Andres enjoys tennis, fishing, and going to the beach.

Maggie Murray, illustrator of ‘Gilbert the Grouper’

Maggie Murray at work

Maggie Murray is a sophomore at East Carteret High School in Carteret County, NC and volunteered to bring the Duke Engage fables to life with her illustrations. The illustrations were completed with water colors and ink pen. When not drawing and painting, Maggie can be found playing her violin, swimming, or listening to true crime podcasts. 

Drawing of Ollie swimming

Find the illustrated version of the story ‘Gilbert the Grouper here.

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