From the creepy crawly critters in the back garden to the curious creatures in rock pools along the shoreline, Sam Afoullouss has always had a curiosity to explore and understand the natural world.

Why you should listen

Childhood memories of his Moroccan auntie making remedies from a variety of flowers and leaves sparked a passion in Sam Afoullouss to understand how we can use the natural properties of life around us to find treatments for our illnesses. This passion drove him to study chemistry and biology at NUI Galway.

While studying for his degree, Afoullouss worked in Dr. Michel Dugons’ Venom Lab, testing the potential of turning spider venoms into medicines. It was in Galway, on Ireland's wild and wet west coast, where he was introduced to scuba diving. He instantly fell in love with the alien world just off our shores. The beauty of the unseen underwater world motivated him to share its wonder through photos and videos.

After finishing his degree, he combined his scientific interest in finding new natural medicines with his passion for the marine world to pursue a PhD in chemistry to search for future medicines in Ireland's hidden treasure, deep-sea coral reefs.

Sam Afoullouss’ TED talk