Welcome to the website of our book Heroes of the underwater forest! We are Stephie and Paula, two marine biologists, and want to raise awareness about the important and fascinating habitat of seagrass meadows.
Here you can find background information to our book and our projects with it.
The story behind the story
In the summer of 2020, Stephie had the idea of writing a children’s book. During her doctoral thesis she had done research on Zanzibar, an island off Tanzania’s coast, and the beautiful underwater captivated her. During her time on Zanzibar she first started to work on seagrass meadows and in the following year she focused her research on this beautiful underwater forests. Paula had also been to Zanzibar to work on her doctoral thesis and was immediately motivated to paint the illustrations. Inspired by the work of her friend and colleague Fay (yes, Fay and her daughter Chloe are real people!) Stephie wrote a story that teaches children how special seagrass meadows are, what threats these underwater forests are facing and what happens when they are destroyed. In addition, the story also shows what can be done to save them.
Due to the great support of the University of Oldenburg, the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) and Isensee Publishing in Oldenburg our dream could be realised. Many drafts and drawings later, our first children’s book is now finished!
Who we are
Stephanie grew up in a village in the Black Forest, Germany. Since she was little, she loved to dive in the ocean – her second home. Officially, she is working at the ICBM as a marine biologist, investigating seagrass meadows, tropical coral reefs, but also colorful reefs right in front of our doorsteps in the North Sea. In reality, she is probably off on her next adventure, busy making new friends underwater.
Paula always liked to paint. As a child she was rather afraid of the ocean, but that changed quickly once she was able to dive and look beneath the surface. She works as a biologist and studies the creatures under water. With her illustrations she wants to inspire others to love and protect them.