Mehek Agrawal is a 20 year old international student from Mumbai, India pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree at Drew University, NJ. Now a senior, Mehek expects to graduate with a double-major in Biology and Studio Art, and a minor in Photography.
At the age of 15, Mehek earned her PADI certifications in Advanced Open Water and Nitrox diving. Her desire to understand and conserve the ocean emerged from her scuba diving encounters with marine life. Particularly, she was fascinated by marine species with unique abilities, such as tardigrades, a resilient micro-animal that can be found in all kinds of environments, including the depths of the ocean. Early in college, under the guidance of her research mentor, Mehek discovered tardigrades on her college campus and began to explore the role of tardigrade genetics and disordered proteins in provisioning these animals with an astounding capacity for desiccation tolerance. Ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was also given the opportunity to join a snorkel-based research field trip to scientifically study marine ecology more closely at South Water Caye, a pristine marine protected area, in Belize. Since then, Mehek has joined Earth Echo International initiatives including the global OceanEcho30x30 Youth Think Tank and OceanEcho30x30 Internship to continue working towards a healthier ocean remotely. She hopes that her scientific understanding of the ocean and artistic abilities will equip her in developing a robust campaign that will direct public attention in India towards the 30x30 mission.