Antarctic Photographer; Co-Founder of The Last Ocean Project
John B. Weller is a writer, photographer and filmmaker who works to drive marine conservation around the world. In 2004, he and Antarctic ecologist David Ainley founded The Last Ocean Project – the first dedicated campaign for a marine protected area of the Ross Sea, Antarctica, and co-founded The Last Ocean Charitable Trust with New Zealand filmmaker Peter Young in 2007.
Weller’s photographs of the Ross Sea became the face of Antarctic conservation efforts worldwide. The Last Ocean Project helped start what would become a global coalition of organizations, scientists, diplomats and more than a million people, and eventually entrain the attention of world leaders. In 2016, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) finally adopted a Ross Sea marine protected area. It is the first large-scale international marine protected area and the largest MPA in the world.
Weller has also partnered with acclaimed cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs and an array of environmental organizations to conceive, create and deliver national-level media campaigns in support of marine conservation initiatives in many other crucially important regions of the world’s ocean. These campaigns have resulted in new shark and manta ray sanctuaries in the Bahamas and Micronesia, new marine protected areas in Indonesia, and new international law protecting manta rays.
Weller was named a SeaWeb Fellow in 2005, a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 2009, and has served as a Safina Center Fellow since 2014. He continues to work in defense of the ocean alongside a team of close collaborators and his wife Cassandra Brooks.