Aggie lands on Time Magazine's list of 'Next Generation Leaders'

Published: Oct. 11, 2018 at 8:34 PM CDT
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An Aggie marine biologist who made a viral video about the dangers of plastic straws has landed on a prestigious list of world-wide leaders published by TIME magazine.

In August 2015, Christine Figgener, 34, discovered a sea turtle in Costa Rica with a plastic straw lodged up its nose. Outraged at the extreme discomfort to the creature, Figgener filmed her research crew removing the straw from the turtle’s nose, blood oozing from its nostrils.

"Though Figgener’s video is three years old, it continues to make waves. In July it was credited with helping galvanize broader support for moves by major companies like Starbucks and American Airlines in phasing out plastic straws," according to TIME magazine.

Since 2014, TIME’s biannual Next Generation Leaders franchise, produced in partnership with Rolex, has featured more than 60 young people who are blazing new trails in politics, entertainment, fashion, science, sports and more. And many have gone on to make a profound impact on the world.

"I am incredibly proud and humbled to have been granted this honor," Figgener told News 3's Rusty Surette.

"My video has provided me a platform and a voice that I have never dared to hope for. I hope that I will be a role model for many young people, especially girls, and I hope I will inspire more people to rethink their plastic habits," she said.

"Many people asked me how they could support my work after seeing the video or where they could donate and it inspired me to launch this campaign to ask for funding to continue my research to reveal the secrets of sea turtles and protect them and their habitat," she said.