Our People

Our mission

Reef Life Foundation has funded the research, design, and construction of marine restoration structures that mimic the complex, mineral composition of natural ecosystems. We deploy IntelliReefs to communities that rely on thriving ocean ecosystems for food, economic security, and coastal protection.

Our mission is to revitalize threatened ecosystems through holistic, scientific solutions. We are currently working towards building over a million square feet of reef by 2025, restoring dying coral reefs back to diverse and sustainable ecosystems, and strengthening the communities that rely on them.

What We Stand for

Cultivate Trust

Inspire collaborative, ocean-forward partnerships and research projects. Commitment to local ecological education

Respect the Environment

Ensure our actions preserve ecosystem integrity and biological complexity

Enhance Biodiversity

Our products and projects enhance biodiversity and resilience

Strive for excellence

Use data-driven solutions to provide best-in-world products, service, and employment opportunities

Engage Business

Partner with local business to protect nature and accelerate positive change

Our people 

Melody Brenna


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Melody Brenna has been working with Dr. Sobolev since 2002 creating advanced nanomaterials technologies. She is the original Co-founder of Milestone Architectural in Texas, which received multiple top small business awards. Applying her incredible expertise with material casting, Melody has dedicated her life to restore, revitalize, and protect ocean habitats through nano-science solutions. Her drive to accelerate scientific paths to global coral restoration is what inspires the rest of us to keep moving forward!

Konstantin Sobolev


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Dr. Sobolev obtained his Ph.D. from the Research Institute of Concrete and Reinforced Concrete (NIIZhB),  Russia, in 1993. He leads the Reef Life material science team and works as a professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin.  A major focus of Dr. Sobolev’s research and professional career has been on material strength and durability, which has played an important role in the development of the Oceanite mixtures used in Reef Life’s IntelliReef structures.

Guyon Brenna


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 Guyon Brenna was the Buckminster Fuller Catalyst winner in 2017 for oceanic structure design and was named one of the 30 Under 30 from Earth X. Guyon founded the Coral Infrastructure Company, which specializes in Coral substrate reconstruction with species-specific nanomaterial cementitious mixes and develops 3D design of art and modular ocean habitats. He also presented at the UN Hawaii, Ocean Conference, and Hague Netherlands on coral restoration through substrate creation.

Josh Hanes

COO & Operation Director

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Josh is a proud father and a graduate of the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in physics. He is an outdoorsman and adventure junkie who loves to hike, rock-climb,  canyoneer, catch waves on the beach and make giant sculptures with the sand (yes, you read that correctly). Josh has a talent for business startup operations and has served as CEO and COO on multiple businesses. He is an essential asset to maintaining and monitoring our projects and process at the Reef Life Foundation.

Emily Higgins

Marine Science & Communications Director

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Emily is a coral reef researcher who focuses on the rates and patterns of colonization, growth, and mortality of sessile benthic invertebrate assemblages on a suspended artificial reef, a benthic artificial reef, and the natural reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba. In our recent study, Emily found that IntelliReefs can increase the biodiversity of reef organisms even in very small areas and provide refuges to important fish and invertebrate species on degraded reefs.

Shelby Grassick 

Digital Design Guru

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Shelby is an animal lover, environmentalist and ocean advocate who works to connect people with nature through digital and graphic design, photography, and videography. With a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology specializing in sea turtle conservation, a post graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communications, and a long history in design, she works towards merging her talents in order to visually communicate scientific and environmental stories.

coral outplanting

Reef Life Foundation supports coral science research globally as well as the divers planting corals. Every Purchase goes into the

Create Homes for Corals Campaign

100% of the purchase or donation goes to support coral reef conservation Beginning with The Nature Foundation SXM, St. Maarten island in the Caribbean,         Stay Tuned for next Reef Site!

Reef LifeFoundation

© Reef Life Foundation. All Rights Reserved. 

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“Drastic changes must be made if we are to secure not only the future of the ocean and its inhabitants, but also subsequent generations of mankind.  The time has come to bring change to the ocean and to openly and honestly exhibit truly sustainable living for the future. Within the context of The Decade of Ocean Science,  said Ian Kellet, Global Project Bio-Tech Advisor for Reef Life