Abigail Kingsley Alling
Presently, she is, with John Allen, co-founder and CEO of Biosphere Foundation and its division, the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF), a non-profit corporation dedicated to the study of Earth’s coral reef ecosystems. PCRF maintains a research ship, The Infinity, which conducts its mission to study coral reefs worldwide.www.pcrf.org
As CEO of Biosphere Foundation, Ms. Alling heads up its design and development of a manned Mars Base Mission simulation project called “Mars on Earth.” This prototype Mars Base will simulate an inhabited Mars Mission on Earth to determine the feasibility of maintaining humans in a self-sustaining system.
From 1991-1993, Ms. Alling was one of the eight “biospherians” to live for two years inside Biosphere 2, a 3.15 acre Laboratory for Global Ecology. Inside Biosphere 2, she served as the Scientific Chief for over sixty research projects.
After the successful completion of the two year closure, she became the Assistant Vice-President for Biospheric Development. From 1986 to 1994, Ms. Alling was also the Director of Marine Ecological Systems at Biosphere 2, where she created and operated the largest artificial ecological marine system, a 1,000,000 gallon mangrove marsh and ocean coral reef.
Previously, Ms. Alling was the Expedition Chief on the RV Heraclitus for the “Circumnavigation of South America” Expedition, which included a six-week voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula to study humpback whale population genetics in collaboration with the National Cancer Research Institute. In 1985, she served as the marine biologist supervising the historic first successful release of two captive bottlenose dolphins back to the wild. Additionally, she has been the recipient of numerous grants to conduct cetacean research in the world’s oceans under the auspices of a variety of organizations, including: the World Wildlife Fund, United Nations, Tides Foundation, Institute of Ecotechnics and Marine Mammal Commission.
Ms. Alling is a Fellow of both the Linnean Society (UK) and Explorers Club. She also serves as a Committee Member of the Paris-based, Espace Mer.
Many documentaries have featured her work and have been broadcasted around the world. These include: Buddha and the Biosphere for Vis a Vis French Television and The Coral Dance for Asahi Japan and Canal + French Television. PCRF’s work on coral reefs aboard the RV Heraclitus will be featured in a forthcoming three part National Geographic Asia television program.
Ms. Alling is the co-author of ‘Life Under Glass’, published by Synergetic Press, a personal account of her experiences while living inside Biosphere 2, and has published numerous papers on cetaceans and closed systems.
She graduated cum laude from Middlebury College where she received her B.A. degree in Biology, and also received an M.S. degree in Environmental Studies, cum laude from Yale University.