Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Morikawa

Megan Morikawa

Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar Group

Dr. Megan Morikawa is the Global Sustainability Office Director at Iberostar Group where she leads the work that is being done under the company's Wave of Change movement, an initiative based on three complementary but different action lines: eliminating the consumption of single-use plastics, promoting responsible seafood consumption and the improvement of coastal health.

Dr. Morikawa joined Iberostar in early 2018 to work as an advisor for the company's work in coastal health, focusing on leading the on-ground research on coral reef restoration in the Americas. She now leads a strong sustainability team along with Gloria Fluxà, who is part of the company's fourth generation leadership and ownership, in scientific actions for Wave of Change's three pillars and to connect Iberostar Group with the greater scientific community to provide a strong foundation towards the movement's action lines.

Dr. Morikawa received her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Duke University with a personalized major titled Conservation Biology and Genetics: Applied Environmental Sciences, where she was a Robertson and Udall scholar. She received her PhD at the Palumbi Lab at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, where she conducted research on multi-species coral nurseries to see if coral reef restoration can be made ready for climate change using genomic tools to unveil natural diversity in reefs in the Pacific. Dr. Morikawa also studied the impacts of seasonal shifts in coral transcriptomes on the response during bleaching stress. As a postdoc at University of California, Santa Barbara, she worked on testing the feasibility of multi-species and climate resilient coral nurseries in the Caribbean.

Dr. Morikawa is passionate about the science that provides a technical solution to a real-world problem. She is also passionate about communicating that research in creative ways and thinking creatively about solutions and applications.

Please visit http://www.grupoiberostar.com/en for more information.

Dr. Morikawa can be contacted at +1 8553789011170 or Megan.morikawa@iberostar.com

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.