Oscar Svensson, 24, was born on the west coast of Sweden but was raised in the middle of the country far from the sea for the first years of his life. Fortunately his family spent every summer at the coast and when he was ten years old they finally moved there and had the sea within walking distance. From the very start Oscar loved water, and spent as much time as possible during the short Swedish summers snorkelling. This led to his interest in marine life from a very early age. At the age of thirteen he took his first dive course at the local club and loved every minute of it.
For high school he moved to the small town of Lysekil which is a center for marine biology in Sweden and started his education in the marine sciences.
He has continued on the marine path with courses in Marine Biology at the University of Gothenburg, but currently he is a final year undergraduate student in Biotechnology with the aim of combining these two paths. One of the things that led him to the field of biotechnology is his interest in the use of algae for production of bio fuels, an environmentally friendly energy source with great potential. Oscar has been involved in a nationwide students’ organization between all the universities offering education in biotechnology in Sweden with the aim to further collaboration between all schools to promote this science to society.
In diving he has continued his education and is currently a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and has worked as an instructor both in Sweden and on live-aboards in Thailand. During his courses he tries to introduce people to the underwater world and the life to be found there to further their awareness of the marine environment. A 2°C dive at home is just as much fun as a tropical dive abroad; both have great beauty and things to discover. With 650 dives under his belt he knows there is still a lot to learn and just recently completed a Technical Diving Basic Skills course as a first step into technical diving. Apart from diving he has a background in swimming and various martial arts. He also enjoys nature above the surface in the form of hiking and snowboarding with friends.
Through the scholarship Oscar hopes to learn more about the exploration of the sea and how can we move forward in a responsible way. He also wants to know more about how to convey the knowledge gained to a wider public so that they see the value of the marine environment, because what we value we want to protect. “I am honored to be selected as the 2012 European Rolex Scholar and look forward to experiencing the variety of the underwater world, knowing that I will learn much from the people I meet along the way.”