I spoke with two jellyfish experts about Nyad’s claim that Dr. Yanagihara is the world’s foremost box jellyfish expert . One said:
Angel Yanagihara is not the world’s expert on jellyfish. Yanagihara studies jellyfish venom proteins and mainly conducts biochemical assays for the purpose of eventually mitigating the effects of Alatina alata stings…. Yanagihara is an avid diver and world traveler, two skills that have facilitated her ability to collect specimens of both common and rare jellyfish specimens…. Therefore, she is co-author on several box jellyfish systematics publications.
The other was a tad less diplomatic.