Team WiseOceans

Team WiseOceans

Abbie Hine MSc, Founder & Managing Director of WiseOceans

Abbie is a marine educator and coral researcher, with over 18 years experience of educating people of all ages and abilities and many more years submerged and passionately embracing everything marine conservation related.  Abbie has spent many years working in various countries on coral reef research expeditions; coordinating volunteers, surveys and science training, and liaising with in-country partners and providing advice on coastal management issues. Following these years teaching volunteers to identify and survey vulnerable reefs, Abbie undertook a MSc. in Tropical Coastal Management.   Her final research paper looked into marine education being used as a form of management to reduce damage to coral reefs; the paper was presented at the 2007 International Pacific Marine Educators Conference (IPMEC) in Hawaii.

Abbie also worked as a resident marine biologist and environmental advisor for luxury resorts in Maldives for three years.  During this time, working knowledge of an educational programme for resort guests was obtained.  Simultaneously, Abbie worked on a coral propagation project.  This project visibly showed that not only did the reef’s health increase, but it also acted as an extensive source of education for the guests and local schools, and as a tool to spread awareness. Since then Abbie has worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a reef restoration and education project for Save our Seas Foundation (SOSF).  The education element of this project expanded and moved to Seychelles where Abbie coordinated a large marine awareness project in association with SOSF.  In 2011 Abbie founded WiseOceans, a concept she’d been mulling around for many years.

Over the years Abbie has worked on a number of different research and educational projects over the years including: coral recruitment, reef monitoring, reef rehabilitation projects, turtle nesting surveys, manta ray research, whale shark and plankton research, fish identification, abundance and diversity studies. Additionally, Abbie is a Trustee for GVI Trust and Education & Outreach Consultant for The Manta Trust. Abbie’s latest achievement is the arrival of daughter Martha; already a big fan of splashing in the bath, Martha is a future scuba diver and marine ambassador for sure!

“Education is a brilliant way to increase our enjoyment of the oceans and life within them.  But more importantly, education is key for helping to preserve the marine environment.  Education can stir up a sense of wonder for the oceans’ beauty and a compassion for their vulnerability.  Ultimately aiming to encourage a sense of ownership for the essential resource that is our oceans. Growing up by the coast, nature and the sea played a big role in driving me towards a career in marine science.  Learning to dive clinched the deal and has resulted in me spending many years submerged and passionately embracing everything marine conservation related. Every dive, every snorkel, every walk along the coast you learn something new, inspired by how incredible the natural world is and there is nothing quite like sharing that with other people and helping them learn to conserve the wonders around them.”

Lindsay Sullivan MSc, Director of Finance

Lindsay Sullivan

Lindsay has a degree in Mathematics and an MSc in Applied Marine Science, and has spent many years in coral reef conservation and education. She began, as many of us do, as a volunteer – first volunteering on a reef conservation project in Mexico and then later as a reef ranger on Chumbe Island in Zanzibar. Through subsequent roles in Seychelles and the Maldives, Lindsay gained an in-depth understanding of the reef ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean, and also came to realise that education and awareness-raising amongst the general public are vital to the long-term conservation of our oceans. Some years later, while working for the Wildlife Trusts in the north-west of England, engaging the public and policy-makers alike on the conservation of the Irish Sea, Lindsay found that the UK seas face the same issues – lack of knowledge of the wonderful and diverse wildlife and habitats, over-exploitation, lack of protection. In 2013, with the absolute belief that education is the key, Lindsay joined Abbie in Seychelles as WiseOceans was just starting out. Over the years Lindsay has developed WiseOceans’ invaluable programmes at resorts, designing and implementing reef restoration projects and bespoke experiences for resort guests to inspire a love for the oceans. As the company grew and our team of passionate marine educators expanded, Lindsay moved back to the UK and dusted off those mathematics skills… Lindsay is now WiseOceans’ Director of Finance and lives on her livery yard in the Lake District with her lurcher pup, Jack.

“Although I have always loved the sea, I was a late starter into the marine world, and didn’t do my first snorkel until I was 21. And I was surprisingly nervous! But I can still remember it now, and it truly changed my life. There is a whole world beneath the ocean surface that is just mesmerising. I want to be a part of the team of people working to keep it that way.”

Bec Atkins, Director of Operations

Bec has had a varied career in the scientific research sector, starting her career over 15 years ago in toxicology and pharmacology research. Bec has always been fascinated by the marine world but her first encounter with manta rays and whale sharks in Australia in 2005 during a career break, which also saw her learn to dive, had her hooked! Bec returned to work in the UK, knowing her future path was forever changed. A couple of years later, answering the yearning to contribute to something worthwhile and close to her heart, Bec spent time abroad in Borneo and Vietnam working on community conservation projects with Raleigh International and later worked as a dive instructor; experiencing first-hand the challenges our oceans face, working with local communities and the tourism industry, Bec knew she wanted to be a part of the solution.

Bec returned to the UK and undertook an MSc in Marine Environmental Management, which saw her spend three month’s in the Maldives with the Manta Trust’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project, conducting research into manta tourism, and more specifically, human interactions, behavioural impacts and management implications; this would later be used to help inform a Code of Conduct for manta ray tourism. After completing her MSc, Bec worked in marine conservation as a Researcher and later as a Marine Lead Adviser for Natural England, and was a Trustee of the Manta Trust for several years before spending three years as the Manta Trust’s Director of Operations.

“I have loved the sea for as long as I can remember, and have always been drawn to being near it, on it or under the surface at every given opportunity! There’s nothing quite like seeing someone’s face when they learn to dive or snorkel and get to experience the wonder of the underwater world or a coral reef for the first time. I am deeply passionate about ocean conservation and the role we can all play in ensuring we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy it and most importantly, that it teems with life and thrives such that all life that depend upon it can continue to do so. I am excited to be a part of the WiseOceans team, where education and communication is at the heart of getting us all inspired to make a difference, and making sure that we all play our part”.

Charlotte Orba, Education & Communications Manager

Charlotte’s first career was in music, ending up as a Head of Department for degrees in Popular Music and Music Production at Leeds College of Music. She took a career break and joined a three-month marine conservation volunteer project in Seychelles. This led to a career change and a job with WiseOceans as a Marine Educator – combining her experience in education with her newfound love of marine life.  After three years in Seychelles, Charlotte returned home to the UK and now leads on all aspects of Communications for WiseOceans as well as our Dive into the Classroom programme. She has a particular passion for encouraging others to make sustainable lifestyle choices that help protect and conserve our marine life. 

“The ability to make a difference to the planet we live on and the oceans within was the impetus for my career change from music to marine conservation.”

Krishna Ashok, Marine Discovery Programmes Manager (based in Seychelles)

Krishna Ashok

Krishna grew up by the South-East coast of India. He then travelled to Newcastle, UK to study for an MSc in International Marine Environmental Consultancy. He returned to India to work and time as Education Officer with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ Environmental Team made him realise that environmental education was where his heart lay. Krishna moved to Seychelles to become a WiseOceans Marine Educator  – working on Mahé and Desroches in Seychelles as well as in Mauritius.  He now manages WiseOceans’ Marine Discovery Programmes, helping to develop innovative and quality marine education across the globe and supporting our growing team of Marine Educators.

“I used to go swimming in the sea since a very young age with family and friends. Soon I started to wonder what was under the waves! The fascination that there are such incredible creatures thriving in an environment so drastically different than the one we are used to is never-ending.”

Ben Taylor, Education & Outreach Manager (based remotely)

Ben studied Marine and Freshwater Biology BSc at Aberystwyth University, Wales, complementing his studies with practical experience as an environmental educator in Georgia, USA and turtle conservation in Cape Verde and Seychelles. After completing an MSc in International Marine Environmental Consultancy at Newcastle University Ben returned to Seychelles to work as a science officer for a marine conservation volunteering programme. Joining WiseOceans, he led and developed exciting schools and community programmes in partnership with the Seychelles Department of Education.  Ben is currently working remotely and developing further opportunities for innovative marine conservation and outreach.

“Education is at its best when it is fun, engaging and passionate! One inspirational teacher is all I needed to become a marine biologist. Now it is my turn to share this knowledge and help to inspire the next conservationists of the future, and help to preserve the marine environment.”

Bernard Toinette, Marine Educator (Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita)

Bernard comes from the beautiful island of Mauritius and, having always lived near the coast, feels very connected with the oceans and the marine life within. He worked as forest guide at Valley de Ferney Nature Reserve and then on the ocean as a skipper, diver, sailing and water skiing instructor.  Seeing the degradation of the reefs in Mauritius after spending 20 years on the sea made Bernard want to join the WiseOceans team and contribute to its conservation and protection. As well as taking guests and resort staff out on guided snorkels, Bernard takes a lead on the La Passe Cadet Reef Restoration Project which aims to restore 10,000 sqm of the reef close to the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.

My aim is to raise awareness to protect our coral reefs and through the Reef Restoration Project, give our corals a second chance.”

Lois Nippard, Marine Educator (Team Leader) (Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita)

Lois spent most of her adult life travelling, working abroad and working in the travel industry doing a range of jobs from working as cabin crew for Virgin to planning tours for a sustainable wildlife tour operator in Nicaragua. After which she returned to England to complete a BSc in Earth and Ocean Science. Lois, since, worked for the RSPB, volunteered for the Sussex IFCA, completed a traineeship with the Kent Wildlife Trust in the marine team and developed a programme called The Urban Beach Project with the Marine Conservation Society. Lois started as a Marine Educator with WiseOceans in Seychelles and has since moved to Mauritius where she leads the team. She feels privileged to have gotten to know the marine life of both locations. She has a true passion for education and knowledge sharing.

“I have always been captivated by the ocean and everything that lives in it. The more I have learnt, the more my desire grew to pass this knowledge on. If everyone knew some of the wonders that are beneath the waves and how important the oceans are to life then together we can make sure it’s protected.”

Georgina Beresford, Funding & Project Manager (based in Seychelles)

Georgina has loved the sea since her first dip aged two and has been lucky enough to make a career in what she loves. She has an MSc in Tropical Coastal Management and has worked on research and conservation projects in Indonesia, the Caribbean, Fiji, Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius. Georgina specialises in coral reefs, reef restoration and working with marine resource-dependent communities. Since witnessing the 2016 global coral bleaching event she has also developed a keen interest in behaviour change and large scale reef restoration innovations.  Georgina manages and develops WiseOceans Seychelles’ conservation, education and reef restoration projects.

“The ocean has always been a source of wonder and fascination to me. I believe by connecting people to their oceans and all the benefits they bring, we can also connect people to the solutions we need to sustain these incredible ecosystems for future generations.”

Emily Daniels, Wise Work Administrator

Emily has always had a sense of adventure, this led to her travelling to Australia at the age of 18 where she began her career in marine conservation. As a PADI instructor she has work in marine operations, and research station management in countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Honduras and Seychelles.

Now based in the South of France, Emily works remotely for WiseOceans as the Administrator for the Wise Work section of the company, her responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the sales, promotion and recruitment for marine conservation organisations through the Wise Work job board and weekly newsletter.

“The combination of introducing students to the world of marine research and diving was inspiring and I found that education was key to ensuring the next generation continued to be passionate about the underwater world. “

Jordan Sutherland, Marine Educator (Team Leader) (Four Seasons Resorts Seychelles)

Jordan worked as a Divemaster and Scuba Instructor in several locations across the world before deciding to study Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Southampton. She kept diving whilst studying and absolutely loved connecting what she was learning in the classroom with the environment she was seeing underwater.

At WiseOceans, Jordan leads the Marine Educator team with additional responsibility for the day to day operations of the Reef Restoration Project in Petite Anse. Jordan really enjoys engaging with people about the ocean, hoping to help them find or enhance their passion for it. Of course, she also adores her corals!

“Many people are able to appreciate how important education is, yet the education we receive about our oceans is often underrepresented. It is my belief that by providing the information and taking the time to explain topics in a fun and engaging environment, that inspiration and true change will emerge”

Flavio Joseph, Marine Educator (Four Seasons Resorts Seychelles at Desroches Island)

Flavio is from Mauritius, from Curepipe more precisely. The interest to engage in this field came from watching documentaries about the marine world. He enrolled for a BSc in Marine Science and Technology at the University of Mauritius in 2014 and spent his holidays as a volunteer in NGOs engaged in marine conservation. He discovered the beauties residing in the ocean through training in dive centre where he got his diving certificates.

Flavio is now based at the Four Seasons Resort on Desroches Island where he enjoys connecting with guests about the marine diversity of this remote island, cycling around to guide them on amazing snorkel where they can discover the beautiful seagrass meadows.

“Before I even knew how to swim, I was already going into the sea with my mask and snorkel because of the fascination I felt for what is underwater.

Stephanie Cybèle Clarisse, Marine Educator (Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita)

Stephanie was born and grew up in Mauritius. The wonder of Mauritius’ marine ecosystems and diversity alongside the concerned felt about the threats it faced made her decide to pursue her tertiary studies in this field. Having interned and worked with several conservation organisations in Mauritius in 2016 Stephanie received a Scholarship from the Government of China, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Mauritius, to complete a Masters in Harbor, Coastal and Offshore Engineering at Hohai University in Nanjing, China.
Now, she is back in Mauritius working with WiseOceans as a Marine Educator – combining her two passions, education and the sea.

“My aim is to protect the coral reefs through marine education, reaching as many people as possible so that not only do we get a chance to witness the survival of our impressive marine life but future generations do too.”

Ashley Taylor, Marine Educator (Four Seasons Resorts Seychelles)

After graduating from Texas State University with a BFA focused in Education, Ashley had accrued extensive experience across the globe as a scientific diver, dive shop manager, and guide aboard eco-conscious boats. In addition, she has developed and implemented educational programming for community groups and schools in Bali and led reef restoration projects there.

More recently, she received her US Coast Guard license and completed a season on the Arctic Ocean in Alaska as a Boat Captain.

Ashley’s role as a WiseOceans Marine Educator combines her passion for education alongside her experience and love for marine conservation.

“I believe that education is the foundation to conservation” 

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