[F]our Seasons Resorts Maldives have been working with local environmental agency Seamarc since 2001, under the ever-watchful eye of the company’s founder, Thomas Le Berre. Our wildlife conservation projects are run from two Marine Discovery Centres by a team of ten full time Seamarc marine biologists, ably assisted by our interns, apprentices and eco-volunteers.
In addition, The Manta Trust charity (formerly the ‘Maldivian Manta Ray Research Project’) – headed by founding director Guy Stevens – has been run from Landaa Giraavaru since 2005, employing marine biologists and volunteers seasonally (blog).
Four Seasons Resorts & Seamarc – working together since 2001
Seamarc’s team of marine biologists at Landaa Giraavaru (December 2015)
Thomas le Berre
French coastal oceanographer and founder of Maldivian environmental consultancy Seamarc, Thomas has been spearheading the environmental projects at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives since 2001.
In 1992, Thomas obtained the Baccalaureat-C (Mathematics & Physics) with distinctions in Vannes, France. He was admitted to the ENSTA ParisTech, one of the French engineering “GrandesEcoles”. While studying there, Thomas took part in several exchange programmes and studied at KTH Stockholm (Sweden) and James Cook University of North Queensland (Australia).
Thomas moved to the Maldives in 1999 and has been living and working in the country ever since. Along with Marie Saleem, he founded Seamarc (‘Systems Engineering and Marine Consulting’) in the year 2000, and as well as running the company, Thomas is actively and passionately involved in each project.
Marine Discovery Centre Manager, Landaa Giraavaru
Sebastien gained a Master’s degree in Marine Biology associated with Aquaculture and Sustainable Fisheries Management at the University Montpellier, France. This was the fulfillment of a dream kindled by a passion about the marine world that began at a young age growing up in the coastal area of a small city in West Africa.
Sebastien first started his career as an aquaculture technician, with the opportunity of working with varied marine species and multiple productions in Australia, Europe, SE Asia and the Caribbean. More adventures unfolded as soon as Sebastien went to work as a fish inspector in the Antarctic and in the Indian Ocean, on fishing vessels targeting tuna and Patagonian toothfish. After a year at sea, Sebastien went to Thailand to develop coral reef restoration projects for resorts for two years. He then went for one last trip to the Kerguelen Islands as part of a scientific expedition to study the marine life population, before becoming the Manager of our Marine Discovery Centre, based at Landaa Giraavaru in August 2014.
Marine Discovery Centre Manager, Kuda Huraa
Gerardo’s passion for marine life started at a very early age, and he knew this would lead to future studies and a life of environmental protection. Gerardo graduated in 2005 from the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Las Palmas (Spain) and completed a postgraduate course in coastal and marine management at the University of Barcelona. Following a year at a Loggerhead Turtle Conservation Project on Boa Vista (Cape Verde), Gerardo started to focus his career on turtle conservation.
Various jobs over 10 years took Gerardo to Venezuela, Panama, Spain and the Falklands, where he worked with various NGOs and organisations in roles such as fishing observer, environmental auditor, university professor, water quality director and marine conservation specialist.
With such a wealth of experience, we were pleased to offer Gerardo the post of Marine Discovery Centre Manager at Kuda Huraa, and he joined our team in December 2016.
Akbar Ahmed ‘Aku’
Fish Lab & Aquaculture Specialist
After graduating from school, Aku worked for the Maldivian ‘State Trading Organisation’, gaining valuable experience in a variety of roles (sales, legal credit, logistics, inventory, accounts).
Aku joined Seamarc in December 2009, and is now one of our longest serving and most valuable team members. Starting as a research assistant, Aku is now in charge of the Fish Lab and leads all of our aquaculture projects at Landaa Giraavaru. These include our Clownfish breeding programmes, as well as refining our techniques in algae, phytoplankton and rotifer production (essential food sources in the Lab).
His wealth of local knowledge and technical expertise makes Aku the perfect trainer, and he plays an essential role in environmental awareness issues, sharing his knowledge and skills with the younger generation of Four Seasons apprenticeships.
Having grown up by the sea in South Wales, Sarah was never far from the marine world. Destined to be her career path, she studied Marine Biology and Oceanography at Plymouth University, followed by a master’s degree in Conservation and Biodiversity at Exeter University Cornwall Campus. After 2.5 years studying the Mesoamerican barrier reef in the remote regions of Mexico, Sarah joined Kuda Huraa’s Marine Savers team as one of the Resort’s resident marine biologists.
Sarah has become increasingly interested in fish and coral biology, and with experience in monitoring techniques she continues to dedicate her time to marine conservation.
Mohamed 'Monty' Ahmed
Assistant Coral Biologist
Monty was part of the Four Seasons Apprenticeship Programme (graduated 2015), specialising in Marine Biology.
During the previous 12 months, he has learned a lot about marine life and our conservation projects. Monty has proved very helpful in the Fish Lab, and has been assisting with our Reefscapers coral propagation and turtle rehabilitation projects.
Monty joined us on 9 May as an Assistant Coral Biologist at Landaa Giraavaru, and is learning the theory and practical applications of our Reefscapers coral propagation project.
Sophie started diving at the tender age of just 10 years old, and has been in love with the underwater world ever since. She furthered her education in the field of Zoology, and graduated from the University of Hull with a first.
In 2015 she joined the team at Kuda Huraa as an intern, where she assisted in the many turtle and coral projects on the island as well as leading daily guest excursions.
Sophie was subsequently offered a full time position with Seamarc and returned to the Maldives in February 2016, initially as Assistant Coral Biologist and then as Marine Biologist.
Stephen’s interest in nature started at a young age. His first dive at the age of 13 introduced him to a whole new world and ever since he’s been passionate about the marine environment.
While completing a Bachelor in Agronomics at the Haute Ecole Louvain en Hainaut (Belgium), Stephen undertook a 3-month internship with Seamarc at Landaa Giraavaru in March 2016. This enabled him to start a study on molecular delimitation of coral species in collaboration with the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Upon completion of his internship, Stephen was offered a full time position as the Coral Biologist at Kuda Huraa and returned to the Maldives in September 2016.
Carla Di Santo
Fish Lab & Aquaculture Specialist
Carla holds a Master’s degree in Marine biology, combined with an aquaculture and sustainable fisheries management diploma, obtained at Montpellier University (France).
After two marine biotechnology internships in French Polynesia, she joined our clownfish breeding team at Landaa Giraavaru in June 2016 as an intern. Having successfully bred clown fish juveniles during her internship, Carla was offered a full-time position as a Marine Biologist. She returned to the Maldives in December 2016 as an aquaculture specialist, and Carla’s wide range of skills enables her to be proficient in our fish lab and valuable in our wider marine projects.
Sophie gained a Bachelors degree with Honours in Marine Biology and Environmental Science at Griffith University (Gold Coast, Australia). Inspired by her travels and work along the coastline, she took part in marine turtle conservation projects along Australia’s east coast (studying epibionts on the carapace of marine turtles), in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
Sophie joined the Kuda Huraa team as an intern in September 2016, assisting with various conservation projects at our Marine Discovery Centre. She was offered a full-time position as a Marine Biologist by Seamarc, and returned to the Maldives in December 2016.
Seamarc’s team of marine biologists at Kuda Huraa (December 2016)
Looking for more ? You can meet some of our Eco-Volunteers and Marine Biology interns that have worked with us here at Marine Savers. Read about their research projects, see interesting underwater photos and watch fun & exciting video – Blogs from our Volunteers and Interns.
Want to work with us ? Visit our Employment page to see our current job vacancies, and to learn about the different ways you can work with Seamarc and Marine Savers.
Looking to get in touch ? Contact Us by email or quick message.
Founder Director, Manta Trust
A member of the Four Seasons Resorts Maldives marine biology team since 2004, Guy now works full-time as the Founder Director of The Manta Trust – a charity dedicated to the global research and conservation of manta rays.
Guy’s conservation efforts in the Maldives have led to the creation of several Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) at key manta aggregation sites, most notably at Hanifaru Bay, where his work was featured in the National Geographic Magazine (July 2009).
Guy and his conservation efforts have also featured in over a dozen TV documentaries for the BBC, NatGeo, ABC (Project Manta), ITV (Man to Manta), Channel 4 (Big Fish Fight) and 60 minutes Australia.
Guy’s work with manta rays now takes him to other corners of the world, but the Maldives for him will always be the best place to see and study these amazing animals.
Project Manager, Manta Trust
After graduating in Natural Sciences at the University of Milan, Niv completed a master’s degree in Environmental Management focusing on animal behaviour and evolution. Following 2 research years at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), Niv moved to the Maldives in 2010 as a marine biologist. This developed his passion for marine life, and wanting to learn more about Maldivian megafauna he qualified as a Dive Master.
Niv now works as Project Manager for the Manta Trust, helping the conservation efforts for both mantas and whale sharks.
Operations Manager, Manta Trust
Annie has long had a keen interest in the marine world, and learnt to dive whilst still at university. After graduating, she flew out to Utila (Honduras Bay Islands) to complete her Divemaster training, and stayed here for 4 years learning about the local reefs and swimming with whale sharks as a Dive Instructor.
Whilst in Mozambique, Annie first dived with manta rays, and on returning to UK decided to study for a master’s degree in Marine Environmental Management (at York University). As part of a summer placement, Annie volunteered in the Maldives, researching the social behaviour of mantas; she now works as Operations Manager for the Manta Trust.