Four Seasons Resorts Maldives have been working with local environmental agency Reefscapers (formerly 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 dedicated team of ten full time marine biologists, ably assisted by our interns and apprentices.
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 seasonal volunteers.
Four Seasons Resorts & Reefscapers – working together since 2001
Reefscapers team at Kuda Huraa (March 2018)
Reefscapers team at Landaa Giraavaru (December 2017)
Thomas le Berre
Founder of Seamarc and ReefscapersFrench coastal oceanographer and founder of Maldivian environmental consultancy Reefscapers, 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 (now known as ‘Reefscapers’), Thomas is actively and passionately involved in each project.
Marine Discovery Centre Manager, Landaa GiraavaruAnnemarie has spent a lot of time in the ocean from an early age, developing a passion for sailing and scuba diving. She obtained her MSc and PhD in Zoology, specialising in Marine Biology, and has worked with a wide range of organisms from the smallest planktons to the largest whales.
Hands-on marine biology and applied marine conservation have been the focus of her career, with a passion for spending time in the field and teaching about the marine environment (biology, ecology, oceanography and marine invertebrates).
Annemarie worked for ‘study abroad’ programmes in different countries in the Tropical Western Atlantic and the Caribbean, and we welcomed her in 2017 as Manager of the Marine Discovery Centre at Landaa Giravaruu.
Assistant MDC Manager and Turtle ExpertAlejandra graduated in 2012 from the University of Guadalajara with a Bachelors in Biological Science. Her career started in Mexico, working with many species including sharks and sea lions, before moving to Florida and Mississippi (USA) to work with sea turtles, dolphins and manatees.
Following a stint in Holland researching seals, Alejandra then moved to Costa Rica to manage a remote research station in Tortuguero National Park (with its large 35km Green Turtle nesting beach).
With such unique work experiences, we were pleased to offer Alejandra the position of Turtle Biologist at our Centres, and she joined the team in July 2017.
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 Reefscapers 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 apprentices.
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.
Audrey graduated in Freshwater & Marine Biology from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia), and later worked as a researcher of invertebrates and seagrass.
Subsequent roles as a Scientific Officer (harbour dredging project) and Research Assistant (ecotoxicity and marine debris) were followed by a Master’s degree at the University of Reunion Island studying the ingestion of marine debris by seabirds.
Audrey joined our team in June 2017, bringing a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her role as Marine Biologist at Landaa Giraavaru.
Although originally from the snowy country region of Australia, Hannah became obsessed with the ocean after moving to the warm beaches of the Gold Coast … and never looked back!
Following a Bachelor of Science in Marine / Wildlife Biology at Griffith University, Hannah spent a year researching the ecotoxicological effect of herbicides in sea turtle cells. She then decided to switch the lab for the field, and the cells for the actual turtle, by joining the Marine Savers team as an intern in February 2017 (read her blog, chapter 1 and chapter 2).
Hannah was subsequently offered a full time position as the Coral Biologist at Kuda Huraa, and returned to the Maldives in August 2017.
Alex graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine and Freshwater Science and Environmental Management from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. He has had a passion for all marine life from a young age with a focus on sea turtles. After volunteering at an Aquarium, Alex’s curiosity with coral and sea turtles grew. He has worked with sea turtles in Australia, Costa Rica and the Seychelles. He has completed a marine conservation programme in Fiji, working on coral propagation and mangrove replantation.
After watching the ‘Chasing Coral’ documentary, Alex was inspired to get more involved in helping coral reefs. He is very eager to contribute and make a real difference to the Reefscapers coral propagation programme at Kuda Huraa.
Felipe’s passion for the ocean started when he became a diver just before finishing a degree in Environmental Science in Barcelona. In 2015, he started a Master’s degree in Marine Systems and Policies at the University of Edinburgh and collaborated with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme to write his thesis about the impact of tourism on whale shark behaviour. The collaboration with the MWSRP continued, this time as a member of a staff.
Before returning to the Maldives, he worked as a Project Scientist in the Philippines and was involved with coral propagation projects and the establishment of Marine Protected Areas.
Joel grew up on the coast of Devon (England), spending much of his childhood rock-pooling. He first became acquainted with coral reef ecology during his four month Philippines expedition in 2011.
Joel gained a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Swansea and later returned to the Philippines to work as a Science Officer. He has assisted with various conservation projects alongside SEACAMS, Coral Cay Conservation and Ocean Quest.
Joel continued work in coral husbandry during his Master’s degree in Tropical Marine Biology at the University of Essex, which he completed shortly before his arrival in the Maldives.
A BSc in Coastal Marine Biology (Hull University, UK) was followed by various research and dive positions with a strong focus on invasive species and ecosystem management. In 2013, Simon achieved an MSc in Conservation Biology (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK), focusing on dietary analysis of the invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) in the Caribbean. Subsequent roles have included Scientific Research Officer in Fiji, (Marine Protected Areas Establishment); Aquarist with Europe’s largest shark collection (UK); Lead Aquarium Aquarist (Queensland, Australia); manager of the East End Coral Nursery (Grand Cayman).
During this time, Simon clocked up over 5000 dives, attaining PADI Instructor and IANTD Advanced Freedive Instructor status, and we were pleased to accept him into the Marine Savers team as Coral Biologist in April 2018.
Assistant Marine Biologist
Tori’s passion for marine studies began when she was in high school, after a school trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef opened her eyes to the marine world. Continuing on with this passion, she went on to study at Griffith University (Gold Coast, Australia) graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in wildlife and marine biology. During this time, she also volunteered with sea turtles and humpback whales where her love for the ocean was cemented.
Tori first joined the Marine Savers team in March 2018 as an intern, and you can read about her experiences in 5 chapters on our blog page. She was subsequently offered a full time position as the Assistant Marine Biologist at Kuda Huraa, returning to the Maldives in September 2018.
Mohamed 'Monty' Ahmed
Assistant Coral BiologistMonty 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.
Some of the Reefscapers team, Landaa Giraavaru (October 2017)
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 Reefscapers and Marine Savers.
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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.