Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (6) mantas

Hello there! My name is Alex, the newest Marine Biologist to have joined the Marine Savers team here at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa. It’s been a few years since I was working as a marine biologist on the local island of Naifaru (Lhaviyani Atoll), and I have to say that it’s great to be back in the Maldives! I have massively missed the warm tropical oceans and the stunning underwater world, so it was a blessing to be able to return to one of the countries that I love so much, and to continue my work of saving the natural world.

Alex Burden

Alex Burden

Marine Biologist

Alex was a water baby from day one! His keen interest in the ocean inspired him to study a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth (UK) and become a professional diver.
Having understood the danger that our oceans were in, Alex dedicated the next steps in his life to helping to protect the marine world. These aspirations took him to Mexico (surveying reef health); to Greece and Costa Rica (tagging sea turtle species, and protecting their nests); and to Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives (helping with marine programs).
Alex joined the Marine Savers team at Kuda Huraa in December 2022. As Reefscapers resident Marine Biologist, he hopes to continue fighting to protect marine life, and to inspire others to do the same.

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers team

The Reefscapers dream team of coral experts, Kuda Huraa

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers

Profile photo in the office. Thanks, Sophia Nasif 📷 

Starting Strong

My arrival just before the Festive season was opportune, as it gave me an insight into the foundations of Resort life at our Marine Discovery Centre during the busiest time of year. It also meant that I was back in the crystal-clear waters nearly every day; sitting beneath the waves has always been my happy place, so being able to explore new reefs is very special. Within my first week here, I jumped into the water and heard the magical sound of dolphins, and before I knew it, there were hundreds of Spinner Dolphins streaming underneath us. After that, I knew it was going to be a good year!

The Winds of Change

As the seasons shifted and the winds altered their course, a new set of opportunities and challenges started to arise. The changing monsoon winds bring an influx of injured sea turtles to Maldivian waters. Ari and Emma were originally the only two Olive Ridley turtle residents at our Centre, but we were soon at full capacity, with (at one point) seven individual sea turtles needing care and rehabilitation. Although it’s a depressing reality, it is an important way for visitors to see and understand the issues that our underwater world faces, even for the most serene of creatures.

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (2) clownfish & anemone reef

Clark’s clownfish and anemones, at home on the reef

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (3) marine life on the reef

The natural reef teaming with biodiversity

Adorer of the Explorer

Soon after I joined the Marine Savers family, I had the privilege of being able to embark on the magnificent Four Seasons Explorer, a luxury liveaboard vessel. Traversing the atolls of the Maldives, exploring local islands, visiting picturesque sand banks, and descending to some of the world’s top dive sites with amazing people from around the world with a love for SCUBA. 💙 

A few days into the voyage, we reached my favourite site to date – Moofushi Manta Point. You can already tell where this is going! I was lucky enough to be graced by the presence of seven large reef manta rays at this beautiful cleaning station. Although the rest of the reef was pristine, it was difficult to keep my eyes off these stunning rays, gliding inches over my head as they enjoyed the air bubbles we made, rising to the surface.

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (4) clownfish with anemone

Clark’s clownfish and its anemone, close-up.
They can be fearlessly territorial, especially when breeding.

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (1) wild hawksbill

Snorkel encounters with wild hawksbill sea turtles are very common, and it’s always a delight to spot them grazing on the reef.

It was a tough day leaving Four Seasons Explorer after my allotted 10 days, but it was nice to be back on dry land again with my new team. I am already looking forward to jumping aboard the Explorer once again, on our next adventure!

Hopefully my first couple of months here will be a testament to the experiences I will encounter throughout the rest of my time at Kuda Huraa!

Thanks for reading
Alex x

Alex Burden marine biologist Reefscapers (5) sharks Maldives

Spinner sharks in Malé Atoll … so many underwater experiences to treasure 💙