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
Thomas le Berre
Founder of Seamarc and Reefscapers
French coastal oceanographer and founder of Maldivian environmental consultancy Reefscapers (formerly ‘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 “Grandes Écoles”. While studying there, Thomas took part in several exchange programmes and studied firstly at KTH Stockholm (Sweden) and then at James Cook University of North Queensland (Australia).
Thomas moved to SE Asia in 1999 and has been living and working the Maldives and Sri Lanka 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.
MDC Manager (at Landaa Giraavaru) and Coral Expert
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.
MDC Manager (at Kuda Huraa) - connecting mankind with nature, empowering our team to make underwater magic!
Erin’s first career was in professional winter sport athletics, racing the international biathlon circuit on the Canadian IBU Cup team. During this time, she witnessed warming European winters and the extremes of climate change high in the mountains. Erin also managed the Media and Communications for a charity inspiring women and girls in sport, and built up her coaching and leadership resume around the world.
Upon retirement from professional sport, Erin returned to her childhood love for tropical marine life, working for various sea turtle nesting research stations in Costa Rica. She also collected data in the jungle on everything from butterflies and bats, to caimans and (large!) cats, and completed a university Adventure Guiding program (covering extreme sport qualifications such as drysuit diving, sea kayaking, navigation techniques, avalanche rescue, and more).
Most recently, Erin worked underwater at Coiba Island (Panama), igniting her passion for coral research, and so she is now extremely excited to be working hands-on with Kuda Huraa’s coral propagation and marine conservation projects!
Akbar Ahmed ‘Aku’
Deputy MDC Manager (at Landaa Giraavaru); Fish Lab Manager & 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 way back in December 2009, and is now one of our longest-serving and most valuable team members. Starting as a marine research assistant, he is now in charge of the Fish Lab and leads all of our aquaculture projects at Landaa Giraavaru. These include our Clownfish breeding programs, as well as refining our techniques in algae, phytoplankton and rotifer production (which are essential Lab-grown food sources).
Aku’s 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.
Margaux is a Marine Biologist, Divemaster, Underwater Explorer and Science Communicator from London. She has an MSc in Applied Aquatic Biology (2017) and BSc in Marine Biology (2016), both from the University of Portsmouth (UK). Her passion for coral reefs has taken her to Indonesia (Coral Reef Community Metric Surveys), Honduras (Stereo Video Surveys), Italy (Effects of MPAs on target fished species), Maldives (Mid-water floating coral nurseries) and Cambodia (community fisheries, artificial reefs, teaching conservation).
The heart-breaking mass mortality of these intricate underwater cities (now shifted to algal-dominant reefs of low diversity) means she is more dedicated to increasing coral reef resilience to climate change through collaboration, research, outreach and media.
Margaux also works part-time as an editor for Women in Ocean Science, a global community created to connect, celebrate and empower women in the Marine Sciences. She is excited to return to the Maldives as our Reefscapers Coral Biologist, working with the incredible team at Landaa!
Deputy MDC Manager (at Kuda Huraa) and Coral Biologist
Alejandra completed her Master’s degree in Marine Science and Management in Australia in 2019, after having obtained a joint scholarship from CONACYT- Macquarie University. She also has a BSc in Marine Biology (2016) from Universidad del Mar (México), in which she specialised in Diatom Taxonomy in upwelling locations from the Mexican South Pacific.
Having lived and worked near the ocean her whole life, mostly in the Mexican Caribbean, and witnessing firsthand the terrible effects of climate change on these highly valuable ecosystems, she became involved in coral propagation programs at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
Alejandra is a firm believer that environmental education and local, multi-sectoral engagement leads to effective management, and she is eager to continue to raise awareness, while running the coral propagation program as our Coral Biologist at the Marine Discovery Centre, Kuda Huraa.
Growing up in Singapore, Helen fell in love with the wonders of the ocean at a young age and began diving as often as possible, earning her SSI Divemaster in the USA. She went on to complete an Integrated Masters (MSci) in Marine Biology at the University of Southampton (UK), focusing on tropical marine biology. While at university she participated in internships, workshops and volunteer programs in Ireland, Malaysia, Bermuda, the Maldives and back home in the UK, covering a wide range of topics. She also worked in guest experience within the aquarium industry, and after graduating moved into animal care as an Aquarist.
Helen is excited to join the team at Landaa (in November 2021) to continue and expand the Fish Lab project and zooplankton surveys, while bringing the joys of the marine world to the resort guests.
Charlie spent his childhood in New Zealand and the Bahamas as a young fisherman/ free diver. From this, he gained a great understanding of marine life. After his local reef died in the Bahamas, he set out to help restore the reefs he depended on.
Originally from the UK, Charlie returned to complete a degree in Marine Biology at Swansea University. He trained as a Divemaster, and worked around the world with various conservation projects focusing on megafauna, fisheries, coral reefs and turtles. He has a keen interest in photography and film-making, producing a video series to educate a wider audience about marine issues.
He looks forward to continuing his journey of saving coral reefs, whilst educating and inspiring others as a Marine Biologist in Kuda Huraa.
Dr Katrina Himpson
Katrina is a Scottish vet who is passionate about wildlife and conservation. After completing her veterinary studies in Edinburgh, Katrina practised in both Scotland and South Africa, before completing a Master’s degree in biodiversity and conservation with the University of Exeter (UK) in 2021.
Katrina’s research interests focus around human-wildlife dynamics and using spatial ecology to improve the effectiveness of conservation. She loves sharing her passion for wildlife with others and hopes to use her time in the Maldives to push the boundaries of turtle conservation and medicine. We are pleased to welcome Katrina to our team at Landaa Giraavaru in 2022, as our resident turtle veterinarian.
Assistant Coral Biologist
After completing a BSc in Marine Biology at Newcastle University (UK), Matthew worked as a wildlife guide on the west coast of Scotland, before joining the Reefscapers team in Kuda Huraa as an intern (Matt’s story). He was subsequently offered a full time position at Landaa Giravaaru.
Matthew is a keen photographer and believes in the importance of sharing both the wonders of the underwater world as well as making people aware of the impacts it is facing. Keep an eye out on our social media for his pictures and videos!
Bethany grew up and studied in Scotland. During her BSc in Marine Biology, she realised there is more to the oceans than cold water and rocky shores, and discovered her love for warm tropical waters whilst on study abroad at the University of Hawaii. She gained first-hand experience of how vital public engagement is for conservation whilst working as a visitor services presenter at Scotland’s national aquarium.
After time travelling in Australia, Bethany completed a Master’s in Marine Science and Climate Change at the University of Gibraltar with her dissertation focusing on the abundance and characterisation of microplastics across beaches in the area. In 2022, Bethany joined us as a marine biology intern at Kuda Huraa, before being offered a full-time position as Turtle Biologist. She is excited to combine her enthusiasm for public outreach and engagement, citizen science and conservation.
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Discover what life is really like, working as a marine biologist in the Maldives. Read about the lived experiences of our team members over the years, over on our Blog.
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Reefscapers: working above and below the waves!
Meet the Team video 2021 World Environment Day
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.
Beth grew up near the English coast, and would spend hours exploring the rock pools on her local beach, which sparked her love for the ocean. Beth took this fascination a step further and decided to study marine biology at the University of Portsmouth (UK). After completing her studies, she moved to the Maldives to work as a marine biologist, where she became a PADI divemaster and gained experience in coral restoration, turtle rehabilitation and various nationwide research projects including the Manta Trust’s ID work.
In 2017, after two years building her knowledge and experience, Beth joined the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (Project Manager, Laamu Atoll) and recently moved to the Baa Atoll research base. Whilst working for the MMRP, Beth has been researching the local manta populations, learning more about their biology, behaviour and population dynamics. She has worked alongside other NGOs and resort marine biologists to share this knowledge with local communities, guests and resort staff, inspiring them to conserve the underwater world. Working so closely to these beautiful animals has only increased her appreciation for them and the wider Maldivian marine environment.
In January 2021, Beth was featured on CNN >> Swimming with manta rays could help save them.
Assistant Project Manager
Growing up in the middle of Canada presented limited opportunities to get to know the life beneath the waves, but after completing her Divemaster training in Honduras, Kaitlyn knew she would go anywhere to to pursue a lifetime of protecting the ocean.
Upon completing her BSc in Marine Biology (Dalhousie University, CA) she moved to Baa Atoll (Maldives) for a 3-month internship with the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, followed by a year in Australia working as a Marine Biologist (whale watching) and as a Marine Science Educator (improving ocean literacy in youth).
In 2019, Kaitlyn was reunited with the mantas when she returned to the Maldivian Manta Ray Project as the Assistant Project Manager for Baa Atoll. In addition to collecting data on the population dynamics, habitat use and reproductive ecology of the Maldivian mantas, Kaitlyn has taken on a lead role with “Eyes on the Reef”; a long-term monitoring project that records manta rays when humans are absent.
While she loves being in the water and on the research boat, her role within the team has also allowed her to explore her passion of connecting youth to the ocean by assisting the Education Manager with theory lessons and field trips.