Crew aboard SY Independence

Stacks Image 40
Manuel Marinelli is Marine Biologist, Diving Instructor, Sailor and Environmentalist. He has spent the last years of his life sailing around the world for major Environmental Organisations and during this time came across a lot of passionate people eager to make this planet and particularly our oceans a better place for future generations. That was the Birth hour of the idea to create a platform for other NGOs to operate from and he founded "Project Manaia" to give Organisations, great minds, students, Universities and other people with great ideas a platform to operate from.
Even though he was born in Austria he always had a passion for the oceans and it was the driving force in his entire life, making sailing, diving and the creatures of the sea the air he is breathing.
thex Created with Sketch.
Manuel Marinelli MSc.
Marine Biologist/Director
Stacks Image 36
Pinar has been working with Ngo`s since she studied Archeology at University. She spent most her life helping out Ngo`s as volunteer and it became what she wants to do rest of her life. In the end, this is how she got in contact with Project Manaia.
She has been on board our boats since 2016 and making sure of the good mood on board.
As Archeologist by study and sailor by heart she is also the one cooking up a storm in the galley and feeding the crew (And happily welcoming helping hands) as well as first mate on board.
Depending on the running projects she is helping out, flying the drone, driving the ROV and diving herself.
She is also the person who is mostly dealing with social media accounts and being a part of Youtube videos of Project Manaia with Manuel.
thex Created with Sketch.
Pinar Marinelli BAs
Project Manager

Team on Boulder island - Myanmar

Stacks Image 123
Robert Sarginson - 22, Newcastle University Graduate In Marine Biology. Conducting Marine and Terrestrial research on Bolder Island
thex Created with Sketch.
Robert Sarginson
Stacks Image 152
Hello, my name is Charles Rhodes and I am 21 years old. I studied at Newcastle University and I have a Bsc honours degree in Marine Biology. I am currently conducting marine and terrestrial research at Boulder Island, Myanmar.
thex Created with Sketch.
Charles Rhodes

Team on shore (and sometimes on board)

Selena has always had a passion for animals and nature but the ocean has always been her calling. Being a water baby and basically ocean’s a no surprise Selena became a Marine Biologist. After studying her undergraduate degree in Animal Biology, passionate about climate change she went on to do her PhD on Mangrove belowground carbon (quantifying, modelling and mapping) in Kenya.

Running a successful physiotherapy clinic alongside her studies in Edinburgh, Selena has gained a lot of experience and skills in team management, marketing and organisation which she hopes to utilize in her position at Project Manaia, to help it grow and make as much positive change in this world as possible. Selena also runs her own charity in Scotland – a farm animal sanctuary, to provide loving homes to rescues that have been abused, neglected or no longer wanted.
thex Created with Sketch.
Dr. Selena Gress
Marine Biologist/Team Coordinator
Stacks Image 403
Name: Hannah Kennington
Age: 25
Education: BSc (Hons) Coastal Marine Biology and working towards an MSc by research on Invasive Barnacle distribution and biology.
Background: My research background focuses on invasive species, coastal defences, climate change and intertidal ecology with experience in water quality, animal physiology and environmental impact assessments. During college I volunteered as a veterinary nurse learning a lot about animal care, then I moved on to university where my volunteering continued. With a six week stint in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa working as an eco-concious tour guide on whale watching cruises, looking after stranded and injured baby sea turtles, beach cleans and community outreach I learned a lot about conservation and had the time of my life! Coming home I worked in aquatic animal husbandry and later became a BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic and started working with rescue seals, and yes the term sea dogs is definitely fitting and I became extremely attached! Many happy releases of healthy seal pups are some on my proudest achievements in life. I am now also involved with multiple organisations completing mammal observation surveys onboard ships.
I am very excited to be involved with the social media and outreach ahead of the 2020 Mission Mediterranean with Project Manaia and hope to be involved with the project hands on in summer.
Favourite marine animal: Orca but great white sharks are a close second.
thex Created with Sketch.
Hannah Kennington MSc.
Social Media and Outreach
Stacks Image 440
"Daria is in charge of all things digital. With the background in sustainable management and long term experience in digital marketing across the globe, she is guiding our supporters through the digital and offline worlds. Her eye is set for market trends and setting innovative standards.
As a self-proclaimed environmentalist, she always goes out of her way to make our planet, seas, and oceans a cleaner, healthier and safer place to be for people and animals.
On a typical sunny day, you can find her windsurfing or out and about with her SUP board. If she had to take just one thing with her to a deserted island this would be a book by her favourite author M. Bulgakov called “The Master and Margarita”. (She might also try to smuggle a camera since photography is another big passion of hers)."
thex Created with Sketch.
Daria Kovaleva
Digital Marketing & Communications
Stacks Image 451
Growing up in the French west coast, Margaux had always felt connected to the ocean. She witnessed the deterioration of her beloved coast from an early age, but did not immediately felt the call to make it a carrier. She studied first Social sciences and got a Master in Management, but she would always have the sea in mind in her hobbies, or volunteer work. After two years learning the tricks of marketing wizardry in a Parisian startup, she moved to Lisbon where she could work as a freelance for Impact businesses... from the beach. 

After a year of warmth, salt and sun, she decided to move to Iceland, in the remote region of the Westfords to study Coastal and Marine management. She improved her surfing skills in cold water and specialized in coastal habitats, such as the precious Posidonia seagrass. 

When on the ground, she helps Project Manaia with marketing and outreach, and on board she participates in the seagrass restoration, doing her master thesis in the meantime.
thex Created with Sketch.
Margaux Janin
Coastal Marine Management

Participants in last years

Stacks Image 217
Name: Tim Awbery
Role in Operation 3Seas: Project Coordinator Age: 27
Education: University of Exeter
Years in Conservation and Mapping: 8 years Specialism: Distribution of cetacean species Bio:
With a background in Conservation Biology and Ecology, I completed an MSc in Survey and Environmental Management. I then worked as a Geomatics Surveyor before returning to the field of Ecology and Conservation, to combine the two fields. My first experience within Marine Conservation was in 2012, when I volunteered with the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT).
Through this work, I was involved in tagging flippers, night walks in order to assess and measure any potential nesting females and hatchling release – an educational public event where a number of members of the public can release hatchling turtles under the supervision of the volunteers, on the beach, shortly after dark. Following this, I spent time on another project in the Maldives, working on turtle rehabilitation and coral reef regeneration. This enabled me to work with Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles.
Over the last 8 months I have been a Research Associate at the Marine Mammal Research Association (DMAD), combining my experiences to contribute to the research and conservation of dolphins and other marine species in Montenegrin waters and the wider Adriatic. The basis of my research here has involved the spatial distribution and encounter rates of cetaceans in Montenegro. In November, I represented DMAD at the 12th Meeting of the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS (the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and
contiguous Atlantic area), chaired by Simone Panigada. This four day event saw the meeting of organisations and experts from around the ACCOBAMS region who come together to present ongoing and completed projects and make recommendations for the next steps for ACCOBAMS and the countries involved in the agreement. Contributing to two small working groups on bycatch and anthropogenic noise, I was able to share ideas and experiences with experts from around the Mediterranean.
Favourite Marine Mammal: None, I like Grizzly Bears!
thex Created with Sketch.
Tim Awbery
Stacks Image 209
Name: Jack Clarkson
Role in Operation 3Seas: Project Coordinator
Age: 23
Education: University of Nottingham
Years in Aquatic Mammal Research: 3.5 years
Specialism: Behavioural Ecology
Bio: After graduating in Environmental Sciences (BSc Hons), I have developed a key interest in aquatic mammals through both my academic and professional experiences. After beginning my experiences with aquatic mammals on the Otterly Amazing project with the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, aimed at investigating the localities and distribution of otters in Sheffield, I turned my attentions to marine life. As researcher at the Marine Mammals Research Association, over the last 9 months I have studied the behavioural ecology of cetaceans and how anthropogenic pressures may influence biological decisions, which has built the basis for my current work – investigating the impact of tourism vessels on the behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Montenegrin waters.
Holding a key interest in innovative solutions to marine mammal monitoring, I presented a short presentation on the use of social media as a preliminary platform for increasing photographic data contributing to the identification of cetaceans in Montenegro at the IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for
the Sea, Bari, Italy. The presentation documented my findings on aiding data collection for NGO’s on very limited budgets, working in regions where Citizen Science contributions are extremely scarce.
The Operation 3Seas expedition itself between DMAD and Project Manaia, will be the first project which I have had the pleasure of coordinating. In the hope we can explore more about our world’s seas and oceans, we hope that this project will help provide one of the bases for better protection of eastern Europe’s marine ecosystems.
Favourite Marine Mammal: Southern Right Whale Dolphin; it basically looks like the James Bond of the cetacean world!
thex Created with Sketch.
Jack Clarkson
Stacks Image 213
Name: Lucy Abbiss
Role in Operation 3Seas: Project Coordinator Age: 25
Education: University of Plymouth
Years in Marine Mammal Research: 6 years
Bio: After always being passionate about our oceans and marine life, I decided to study Marine Biology (BSc Hons) at Plymouth University where I developed my skills as a researcher and my passion for marine conservation grew. After graduating university, I dedicated my time to working on gaining additional qualifications I felt would benefit my career, such as becoming a BSAC Ocean Diver and a BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic. Since joining Marine Mammals Research Association as a researcher 11 months ago, my research has primarily focussed on photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins and more specifically, using new methods to identify the movement patterns of individual dolphins sighted in Montenegrin waters. Operation 3Seas will be the first expedition I have coordinated and I am very excited to see the data our amazing team will collect!
Favourite Marine Mammal: Dall’s porpoise – despite looking like a very overweight Orca, a Dall’s porpoise is an impressively fast swimmer!
thex Created with Sketch.
Lucy Abbiss
Stacks Image 68
Neus is an Oceanographer with a Master's degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, a writer and an environmentalist. She collaborated with several European programs working with jellyfish and marine pollution before starting work for the Institute of Marine Sciences in Barcelona.
She focused her Master thesis on Marine Ecological Restoration and during the dry season 2017/2018 she led a coral restoration project on Boulder Island. She is currently writing a story book about coral reefs to raise awareness about their global importance and the problems they face today.
thex Created with Sketch.
Neus Suen
Stacks Image 49
Thor graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University Rhode Island. During his studies there he participated in a semester at the BIOS station in Bermuda where he began working with coral. He has years of experience growing corals for the aquarium trade as well as for graduate research. In 2015 he conducted coral disease research in the Red Sea at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. Thor was on Boulder Island in 2017, where he was surveying the reef and planning coral restoration efforts.Even though he was born in Austria he always had a passion for the oceans and it was the driving force in his entire life, making sailing, diving and the creatures of the sea the air he is breathing.
thex Created with Sketch.
Thor Jensen
Stacks Image 58
Annika has a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Marine Ecosystem- and Fisheries Sciences from University of Hamburg, Germany. Lately she has worked in Laboratories and on research vessels in Germany, done coral restoration work in Thailand and conducted research on the shrimp fishery of Borneo, Indonesia. In 2017 Annika is working for Project Manaia on Boulder Island where she examined the composition and state of the local coral reefs
thex Created with Sketch.
Annika Dose
Stacks Image 271
Matija is a passionate ocean lover and diver that has Master's degree in Resource Management - Coastal and Marine Management from University Center of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður, Iceland. Matija is every summer managing Operation Wallacea expedition in Croatia, which includes coordinating, teaching, supervising and conducting 2 months marine research and education expedition with students and scientists from all over the world. His goal is to further understand management techniques through ecosystem approach and biodiversity monitoring and to learn how to manage natural environments and their resources in a sustainable way.
On Boulder island, Matija was alongside Isabelle working on marine species identification, creation of Marine ID guides, creation of snorkel trails and cleaning the beaches and the sea, especially from the ghost fishing nets.
thex Created with Sketch.
Matija Drakulic
Stacks Image 280
Isabelle has a Master’s of Science in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh in the UK. On Boulder Island, she worked in improving the visitors’ awareness about plastic pollution and marine life species as well as clearing the sea from ghost nets. She has a project manager background working for top-companies. Currently she works in sales for a marine and terrestrial science expeditions’ organization. She hopes she contributes to the efforts made worldwide for improving the health of our ecosystems.
thex Created with Sketch.
Isabelle Ginisty
Stacks Image 87
Anna is a Marine Biologist, Scientific Diver and Diving Instructor. She did her Master's degree in Marine Biology at the University of Rostock, Germany. Additionally she took part in an international Project of the GEOMAR in Kiel, conducting research on micro plastics and global warming in five different countries around the world. Besides she assisted as scientific diver on research about open acidification and its effects on cold water corals in the Comau Fjord, Chile. She is mainly interested in the effects of anthropogenic stressors on marine ecosystems and what we can do against it; trying to make a little change for the conservation of our oceans
thex Created with Sketch.
Anna Hohnheise
Stacks Image 96
Oshin is a passionate marine conservationist with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. During her time at the university Oshin has taken part in a coral restoration Project in Marsa and participated in boat surveys, onshore surveys and marine mammal surveys in the U.K. and the North Sea. She is particularly interested in sustainable marine consultancy solutions that minimise damages cause by off shore drilling and overfishing. She is currently working on collecting the data required to make a "No Take" zone around a 2 mile radius around Boulder Island in Myanmar. She hopes that she can contribute in a meaningful way towards the health of the oceans.
thex Created with Sketch.
Oshin Chris
Stacks Image 77
Nicole is a passionate diver, sailor and biologist with a PhD in Marine Ecology. During her career she has mainly focused on coral reef fishes and benthic algae of the Indo-Pacific. Recently, while working at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, she has started studying coral reproduction and early life history. She has become increasingly interested in Coral reef restoration and has joined the reef restoration project on Boulder Island.
thex Created with Sketch.
Nicole Cernohorsky
© 2020 Project Manaia Contact Me