Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Meet The Team

As the 2008 whale shark season gears up for the first of the activities its probably a good time to introduce the team behind the activities several of whom will be posting or featuring in the blog over the coming weeks.

Dr. David Rowat:

‘Doctor David’ is still getting used to his new title, but he is the Whale Shark Monitoring Programme leader and Chairman of the MCSS. Having lived in the Seychelles for over 23 years, running the country’s largest diving centre with his partner Glynis, David was one of the founders of MCSS and established the Whale Shark Monitoring Programme in 1996 and has been running it ever since. Besides being a PADI Master Instructor, David is a well published scientist and collaborates with many internationally renowned researchers; he has recently completed his PhD on the whale sharks here in Seychelles and continues to develop and implement innovative research to unravel the mysteries surrounding these giant sharks.

Elke Talma:

Elke is the MCSS Research Officer and she manages the running of the various MCSS programmes. Since 2004 her main focus has been the MCSS Turtle Monitoring Programme involving an intensive beach survey regime as well as a satellite tagging programme. Elke has also worked on the Whale Shark Programme and helped develop the data management routines.

Katie Brooks:

Katie is the Whale Shark Programme Intern Co-ordinator and one of the two Team Leaders. This is Katie’s third whale shark season working with MCSS in the Seychelles and she has also worked a whale shark season on the programme in Exmouth, Western Australia at Ningaloo Reef. Katie was originally introduced to Seychelles through Global Vision International and has also worked here with a marine biology team surveying hard corals and marine ecosystems on Mahe, Silhouette and Aride. Working with David, she has been responsible for developing the whale shark internship training programme and the standardised protocols for data collection. Katie is a PADI divemaster, a licensed powerboat operator and tour leader and has worked and dived around the world in Palau, Australia, Seychelles, the UK and Thailand.

Luke Riley:

Luke is the second Whale Shark Programme Team Leader and has previously lived and worked in the Seychelles for over a year with Global Vision International as a volunteer co-ordinator. Luke was also involved in the 2007 MCSS Whale Shark Programme and on the 2008 Coral Bay whale shark programme, off Ningaloo, Western Australia. Luke is a PADI divemaster as well as a licensed powerboat operator and a yachtmaster. Luke has also worked, sailed and dived in the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia as well as in Western Australia, Egypt and the Seychelles.

In the coming weeks the team of seven interns and Anna Westling, an MSc. student researcher, will be arriving and we will introduce them and their activities during the two week training and work-up phase as the season gets under way.


Billy said...

Very Nice Blog, good to see that Elke's stiff neck has not improved. Can we have a image of the whale shark assulting the your dive boat. Has Katie found a local man yet and settled down to start a family ? Love to you all Billy ;-)

Johan said...

Yo, David! Is that what all the studying and writting has done? You look way too serious without that great smile we all know you to have! ;-) Great blog and layout. We look forward to joining the team later in the year. O yes, congrats and well done, Doctor! :-)