Field Base Manager
Having studied Marine Biology at the University of Wales, Ben was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and qualified as a military parachutist and troop commander. Having worked on active operations in Afghanistan, he spent the final year of his career based in Canada where he specialised in safety management. Ben is a keen diver, competent mountaineer, first aid instructor and holds an Off-Site Safety Management qualification.
Gemma grew up near the mud flats of southeast Essex but spent all her summers on the beaches of Cornwall. Her innate fascination with the natural world led her to read Ecology at the University of Durham, which was followed by an MSc in Marine Environmental Management at the University of York. She has spent time working on coral reef monitoring projects in Egypt, a game reserve in South Africa and most recently in 2012 co-led a conservation expedition in The Cook Islands. Here she worked on the remote atoll of Rakahanga conducting baseline research on sea turtle abundance, distribution and nesting habitat within the context of traditional Polynesian culture. She has gained a full spectrum of experience from working with coastal artisanal fishing communities to government offices and NGOs. Gemma enjoys all aspects of conservation work with her enthusiasm for the environment also permeating her other interests of surfing, sailing and generally being outdoors.
Anna seems to be drawn to the water and has been seeking out ways to combine her love of marine life with her interest in traveling. She graduated from Lawrence University in 2011 with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in studio art. During her time there, she was able to study abroad in London and participated in marine research that took her to Grand Cayman and Maiden Island. She also studied reef restoration and volunteered with the Reef Ball Foundation for her first adventure in Montserrat. More recently, she was fortunate enough to be able to return to Montserrat with the RBF and the Montserrat Reef Project to propagate and relocate imperiled coral onto a new reef, Anna is thrilled to be returning to Montserrat!
Shawn has been passionate about wildlife and the outdoors his whole life – one of the key reasons he chose to study Zoology at University. He spent 3 weeks in the Florida scrub during the final year of his degree, collecting data on Gopher Tortoises and their burrows for his dissertation. Experiencing challenging yet highly rewarding fieldwork first-hand reinforced his commitment to pursuing a career in wildlife conservation. He worked for an NGO on a coastal island in Tanzania for 6 months conducting surveys of both marine and terrestrial wildlife, during which time he learned to scuba dive. He also recently spent several months in Cambodia working on another marine conservation project run by an NGO. Shawn is very excited to be heading out to Montserrat as he is very interested in both terrestrial and marine conservation work, and the Ridge to Reef Project has plenty of both on offer.
After serving as a Police Office for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary for 30 years, Andy is now enjoying life as a PADI Instructor. Since 2006 he has worked in Cyprus, Lanzarotte and Malta. He gained his IDC Staff instructor in 2011.
Pickles was rescued from the Montserrat Animal Protection Society. She is an exceptionally gentle dog and loves nothing better than a run on the beach.
Larry is Pickles's assistant and was also rescued from the Montserrat Animal Protection Society. He is a lively puppy who loves attention and long walks.