Coral Cay Conservation Expeditions Marine Tropical Jungle Montserrat Philippines
Coral Cay Conservation Expeditions Marine Tropical Jungle Montserrat Philippines

Head Office Team

Alistair Cole FRGS FLS

Chief Executive Officer

After a decade with the military, Alistair specialised in working in remote overseas project management as a medical and risk mitigation instructor, before returning to the UK and founding the Lifesigns Group. As a qualified Mountain Leader, Alistair has led over 40 overseas expeditions, holds numerous NEBOSH and CIEH safety qualifications, is an instructor in Off-Site Safety Management and is an experienced Trauma Medic. Alistair advised the media on overseas safety alongside advising travel organisations on strategy and safety. Alistair is both a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Linnaean Society, current Chairman of the Expedition Providers Association and is a guest lecturer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 

Tristan Brown BSc
Head of Operations

Tristan was first involved with CCC in 2008 when he worked on the Philippines site and became the Head of Operations in 2011. His passion for marine conservation started from an early age, thanks largely to watching too many David Attenborough documentaries, and pushed him to complete his BSc in Marine Biology from Plymouth University. He has gained enormous practical knowledge in the field over a range of locations participating in and leading expeditions in Madagascar, Philippines, Australia, Mexico and Morocco to name but a few.  Tristan holds the Off-Site Safety Management qualification, is trained in media management and water safety is qualified as a medic holding the Emergency Medical Technician, ECP medic and first aid instructor qualifications and is also a PADI Divemaster, Boat Captain, Scuba Pro Technician and Mountain Leader.

Thomas Dallison BSc MSc

Head of Science

Fascinated by the marine world from a young age following his first ever dive at the age of 12 in Mexico, Tom has developed a strong passion for marine life, its conservation, and sustainable exploitation. This passion led to Tom obtaining a first class BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Hull and an MSc with distinction at the University of Essex in Tropical Marine Biology. Tom classes himself as a 'fisheries biologist' and finds great joy in developing sustainable management plans for the rehabilitation, conservation and exploitation prevention of tropical subsistence fisheries, whilst aiming to develop practices to sustain livelihoods, develop alternative livelihoods and alleviate poverty. As a PADI Rescue Diver, Tom has undertaken research in a diverse range of locations such as Cuba, Cambodia, and Indonesia and is dedicated to making a change in a captivating marine world that we are sadly, rapidly losing. 

Tessa Dawson BSc

Volunteer Coordinator

Tess first joined Coral Cay Conservation as an operations intern in 2011. After completing her BSc Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare she worked as a research assistant, spending a significant amount of time at sea studying the behaviour of dolphins, and many hours in the bush studying Bower birds in Australia. After completing her internship with CCC she worked as a Communications Officer before joining the office team as the Volunteer Coordinator in 2014. Tess holds the Off-Site Safety Management qualification, and the Expedition Care Program qualification.


Michelle Lassiter

Accounts Manager

Michelle joined the Lifesigns Groups in 2018 after working in a variety of industries including construction, oil and education. After pursuing an accountancy career in later life she secured her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualifications and is a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.

Ian Forbes

UK Manager

Ian served for over 25 years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before joining the Lifesigns Group. He is an experienced and highly qualified Mountain Leader, having led over 50 overseas expeditions to date and is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Ian is an overseas safety advisor to the BBC and has coordinated logistics and security on programmes such as SAS Are You Tough Enough and Human Planet. He is an Off-Site Safety Management instructor, RLSS National Water Safety Management Instructor, 4x4 instructor, qualified Wilderness Medical Technician and holds numerous safety and auditing qualifications.

Margaret Harris

Expeditions Manager

Margaret has a wealth of experience in the education industry, having previously travelled the world encouraging young people to study in the UK. In her role as the Expeditions Manager, it’s now the other way round, and suits her perfectly! Margaret is passionate about enthusing young people to experience new places, stemming from her own love of travel from a young age. As a Guide from the age of 10, and now a Guide Leader for the last 12 years, she has experienced first-hand the benefits of working on community projects and overseas adventure in Mexico, India, Iceland and Morocco to name a few. When she’s not camping in a field in rural Surrey, Margaret’s mentally planning her next adventure. 

Alex Ferguson BSc MSc

UK Trainer

Alex’s background is in conservation science. Having completed both Undergraduate and Masters degrees in the field, he joined the Lifesigns team as an intern with Coral Cay back in 2012. Following a spell as Project Scientist on the Philippine site, Alex returned to the UK to the position of Head of Science with CCC. After three great years, it was time for a new challenge and so at the start of 2017 Alex transitioned within the Lifesigns Group to take on the role of UK Trainer. His focus now is on providing first class UK based training and activity sessions to a diverse range of clients including schools and businesses. Alex holds an Off-Site Safety Management qualification, is an Emergency Medical Technician, ECP Medic and First Aid Instructor. He also holds certificates in water safety management, mountain bike leadership, BEL level 3, is a PADI Dive Master and a Reef Check Ecodiver Course Director.

Doniert Macfarlane MBBS BSc MRCS Dip Travel Medicine DFMS

Medical Director

Doniert has a background in Orthopaedics and Emergency Medicine. He founded Remote Medical Support over 10 years ago and has extensive experience of expedition medicine issues and prehospital care. When not advising the Lifesigns group he works part-time as an Emergency Department Consultant. 

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