Peter Jones BSc
Field Base Manager
After a decade working in the equine industry all around the world, Pete decided to use his Zoology degree from the University of Exeter in the aquatic realm. Combining his passion for quality marine science and diving has allowed him to run and work on multiple projects. Along with his management experience and sound scientific knowledge, Pete is also a PADI Instructor. This allows him to combine his skills in and out of the water to deliver quality education and sustainable change to people through the projects he has worked on. Ultimately the reasons behind this line of work are to protect the wonders of the aquatic environment and educate those on how to negate detrimental human impacts.
Richard Bongot ('Bok Bok')
Boat Captain, Carpenter & Handyman
Bok Bok has been with us since 2003; his nickname means 'termite pulp'. Bok Bok mans our boat Banakun and keeps her shipshape; he is also a carpenter extraordinaire. He worked as a painter in Manila for some years before moving back to Thomas Oppus, Southern Leyte with his wife and children, and began working with Coral Cay. With an absolutely winning smile, and a hilarious personality he keeps the local staff chuckling all the time. If you get involved in the basketball games on site, you'll want him on your team, he is dynamite!
Ricky joined us in May 2010 and has quickly made himself invaluable. He is our official deck hand on the boat, but you’ll often find him helping in the kitchen too, as well as being able to replace doors, windows, and sort out electrical problems. He is a PADI Rescue diver and uses his skills regularly to dive off the boat, with flip flops and no mask, to rescue items that people have dropped over the side! He can also fix most things just by looking at them!
Jose Ydel (Dodong)
Compressor Operator and groundsman
Jose "Dodong" Ydel is our compressor operator and general groundsman. He has been a local snorkel guide in the area of Napantao for many years now, and has a keen interest in conservation of the local marine environment. He is currently a PADI Divemaster. In his spare time he enjoys artisan coconut wood carving, and is responsible for many of the necklasses and wooden hangings seen on base.
Pedang is the chef on-site and she works hard to keep us all fed. She is a genius in the kitchen producing treats to keep everyone going till dinner time, as well as a delicious array of dishes every evening. Her spring rolls and mango float are legendary to anyone that has spent time on site. She is always happy to pass on her knowledge if you get a chance to give her a hand in the kitchen. Pedang always has a smile on her face and looks amazing, you would never guess she is grandmother to 10 grandchildren! Good food is a must after a hard day in the water and Nan Pedang never fails to deliver.
Manon Broadribb MSc
Manon has been interested in the natural environment since she can remember, which led her to complete her BSc. in Ecology and Conservation back in 2014. During her studies, she was lucky enough to travel to the Wakatobi Marine Reserve in Indonesia, where she learned to dive and carried out her undergraduate research doing reef surveys. This expedition was what sparked a new-found love for the marine environment (and diving!) and after completing her studies she went back to Indonesia to train and work as a dive master. She eventually returned to the UK where she completed an MSc. in Conservation and Biodiversity and after graduating went on to intern for a marine conservation project on Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, where she honed her knowledge of indo-pacific coral reef ecology and completed the PADI instructor development course.
Manon feels passionately that those conservation projects which work closely with and involve the local community (such as CCC) are the most impactful, and has demonstrated this by immersing herself in new cultures and communities in order to learn from them and share knowledge and experiences in order to work towards goals which benefit both local communities and the marine environment.
Charlotte Heney MSc
Project Scientist (starts February 2019)
Having grown up on a small island in North Wales, Charlotte has always had a passion for the ocean and an intrinsic drive for conservation, so she completed her BSc in Marine Biology and Zoology within 2017. It was through this degree that she developed a love for the power of reliable data collection and scientific investigation, where she was able to focus her studies on ecosystems of North Wales as well as conducting research in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Wachapreague, USA. This degree sparked more determination to become involved in global conservation and policy, to which Charlotte then completed an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection in 2018. With a wide knowledge of temperate ecosystems, she still had a desire to further understand the sensitivity and complexities of tropical ecosystems and more specifically, coral reefs. Because of this passion, during her Master's degree, she was fortunate enough to focus her study into tropical marine protected areas and conducted a survey on the coral reef resource use and ‘views and values’ of local stakeholders in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean Sea. This work was done in conjunction with the Department of Environment in support of their adaptive management approach.
Charlotte believes, that for successful scientific conservation efforts, there needs to be realistic integration and consideration for the local livelihoods affected in conjunction with reliable scientific data collection. This mindset paired with the goals set out by CCC, is, therefore, a perfect platform to encourage respectful use of valuable marine ecosystems and securing conservation for the future.
Snorkeling for the first time at five, Jordan was introduced to the wonderful underwater world that now feels like a second home. Seeing colourful, healthy reefs sparked her interest in marine life and grew into a passion throughout her school years. Jordan pursued this passion in the hope that she could one day contribute to conservation efforts for the ocean, and achieved a first class honours in International Wildlife Biology.
But Jordan wanted more hands-on experience, so traveled to Thailand and took part in a marine conservation internship in 2017. Seven months later she returned to complete SSI Divemaster training and then assist teaching the very internship she once attended herself. Here Jordan further expanded her knowledge of coral conservation and began practising coral gardening techniques to gain the nickname ‘coral kisser’.
Science Officers (starts February 2019)
Hailing from Scotland and growing up outside New York, Stuart didn’t get a chance to discover coral reefs until his undergraduate degree in Australia. Since then, his passion for marine life has only grown. Stuart completed his degree in Ecology from the University of Queensland where he worked hands-on with multiple research projects being conducted along the Great Barrier Reef. In his off time, he has participated in wildlife volunteer programs in South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Australia. He later went on to complete his Divemaster in Thailand and worked as a marine research intern in Tanzania and Greece.
Matthew (Scoob) Bigland
Scoob began his Scuba life in 2005 doing remote marine conservation in Mexico. He went on to do more marine conservation and his Divemaster in the Seychelles in 2016. Later the same year he became a PADI Instructor going to work in Bali, Thailand and the Canary Islands. Scoob has also served in the British Military and has been a security and survival expert for projects across the world.
Shrimp (aka King Prawn)
Shrimp arrived here in the middle of 2015, and serves as the base guard dog. He takes his job very seriously and has been known to bark at leaves and coconuts that venture too close to the building. What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in charisma and is well loved by the staff and volunteers on site.
Coral (aka Corallimorph, Coral the Destroyer, Coral the Vacuum)
Coral arrived on base at the end of last year. She was originally from Tacloban, where she heard about a position for an assistant guard dog. She applied for it by urinating on the Field Base Manager as he was interviewing other potential puppies for the position. The FBM admired her confidence and offered her the job. Her duties include either destroying or eating anything found within her boundary of the base (depending on the nutritional value of the item in question).