Mermaid Speaker (2018)
Ryan is a contemporary artist from Boston, USA whose fashion has been featured in publications such as Vogue. His achievements include work for Amazon, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Universal. Ryan will be displaying his newest gown called “Beyond Blue”, inspired by Undine. The hemp-silk gown is adorned with 30,000 hand-placed Swarovski crystals. He will be speaking about the making of his gown and his vision regarding the Mermaid Couture competition.
As a model who lives in New York, Elizabeth works for clients such as Estée Lauder, NARS, Clinique, Beauty Blender and more. At ADEX, she will be modelling the gown that was showcased at Comic-Con, New York earlier this year. The gown, named “Beyond Blue”, is inspired by Undine, a water nymph of European mythology.
Alice Cattaneo & Andrea Zuccari
Alice and Andrea are a merfolk couple that run a freedive centre in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Alice is an underwater photographer while Andrea is a world champion freediver. At ADEX, Andrea will be holding a breathing and equalising workshop. At the Mermaid Festival, the two will share their top five tricks for mermaids with no free dive experience on how to stay longer underwater.
Ying is the division head of the MissVsea mermaid education division in Guangxi. She was one of the first SSI mermaid instructors. Her diving experience includes being a SSI snorkelling instructor, an AIDA freediving two-star diver, a Apnea Total Bali free diver. As a mermaid, she hopes to inspire others to do their best in life.
Xiao Jia is a mermaid coach from MissVsea and is in charge of the Chenzhou store. She is responsible for teaching basic mermaid techniques. She hopes that all of us who love the sea can swim freely and protect the ocean.
Venisa Pang is the marketing director of Kunming Red Coral Diving Information Enquiry Limited and a division head of the MissVsea Mermaid Education Yunan Division. She was in the pioneer batch of SSI mermaid instructors and is an accomplished diver, with a PADI dive master and SSI snorkeling instructor certification.
Honey Ho is a mermaid instructor and division head of MissVsea mermaid education in Hong Kong. With years of experience in teaching swimming and modelling underwater, Honey strives to perfect the mermaid sport and further align it to marine conservation. To further her ability to teach others, she has become an AIDA certified freediving instructor. Honey will perform her mermaid show at ADEX 2018.
Chen Panpan is a MissVSea Instructor based out of Hunan, China. She has also served as a spokesperson for Chuanqi Fitness Club in Chenzhou, China, and as a PPT Costume Design Studio Manager.
Tabatta Lua Negreiros
At the age of 15, Tabatta became a keen surfer and ventured around Brazil to compete. In 2016, she moved to the island of Fernando de Noronha where she completed her PADI Open Water dive course and was introduced to mermaiding. She then developed an interest for freediving. Tabatta set up a fabric tail rental service and she performs at events, while also modelling for photoshoots. At ADEX Mermaid Festival, Tabatta will talk about sharks, sharing her thoughts on five of her images.
Sara has a strong background in marine conservation. Through Dolphin Watch Alliance and the Egyptian NGO HEPCA, Sara was involved in a bottlenose dolphin conservation project in Egypt. Long before Sara joined Mermaid Alliance, she had always wanted to be a mermaid. She drew, planned and made her own tail. Sara will be speaking at at the opening ceremony of ADEX.
Mermaid pia is a professional mermaid based in jakarta indonesia. part of the first combined theatrical underwater show in the world perform with five other mermaids. An underwater model, freediver, PADI Divemaster ,co-founder of GILI MERMAID at Gili Trawangan island lombok , and co-founder of Jakarta mermaid school in Jakarta . My aspiration is to set up a chain of mermaid schools in Indonesia teaching mermaid swimming in fun safety way educating people about mermaids,ocean and it’s marine life .
As a kid, Nina always had a love for marine creatures, interacting with dolphins from a young age. Today, she swims with them in the open waters of Hilton Head Island (SC). She is also known as the Mermaid of Hilton Head®, and is a children’s book author. She has made it her mission to educate children and adults about ocean conservation, hoping to ignite the passion needed to make a change.
Mermaid Ginger is a professional aquatic performer, published model, actress and conservationist from Hollywood California, USA. She is best known for her on-land and underwater mermaid imagery and live performances. She also spreads conservation awareness with her online voice inspiring others to help protect the planet in small but impactful ways. Ginger has performed in many countries including the ADEX Dive Expo 2018 in Singapore and China.
Kah Wen Ng
Wen is a personal trainer from Kuala Lumpur who became a merman in 2016 after he was given a fabric tail. He completed his mermaid course in Boracay, Philippines and became a certified PADI Freediver in March 2017. Wen hopes to make a career out of his passion for mermaids and tritons and would love to become an ocean ambassador. His life motto is “be who you want to be”. At ADEX Mermaid Festival, Wen will talk about the story behind his new silicone tail.
Alyssa is a tour guide for manatee snorkelling at Crystal River, also known as the home of the Manatees. Alyssa first swam with the manatees at the age of 8, where her love for manatees and conservation followed. She became scuba certified at 14-years-old and has been a PADI instructor for more than 10 years. She has an incredible wealth of practical experience working with manatees and is passionate about teaching.
Mermaid Victoria is a professional mermaid based in Washington DC. She began swimming from a very young age. With a background in marine studies, she is passionate about marine life and seeks to promote education and conservation of the oceans through her work and event appearances. Victoria has been featured on sites including ABC News Nightline and National Geographic.
Nina Kartika Muhammad Nur
Singapore’s Youngest Mermaid
Nina, also known as SG Lil Mermaid, was born in 2011. At the age of two, she fell in love with Ariel from Disney’s The Litle Mermaid. At the tender age of four, she attained her first certification by the National Water Safety Programe, Swimsafer Stage One. Currently, she is working towards completing her Stage Four (Bronze) Certification. She believes she is, and has always been, a mermaid with a duty to uphold and protect marine life by educating all land-folks on the importance of water safety and making the ocean clean and sacfe for all. She hopes to join the PADI seal team.
10-year-old Cheng Xinchen is a lover of the great outdoors and always looking forward to the next big adventure. Besides being gifted in sports and the arts, she is also adept at handicrafts, and a passionate actress and food enthusiast. With her variety of interests, she is ready to take on the multitudes of this world.
Swimming all the way from Honolulu, Hawaii, Adrienne Wilson is no stranger to the mermaiding scene. Since 2008, she has performed and travelled all around the world for photoshoots, TV shows, hotels, environmental outreach, nonprofits, and private events. She especially loves talking and interacting with children and sharing with them important environmental messages.
Film Festival Speaker (2018)
Roger is a British, Emmy award winning underwater cameraman, based in Sabah, Malaysia. Specialising in natural history filmmaking, Roger was one of the principal cameramen on the BBC’s recent Blue Planet II series. One of the notable sequences include a tusk fish exhibiting tool use. An underwater cameraman since 2001, Roger’s specialty is crafting complex, character-led stories .
Voice of the Ocean Singapore 2017 Winner
Florian Fischer is an award-winning underwater filmmaker, drone pilot and marketing expert. He is the mastermind of Behind the Mask, a collective of creative ocean enthusiasts producing compelling stories about all things connected with the ocean. Florian was awarded Person of the year by Europe’s biggest Diving Magazine in 2017 and won the New York City Drone Film Festival for three times running.
Kovacs works at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, leading expeditions to survey and film wrecks, deep sea hydrothermal vents and underwater mountains. He owns Marine Imaging Technologies, a company that specialises in imaging the underwater world. Over the past 15 years, he has helped build and operate numerous imaging systems for broadcast television, museums, scientists and institutions worldwide. His underwater and topside work has been featured on sites like National Geographic, History Channel and Discovery Channel.
Tekdive Speaker (2018)
Jill Heinerth is a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, NOAA, and television networks worldwide. She is the Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. Partnering with Penguin Random House in Canada and Harper Collins in the US, Jill will soon be releasing four new major-market, non-fiction and children’s books.
Richie Kohler is an author and shipwreck explorer whose 40 years of diving experiences have taken him to all corners of the globe. These exploits have been detailed in documentary films and in a NY Times best-selling book, Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. Kohler hosted fifty-six episodes of the popular History Channel program “Deep Sea Detectives” and numerous other television programs detailing his explorations on some of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, including the Andrea Doria, RMS Titanic, and the HMHS Britannic. Utilizing submersibles and cutting-edge diving equipment, Kohler’s focus in underwater exploration has been on the human aspect of shipwreck tragedies, correcting fractured or missing history and in doing so, providing answers and closure to family members. Locating and identifying lost warships such as the USS Murphy, USS Lagarto, U-215 and U-869 and reaching out to these people has been the real reward in shipwreck exploration. Kohler’s recent work on a forgotten WWII submarine battle helped bring posthumous recognition to American Naval Captain in an award ceremony at the US Pentagon.
A fellow in the Explorer’s Club, Kohler continues to lead expeditions worldwide in search of lost ships and the mysteries they hold. He has written numerous magazine articles about shipwrecks, deep diving and diver safety and in 2017, published his first book, Mystery of the Last Olympian detailing a decade of work on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic. Over the years he has made numerous presentations at schools, libraries, diving conventions and symposiums promoting diving safety, education and awareness.
Freediving Speaker (2018)
Suzy is a sino – Cambodian active lady, born and raised in France and now living between Hong Kong, France and the Philippines. She is a former Scuba-diving Instructor, competition swimmer, Scientist and Pharmacist. She is Professional freediver – Freedive school Owner, Instructor, Competition organizer, Judge, Safety and Athlete freediver. In 2012, Suzy started freediving and became, at this moment, the co-founder of Freediving Planet, a name dedicated to provide worldwide quality freediving education and top freediving equipment. Suzy, is the only English speaking Master Freediver Instructor in Hong Kong and has created one of the first freediving club there. In 2017, Suzy started her journey as an athlete freediver, traveling to compete in the International scene under France or Hong Kong flag. So far, she has won 2 gold medals and hold 3 Women Hong Kong record in depth disciplines. Suzy’s love of the Ocean and its inhabitants began during her youth. As a grown up, she is combining her background in communication and science to her freediving skills, to collaborate with different NGO and foundations engaged in the conservation of the biodiversity, reef and ocean.
Oli Christen is a Freedive Instructor Trainer and Author of Education Materials for AIDA, Molchanovs and PADI Freediver. He is the owner of Freedive Flow Indonesia, a renowned freedive school on Gili Air specialized in professional development.
A competitive freediver, Jonathan currently holds all the Singapore national records in freediving and is a master freediver instructor. Jonathan also formed the Apnea Association of Singapore, an organisation focusing and supporting the growth of Freediving in Singapore. Armed with a background in multiple competitive sports, a Master’s in Psychology and the Singapore Freediving Academy, Jonathan’s goal is to help develop freedivers and the sport in Singapore.To Jonathan, freediving is more than just a sport, it is a gateway to understanding oneself and overcoming inner barriers.
Now living in Western Australia, Jacinta performs at the world renowned Busselton Jetty in the Underwater Marine Observatory. Jacinta has pursued a career in outdoor leadership and education where she inspires and motivates children and young adults to appreciate the environment and envoke a spirit of protection. Jacinta is an official affiliated partner of Mahina Mermaid, promoting the beautifully designed MerFin whilst encouraging a sense of adventure and importantly, our role in ocean conservation.
Born in Nice, Guillaume has broken several records, earning a world championship title in deep-sea freediving (-126m), Guillaume continues to explore the human limits and the unknown world of the deep-sea. He writes and creates images that combine aesthetic style and high performance, such as Free Fall, Ocean Gravity and his latest project, One Breath Around The World.
Mermaid Speaker (2019)
Hello, everyone! My name is Pan Yile. I’m a little mermaid from MissVsea. I like the sea, I like to swim with the fish in the sea! I like the mermaids, they bring me so much happiness! Swimming in the world is my dream! Thank you very much!
My name is Wang Yutong, the little mermaid from MissVsea, a 10-year-old girl from southern China. I like dancing, swimming, art and music, especially the sense of joy and selfblooming in the water. I hope to be close to the sea like a mermaid and swim in the sea. I am determined to protect the sea and protect sea creatures.
An An Nguyen
An An is an eight-yearold little mermaid from MissVsea mermaid academy. She is a Chinese Vietnamese and is fluent in English, Chinese and Vietnamese. She loves swimming and diving. She dreamt of swimming like a mermaid so that she can explore the ocean.
Li Weiying, Blacky
Blacky is a Ph.D. candidate of the School of Nursing at the University of Hong Kong. She is responsible for the preparation of medical related content in MFI education material. Currently, she is on her way to becoming a free diver and professional mermaid. As a free-diver, she is fascinated by the vagaries of the ocean. As a mermaid she is raring to share the beauty of the deep blue with friends and strangers.
To Sandy, being in the ocean is the most delightful thing on the planet. She started to shoot underwater photos to record the beauty of underwater ecology. To stay in the water longer and more calmly, she trained hard on her freediving skills. And to share her love for the ocean, she became a mermaid. She popularised not only the mermaid’s swimming skill, but also raised the knowledge of marine conservation among children. She hopes that mermaid education can make people love the ocean more, just like herself.
Professional Plus Size Mermaid
Merliah is Asia’s First Plus Sized mermaid. Her adventure began when she started mermaiding at 17. Going against all stereotypes of what a mermaid should look like, she persevered to fulfil her dreams. She is now one of three Ambassadors for Finfolk Productions, one of the finest mermaid tail makers in the world. Representing for all sizes and shapes of Mermaids!
Chris has trained under world record holders Alexey Molchanov, William Trubridge and Goran Colak and was the winner of the 2015 Singapore Pool Freediving Open and the silver medalist of the 2015 Australian National Depth Championship. Chris has recently joined Alexey Molchanov’s new company, Molchanovs, as CEO. They are embarking on a mission to provide the best freediving equipment and education available anywhere.
Andrea Luiz Hernandez
Mermaid Andrea is an art student in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. On the weekends, she takes her silicone tail around the island she lives on, meeting people and introducing them to mermaids. She would love to work on a project where arts and ocean conservation meet, uniting people through it. Her dream is to become Spain’s biggest silicone tail maker. At ADEX Mermaid Festival, she will speak about the making of her own silicone tail.
Zuccari holds two no limits tandem world records and two Italian records ( -185 mt. No Limits and 135 mt. Variable). In the last 10 years, he set 10 Swiss National Records and four Italian national records. In 2013, Andrea founded Freediving World APNEA and in 2017, he launched the Equalization Academy; an innovative didactic approach to diver/ freediver equalisation.
Kim Jae Youn &
Park Soon Ja
For over a century, women of the South Korean island of Jeju have made their living by freediving, with minimal equipment, to the depths of the ocean to harvest seaweed and shellfish. Diving to well over 10 metres in chilly waters, and lasting between two to three minutes on a single gulp of air, over 100 times a day, the Haenyeo, or sea women, are often seen as myth-like mermaids. For as long as Koreans can remember, the Haenyeo have dived the waters surrounding Jeju, and have become emblematic of the very characteristics of the society that inhabits the far-flung island; reflecting the independent spirit, iron will and determination of its people.
Photography Speaker (2018)
A marine biologist and accomplished underwater photographer, Yoshi Hirata began his passion for diving when he was researching the rich marine resources of Sipadan and Mabul back in 1993 as a marine consultant. During the course of his work, he expressed his love for the sea by featuring thousands of amazing photos of Mabul in various magazine titles. He is also the author of three books namely Oraga-Umi, With My Expression of Love for the Sea, and Art of the Sea.
William Tan has been fascinated with the creatures of the sea since his childhood. He travels extensively throughout the Pacific region, judging underwater photo competitions, and photographing marine life for tourism organisations, scientific research groups, dive magazines, camera manufacturers and resorts.
Tobias Friedrich lives in Germany and started taking pictures with a DSLR underwater in the year 2007. Since then his images have been published in prestigious scuba diving magazines and newspapers around the world. Several underwater photographic competitions, have honoured his work, resulting in over 50 awards with nearly 30 1st places. Lately he has been named “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018” in the prestigious UPY London competition and “German Photographer of the Year 2019” in Germany. All waters, from zero to 30° Celsius, are attractive for him, at least there is something to photograph. He is SEACAM equipment for his Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark II DSLR. He is leading expeditions and workshops around the world, where everybody can join.
In 2009, Tim purchased his first underwater compact camera. As upgrading was too expensive and beyond the means of an island dive instructor, he started to explore and develop his own comprehension of how his camera worked. Today, his methods and compact camera techniques are used as reference materials by underwater photography trainers when teaching about compact camera use. Some of his earlier works are still often used as benchmarks of what to strive to achieve when shooting with a compact camera.
Unlike many underwater photographers, Tanya’s career did not begin in underwater photography, but remained an unfulfilled dream. In 2015, she left the corporate world to pursue underwater photography and marine conservation full-time, earning numerous major international awards such as two first place prizes in the categories of ‘Sharks’ and ‘Shipwrecks’ in the 2015 World Shootout. She was also awarded the title of Grand Master in Underwaterphotography.com’s 2016 Annual Awards.
Scott was first handed his underwater camera at the age of 16. Decades later, his passion for photography has brought him on amazing journeys. From throwing himself into a feeding frenzy to dangling off a line in open water at night, his photography has been recognised by the Palme D’or at Antibes festival for his book Anilao, which he co-authored in 2000. His latest books, Blackwater and Open Blue, have won awards and are sold out worldwide.
The Philippines archipelago, in the heart of the coral triangle, offers diverse divers the chance to immerse in incredibly diverse diving. From Whale Sharks to Pygmy Squid, pristine reefs and dramatic drop offs, critter diving and Japanese WWII wrecks, between over 7000 islands, we have it all!
Join to learn where we dive with various sharks, frog fish and more among the Philippines dive destinations.
Escaping the corporate world to chase sand grains around the world, Roni has guided divers, and held marketing and management roles in various aquatic nations of Caribbean, Central America, SE Asia and the Pacific.
Roni leads Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboard Philippines partnerships in Asia and Europe, and resides in Visayas, Philippines.
Besserdich is a professional photographer, artist and visual philosopher specialising in “Aquatic Imaging”, the art of utilising water as the key element of expression in imagery. In 2018, he celebrates his 40th anniversary of being involved in photographic arts. His mission to raise awareness for the importance of water earned him recognition by the Nobel Organisation, the United Nations, the Swedish Parliament, among others. His images have been published in magazines and books all around the world. Rico is also a member of the Ocean Artists Society. He wrote two books about underwater photography and was a lecturer for artistic underwater photography at the SAAR Academy of Fine Arts, Germany.
Peter Lightowler is a professional underwater photographer with years of experience in the field. His expertise includes underwater cinematography, digital media creation, and video editing. Receiving a professional education in the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Peter has gone on to film TV shows and feature documentaries in Australia. He is also the ambassador for Gates Underwater Products.
An underwater photography veteran of over 25 years, Mathieu authored the first PADI-approved digital underwater photography specialty course in the world in 2001. He contributes regular columns on photography techniques in dive and photography publications and co-authored An Essential Guide to Digital Underwater Photography with Michael Aw in 2004 – the first book entirely dedicated to the techniques associated with shooting digital underwater. He has published two interactive e-books on underwater digital photography: Complete Digital Underwater Photography (2013) and Everything on Underwater Photography (2014).
Michael AW is a wildlife photographer, explorer and a conservationist. He has authored 35 books about the ocean. His accolades include more than 66 international photographic awards and being named as one of the world’s most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography magazine. His essays and pictures have been published in BBC Wildlife, GEO, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Nature, Ocean Geographic, Asian Geographic, Nature Focus, Times, and Discovery to name but a few. In 2018, he was awarded the Award of Excellence by Our World Underwater in Chicago.
One of the exclusive DEMA SCUBA diving Hall of Fame members, Snyderman is an Emmy Awardwinning cinematographer, photographer, author and speaker specialising in marine life. He is the Marine Life Editor of Dive Training magazine and the Senior Editor for California Diving News. Marty teaches underwater photography worldwide and is on the Board of Trustees of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation. He also publishes an online magazine for young children on the different marine animals.
As the son of Hans-Alfred Roth, a well-known sports photographer, Markus Roth’s fascination with capturing moments on film started from young. Since 2004, he has been addicted to the underwater world, with his camera as his constant companion. His pictures and articles have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide, such as Tauchen, Unterwasser, Asian Diver, Sport Diving (Australia) and Geolino. He was featured as Photographer of the Week at Dive Photo Guide and was invited to speak at numerous international dive shows.
Laurent studied marine biology, which culminated in a Master’s degree. He discovered a species of fish hitherto unknown in the Western Mediterranean. Combining his passion for underwater photography with his work as a biologist, Laurent has won numerous awards, and has been featured in international publications.
Jason underwent training in Australia to be an underwater cameraman before moving to Sabah in Malaysia to co-found underwater filming and photography company, Scubazoo. For 10 years, Jason filmed all over the world for productions including Nick Baker’s Weird Creatures for National Geographic channel and Perfect Predators for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. From 2006, he focused on full-time photography, becoming the driving force behind Scubazoo’s publications division. He was pivotal in the production of their first book Sipadan-Mabul- Kapalai, meaning “Sabah’s Underwater Treasure”, and then managed the publication of six more coffee table books for Scubazoo.
Glenn is a Singapore-based professional photographer specializing in commercial and underwater photography. He has shot for various scuba diving resorts and destinations in Asia, gaining him recognition and accreditation from international professional photography associations.
Imran Ahmad is Asia’s most celebrated and internationally published underwater photographer. He has been capturing the magnificence of life both below and above the water’s surface for over 20 years. Known for his experimental photography with light and motion, he is an ambassador for Blancpain Ocean Commitment, SEACAM (Austria), RGBlue Lights (Japan), DEEPBLU and a member of the Ocean Artist Society (USA).
Doug Perrine is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost marine wildlife photographers. His photographs have been reproduced in every major nature magazine in the world, winning a number of awards, such as the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition as the overall winner (2004), while also winning the animal behaviour category and the Nature’s Best/Cemex competition under the Professional Marine Wildlife category. He is also the author of seven books on marine life. Doug founded SeaPics.com as a venue for his own photography, and later expanded it to represent a growing number of other photographers as well.
Andrew is a long time diver, photographer and writer. Originally from the USA he found the ocean while working in the world of financial derivatives. After a move to Guam he devoted himself full time to the ocean, helping many new divers fall in love with the water while working as an instructor and enthusiastic underwater photographer. After much encouragement from his friends and students, he devoted himself full time to taking and sharing his images and writing about diving.
His first professional success came when he won first place in every category he entered in the Asia Pacific Photo Challenge. Following this he was asked to provide photos for magazine work, and shortly after was writing the articles to go along with them. He has since written over twenty articles for six different dive and travel magazines. He has had a number of cover shots in these magazines, the most published being the cover of the May 2017 issue of Chinese National Geographic. Along with the magazine work came invitations to speak at major dive shows across Asia. To this day Andrew is a regular speaker at major dive events; having spoken at many shows from Beijing to Singapore and pretty much everywhere in between.
The next logical step for him was to write books on diving and adventure travel. The first of these was Legends Beneath the Waves Vol. 1: Truk Lagoon. This book was very well received and its success has led to an additional six books in that series being committed to. Aside from the shipwreck books, Andrew began to also write dive guides. His guides focus on small areas and seek to take the reader diving in that location in their mind. The first of these is Let’s Go Dive Guide to Anilao. Between books he still can still be found teaching around the Pacific, as he is a much in demand coach for underwater photography. Currently he is working on the next books in these two series while living in Beijing with his awesome wife Dalice and two daughters Elly and EJ “Doomy”.
Andrew Lim’s first foray into photography began with arguably the most difficult form of the art – underwater photography. At age 21, Andrew published his first underwater photography book, Silhouette of Serenity, the partial proceeds of which were donated to charity. He was invited to meet the (former) President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan, in recognition for his work and was also invited to
speak on platforms such as TEDx. The 25-year old former national rock-climber has since founded Drew perspectives and now focuses his art mostly on people.
Yue Hong Jun
Yue Hong Jun began his journey into photography in 1984. He is currently a member of the Chinese Photographers Association, a member of the Royal Society of Photographers, and a deputy director of the Shenzhen City Entrepreneurs Photography Association. He has held several solo photography exhibitions in recent years, and many of his works have been nominated for and won awards at various national and international competitions.
Award winning Underwater Photographer and Expedition Leader Amanda Cotton melds the human element with the beauty hidden within our oceans in an effort to educate and empower others to become personally involved in the fight to maintain our precious, yet highly fragile aquatic ecosystems.
Alex is an avid diver and underwater photographer who has been taking award-winning images of sharks and pelagics for several years. He is a 360Fly Ambassador, filming 360-degree videos of his expeditions, and flying drones to capture images and videos for projects. He started the #SaveMyFins project, a documentary on sharks developed and filmed by students from the Seoul Institute of Arts in Korea
Ace Wu is a 40-yearold photographer from Taiwan currently residing in Ho Chi Minh City. He loves underwater photography, specializes in wide angle underwater photography and casting his subjects against inky black backgrounds for dramatic effect.
United Kingdom / Malaysia
Conservation Speaker (2018)
Gekoski is an environmental photojournalist, presenter and filmmaker. Based in Borneo, he presents wildlife and conservation shows on ScubazooTV, including Borneo/Indonesia/ Timor Leste from Below, Borneo Jungle Diaries and Borneo Wildlife Warriors. His images and articles have appeared in numerous international publications. This year, he was awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year (photojournalist category), a competition organised by the Natural History Museum in London.
George Woodman has worked in the environmental and education industry in Hong Kong for nearly two decades. He led the pioneering research into the detection of fish bombs and worked closely with UNEP on finding solutions to fish bombing in the early 2000s. This became the foundation of Teng Hoi, meaning “listen to the sea”. More recently, George was instrumental in setting up the NGO, Stop Fish Bombing! He is working closely with Teng Hoi and Stop Fish Bombing to change the way we catch, produce and view seafood for a more sustainable future.
Beatrice is an Italian vocational diver with a Master Degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography. With 20 years of diving experience, she has worked around the world as a CCR & OC instructor and participated in biological and archaeological underwater projects.
From 2013 she has joined “Zero Emissions” with which she continues to teach and educate, as well as training herself in different environments. She co-authored the book “Biodiving”, translated and contributed to several other diving texts. Her hope is to inspire more and more young people to protect and discover the natural beauties of our underwater world.
Sweden-born Ulrika Player has been living in Langkawi for the past four years. In October 2015, she launched Trash Hero Langkawi. In partnership with LADA, her work and efforts were rewarded with a plaque of appreciation from Princess Shafinaz of Kedah.
Micronesian Shark Foundation Palau
Bornovski is the founder and President of the Micronesian Shark Foundation, the owner and general manager of Fish ‘N Fins, the Ocean Hunter fleet, Okeanos restaurant and Palau Helicopters. Bornovski and her husband, Navot, published a Palau diving and snorkelling guide book in 2012 and a second edition in 2015. They are in the process of building the first selfsustained Eco Resort in Palau. Bornovski was inducted to the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2013 and is assisting and sponsoring young Palauans and residents that are interested in marine conservation.
Thomas is a Coastal Ecosystems Conservation Specialist. Thomas has handled the environmental operations for the Pangatalan Sustainable Island project in Palawan (Philippines) since 2015. The project aims to implement a sustainable operating model through ecotourism on Pangatalan Island. The island is surrounded by a 40ha marine protected area established by Thomas and the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation. They also designed and developed the Sulu-Reef Prosthesis (SRP) in order accelerate the resiliency of the degraded coral reefs surrounding Pangatalan Island.
Sweden / Indonesia
Trash Hero Komodo
After six years of scuba diving and marine conservation in Southeast Asia, Sofia is now based in Flores, Indonesia. She is currently co-managing Dive Komodo, a dive operator dedicated to preserve the famous Komodo National Park. During the last three years, she has participated in building up Trash Hero Komodo; a nonprofit environmental group working towards a zero-waste community. Through collaboration with the locals, organisations and stakeholders, their activities include weekly cleanups, kids’ education, public awareness and sustainable solutions.
Sally Snow is a zoologist and filmmaker. She is one of four Executive Directors for the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines. A passionate science communicator, she has worked with the BBC, most recently on Blue Planet II, National Geographic and PTS. Her latest project follows the team as they travel to a sunken volcano off the Philippine mainland, to study some of the last remaining sharks in the Coral Triangle.
Trash Hero Pattani
Padinya is a dedicated volunteer at Tlejourn, the brainchild of Trash Hero Pattani. Tlejourn recycles washed-up marine debris, weaving them into colourful sheets that are then crafted into footwear. As a social enterprise, the revenue of Tlejourn is divided into three shares: recycling cost, retailing cost, and salary for the local workers who have been affected by Thailand’s southernmost unrest. Over a thousand pairs of shoes produced have been sold to people in all over the world, including Southeast Asia, Europe, and America.
Nicole (Nikki) Helgason is a PADI Dive Instructor with ten years of professional dive experience. Nicole has taught scuba diving in Canada, Dominican Republic and Indonesia, and has managed dive centres in Mozambique and Baja, Mexico. Nicole has a Bachelors degree in Coastal Geography from the University of Victoria and is passionate about coral restoration and coral reefs.
Ara Dinawan Research Education Conservation Centre Conservationist
Exposed to the ocean since young, Monica is an avid scuba diver diving for 19 years. After two years volunteering with Trash Hero Borneo, now she has set herself onto a bigger platform – Marine & Environmental Research, Education & Conservation Centre at Dinawan Island. As an influential Women Diver in North Borneo and conservationist, she wants to inspire more people raise awareness to protect the underwater world and educate the young generation.
Kyaw Zin Myo
Trash Hero Mandalay
Kyaw is a Trash Hero who is currently enrolled in the Phuang Daw Oo Monastic School pre-college programme to study environmental issues, community development, economics and politics in Mandalay, Myanmar. In May 2017, he became a Trash Hero, attending every clean up and spreading the word about proper rubbish disposal, hoping to reduce the country’s reliance on plastic. His team now consists of more than 3,255 heroes who have collected an estimated 6,550 kilograms of trash. They hope to one day eradicate the trash from the country.
Song For the Ocean
Kristin is a spokesperson for ocean conservation. She is widely known for her trademark music piece, Song for the Ocean, which has been performed at various environmental awareness conventions and concerts around the world such as TEDxSF, Bioneers, Hermanus Whale Festival (South Africa) and with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. Song for the Ocean was most recently performed at The Sydney Opera House in Australia in August 2016.
Working for scientists in California, Kate grasped the implications of the Great Pacific Trash Gyre since 2009, and was determined to change the situation through lobbying and PR campaigns. Today, she has eradicated single use plastics from her life, sharing how others can live a plastic-free life as well, and offering tangible, personalized solutions. Kate will be showcasing her top 10 ocean-friendly products at the Mermaid Alliance booth.
Judi Lowe is a marine science PhD candidate at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia, with an unusual background. Using her experience as a diver, accountant and international lawyer, Judi’s research takes a fresh approach, solving practical, real-world problems in the conservation of coral reefs, fish and the marine megafauna we love to dive with.
One Ocean Diving
Juan is a world-renowned shark photographer, a co-founder of One Ocean Diving, a PADI Divemaster, and avid freediver. He specialises in underwater photography with large marine animals for conservation and has extensive experience working on a variety of marine life focused projects. His works have been published internationally in almost every major media source. Juan is a board member on two conservation groups.
Jillian Morris is a shark conservationist, award winning photographer, videographer and marine biologist. In 2012, she founded Sharks4Kids, Inc., a non-profit organisation focused on creating the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure. Through this programme, Jillian hopes to share shark education and conservation with students across the world. She published her first children’s book Norman the Nurse Shark in June 2016. She is currently involved in a shark research project in the Dutch Caribbean.
Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines
Gonzalo is the executive director for LAMAVE Research Institute. With a background in biotechnology and operational research, Gonzalo first came to the Philippines in 2011. Today, he oversees LAMAVE’s national and international research strategy on the conservation of whale sharks. With a number of publications on sharks in the Philippines, Gonzalo is one of the leading scientists based in the country studying elasmobranch ecology, movement patterns and their conservation.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Fiona is a marine biologist who has worked in marine protected area management, education and tourism for more than 15 years. She leads the reef tourism engagement and education programmes at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, representing them at forums such as the Marine Tourism Incident Response Group. In 2015, Fiona presented a TEDx talk – The Great Barrier Reef – life’s wake-up call, which tells her personal story of exploration of the Great Barrier Reef.
Liz co-founded Shark Gurdian with Brendon Sing, who she met after she became a scuba diving instructor. His passion and enthusiasm to protect our most important species resulted in a joint effort with the formation of Shark Guardian. Since 2013, their UK Charity presents to around 25,000 people, mainly school children, worldwide each year. They also lead shark conservation projects, run school and community events, conduct shark research, and lead shark diving expeditions.
Elena Salim Haubold
After being awarded the Rolex Scholarship in 2015, Haubold had the opportunity to visit and learn from marine tourism operators around the world that have contributed to the conservation of sharks and their habitat by giving local communities a financial incentive to protect them. Since finishing the scholarship programme, she has established her own organisation, Shark Business, and is currently looking for a new location to set up a sustainable shark diving operation and promote responsible practices within the Caribbean.
Dr. Andy Cornish
Dr Cornish is a marine ecologist who coauthored the field-guide Reef Fishes of Hong Kong while studying for his doctorate at the University of Hong Kong. Currently, he leads WWF’s global programme, Sharks: Restoring the Balance, a major initiative in more than twelve countries to improve the management of shark and ray fisheries and tourism operations. Andy is a keen underwater photographer, and coauthor of Responsible Shark & Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice.
Dr. Neil Hutchinson
Dr. Hutchinson has worked as a marine ecologist in the Asia- Pacific region for almost 20 years. He is based at James Cook University in Singapore, coordinating the environmental science program and conducting research on coastal marine ecosystems. Currently he studies near-threatened sharks and raises awareness of their status in Singapore.
Dr. Andrew Chin
Shark Search Indo-Pacific
Born and raised in Singapore, Dr Andrew Chin is a researcher at James Cook University, Australia. He has won many awards for research excellence and science communication. The current president of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society, Andrew is a contributor to SportDiving Magazine, and the editor for Pacific Conservation Biology, a scientific journal. Andrew’s research covers shark and ray biology, ecology and conservation. He’s spent the last two years tagging hammerhead sharks and is the programme director of Shark Search Indo-Pacific.
IRELAND / MALAYSIA
Sabah Shark Protection Association
The Conservation Manager for Scuba Junkie SEAS on Mabul Island, Sabah, Malaysia, David hails from Ireland where he gained his BSc Marine Biology and MSc Environmental Management & Conservation Biology at Queen’s University Belfast. He spent more than a decade working in conservation in Ireland, New Zealand and Malaysia. A former divemaster for Scuba Junkie, he has over 7,000 dives logged in SE Asia, including thousands as a guide at Pulau Sipadan. His current work includes raising awareness of marine conservation issues, as well as developing and implementing solutions.
Norwood is an entrepreneur from the UK and a freelance underwater photographer and videographer. Since 2014, he has been invested in the problems behind the global shark tourism industry, learning how a responsible shark diving operation can benefit the animals, the environment, and the economy. As a partner in the Shark Business project, Daniel plans to establish sustainable shark tourism in new destinations and contribute to the future conservation of sharks.
A Plastic Ocean
Craig Leeson is an award-winning journalist, television presenter and filmmaker. Who wrote and directed the feature film, A Plastic Ocean, He is the founder of the I Shot Hong Kong Film Festival and has worked with major broadcasters including BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, National Geographic, Discovery and Universal. A Plastic Ocean was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2016 Raindance Film Festival.
Brendon has over 20 years of experience diving with and researching sharks. He is deeply passionate about marine conservation and is one of the directors of Shark Guardian. Shark Guardian leads shark conservation projects, gives presentations to schools and communities, and conducts shark research while leading shark diving expeditions worldwide.
Alex Rose is a biologist, diver, musician, and underwater photographer. She is the Science Editor of Ocean Geographic magazine, the Managing Editor of Ocean Geographic Explorers, and founder of ocean conservation company Blue Ring. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research.
Dr. Karenne Tun
Keynote Speaker (2018)
Before Karenne joined NParks in 2013, she obtained her PhD from the National University of Singapore, where she developed diagnostic tools for coral reef monitoring and management. Karenne subsequently worked at NUS to study the impacts of anthropogenic activities on coral reefs, before moving on to coordinating coral reef monitoring efforts in the Southeast Asian region. Her current work at NParks covers issues related to the management and conservation of Singapore’s coastal and marine environment and the biodiversity they support.