Dr. Andrea Marshall the foremost expert on manta Ray research will be diving on board MV Similan Jazz in March. The trips departing on the 11th & 16th of March will be Manta research trips diving around Koh Bon, Koh Ta Chai & Richelieu Rock. Andrea will entertain and enlighten anyone that is interested by doing lectures on her work during the evenings. Anyone interested in joining either of these trips please contact us to secure you place aboard MV Jazz.

Dr. Andrea Marshall has been living in Mozambique since 2003. Her PhD research on the population ecology of manta rays, conducted through the University of Queensland, was the first ever doctoral thesis to be completed on these enigmatic animals. Educated in the United States (University of California Santa Barbara) and Australia (University of Queensland), Andrea now lives permanently in Africa. After finishing her thesis, Andrea stayed on to spearhead the conservation efforts of manta rays in Mozambique and form the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna.

Andrea’s world-leading manta ray research program (which has examined aspects of their biology, reproductive ecology, habitat use and social behaviour) has dramatically increasing the level of knowledge on manta rays. Her recent discovery of a new giant species of manta ray in 2008 was one of the largest new species to have been described by any scientist in the last 50 years. Andrea was also the senior author on the first worldwide conservation assessment for manta rays for the IUCN and continues to contribute to conservation efforts worldwide. Her current projects include topics ranging from systematics, phylogeography, population genetics, habitat use and migratory movements.

Andrea is also a semi-professional underwater photographer and is passionate about marine education, using her photography as a tool to inspire children and scuba divers alike. A diver since the age of twelve, Andrea has spent countless hours underwater and is especially fond of both exploratory diving and using her re-breather to have close encounters with elusive marine species. Topping her list of best all time locations to dive are Cocos Island, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea, San Benedicto and of course, Southern Mozambique. In 2009, BBC christened her the ‘Queen of Mantas’ honouring Andrea and her work in a documentary that is currently showing worldwide.

Check out Marine Mega Fauna for more info about Dr. Andrea Marshall and her valuable work.