Meet Our Team
IAN - Marine Biologist
Ian is our Marine Biologist and Skipper of Seaquest MRV and skippered MV Starquest for 20 years. He is the Seawatch Foundation North-west Scotland Regional Coordinator and the UK Ambassador for the Porpoise Conservation Society. Originally from Nottingham, as a child Ian was fascinated by the aquatic explorations of Jacques Cousteau, this fascination stayed with him and inspired him to go on to study Marine Biology at Bangor University and the University Marine Biological Station Millport. He spent several years lecturing for Universities, taking student field trips to Mull and other Marine life hot spots in the UK and was involved in several research projects including Shark tagging in the Red Sea with the Shark Observatory in Eliat, Turtle tagging in Kefalonia and Corfu, and worked with Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation in Florida.
While leading a field trip to Guernsey Ian discovered a species of Haliclystus (Stalked Jellyfish) which had never been recorded in the area before, it was such an important discovery it made the News!. While at the University Marine Biological Station Millport , he also pioneered groundbreaking Sea Urchin research in the waters around Millport Island. After noticing a reduction in our Local Harbour Porpoise sightings over the last few years, Ian is going to be teaming up with Dr Anna Hall, of the Porpoise Conservation Society, to begin a research project into habitat use and behaviours. Ian has been diving for over 35 years and holds several BSAC and PADI Diving qualifications including PADI Master Diver Trainer, PADI Rescue Diver, and PADI Open Water Instructor.
Beginning at the age of 16 years old, Ian gained his Powerboat Skipper qualification and drove the safety cover boat for the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. He has continued to gain experience and qualifications over the last 40 years to make him one of the most qualified skippers in the area. He is the only marine wildlife cruise operator in the area to be accredited by Wild Scotland, the Scottish Marine Wildlife Operators Association AND the WiSe Scheme Advance Master Qualification and was involved in the writing of The Marine Wildlife Operators’ Code of Conduct.
Ian's favourite marine animals are Octopus, Jellyfish and Lobsters!
DONNA - Wildlife Centre Manager
Donna is in charge of looking after our Wildlife Information Centre and taking bookings for the cruises. Originally from Doncaster, Donna studied Ecology and Environmental Management at Worcester University, focusing her studies on Scottish Wildlife and their habitats and the Ecology of Freshwater (Other than a lost seal that swam up the River Severn, there's not much Marine life in the Midlands!). She also has a keen interest in Environmental and Conservation Education.
While living in the West Midlands she worked as a teaching assistant and private science tutor and set up and ran a Wildlife and Pond Conservation Club for a number of years at a local High School. In addition to providing practical field sessions on a local nature reserve for Beaver, Cub and Scout groups for their Wildlife and Conservation Activity Badges, she assisted with the running of the Local RSPB Wildlife Explorers group. She also had a small rescue centre for injured local wildlife and birds and rehabilitated them for release.
Donna is the only local qualified British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) Medic, trained to rescue injured and stranded marine animals. She is also a RSPB volunteer, previously doing residential volunteering at the Osprey Centre in the Cairngorms for a number of years and now recruiting RSPB members and also selling Pin badges in our Wildlife Centre.
Donna is the brains behind our Plastic Challenge and the idea to use biodegradable hessian coffee sacks for the beach cleans.
Donna's favourite marine animals are Porpoises,Turtles and Seabirds.