Our Team

ReefDoctor was founded by Roderick Stein-Rostaing and Daniel Presman in July 2000.

The ReefDoctor team is made up of International and Malagasy staff who are professionals in their respective fields, students from the Marine Institute (IH.SM) and local Malagasy from villages within the Bay of Ranobe.



Roderick Stein-Rostaing

Roderick has BSc in Marine Biology from Swansea University. He is a PADI Dive Master and has worked previously on reef conservation projects in the Philippines and as a divemaster in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia.

Roderick set up the project in 2001 working in country until early 2008. As co-founder and director, Roderick is the managing director based in the UK and is responsible for running the companies UK based operations and administration. He is also responsible for organising the UK based side of our volunteer programmes recruitment and administration, marketing and project staff recruitment and administration.


Shane M Abeare, MSc, MSc, PhD candidate
Certified Visual Cylinder Inspector and Bauer Compressor Technician

Shane joined the company in late 2009 becoming the managing Director of ReefDoctor in Madagascar in 2010. Shane is responsible for running the company’s in country operations and administration as well as providing direct leadership to the company’s multi-national team and in the undertaking of the companies objectives and projects in Madagascar.

Shane is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. He earned a BSc in biology (chemistry minor), from the University of Michigan, an MSc in African Mammalogy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and another MSc in Oceanography and Coastal Science (statistics minor) at Louisiana State University. Shane has assisted/led wildlife research projects all over the world, working on subjects as diverse as fungi in the Amazon, bats in Papua New Guinea and Australia, buffalo and Great White sharks in South Africa, and grizzly bears in the American West. In addition to field research skills, Shane brings to RD his experience in protected area management and sustainable development gained while a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, then as national park manager in Togo, and while working in the management of a national park in the Republic of the Congo. For his PhD research, Shane will be addressing coastal fisheries management issues in the Bay of Ranobe, Madagascar. In particular, he will be assessing the state/productivity of the artisanal coral reef fisheries, and the role of seagrass and mangrove habitats in reef fish population dynamics.
Shane is also project leader for the new ReefDoctor and Darwin Initiative project – The grant will focus on the Conservation and Sustainable use of marine turtles in the Bay of Ranobe Southwest Madagascar through the development and implementation of alternative livelihood strategies e.g sea cucumber aquaculture and algal farming.


emmaEmma Gibbons

Regional Director & Head Science Officer

Emma has been with ReefDoctor since 2005, during which time she has gained the experience, tools and resources to become a specialist in the field of marine research, project management and community development. These skills provide her with the ability to develop long-term strategies for tangible poverty alleviation and ecosystem conservation to benefit coastal communities and safeguard biodiversity of the region.

Emma has been the Head Science Officer for the company’s marine research (and volunteer programme) objectives since 2011, providing leadership to the long term monitoring of the Bays coral reef and seagrass ecosystems undertaken by the science officers and volunteers.
Emma’s focus now is on running the companies turtle research and awareness project FANO and the newly-formed (2012) Turtle Protection Association FIMPAMIFA in conjunction with the Darwin initiative project.



Daniel Presman
(1964 – 2004)

Co-founder of ReefDoctor Daniel sadly passed away in 2004. He will surely be missed by his friends, family, the ReefDoctor team and the local community he helped. His memory lives on in the work of ReefDoctor, in particular the reef restoration programme which he worked passionately on to implement.


Robert Stein-Rostaing

Robert has been a strong supporter of ReefDoctor since its inception and became a director in 2004. He comes from a background in the technology industry where, as an entrepreneur, he built and sold his first company by the age of 24. He now has a wide variety of interests and directorships with a recent focus on the TV & Film industry where he has his own production company. Robert has a Geography Degree from King’s, London, is a PADI Advanced diver, and an active member and ambassador for the Royal Geographical Society.


Project Management Staff

christina 2Christina Tsima
Admininstraion and Personnel Manager

Originally from Tamatave (main port city on the east coast of Madagascar over 1,000km north east of Toliara), Christina initially came to ReefDoctor to work with the primary school teachers in Ifaty and to develop ReefDoctor’s marine and environmental curriculum. Christina is now responsible for on-site administration and Personnel manager and running the family planning clinic at ReefDoctor. She also works with the women’s association FIVETAMI, helping to develop future business projects and teaching embroidery. Additional she works with the villagers on developing alternative livelihoods designed to reduce fishing pressure on the marine environment and promotes conservation issues in the village including workshops on AIDS, family planning and health and hygiene practices.


Communications & Administration Staff

sandra profileSandra Spethmann
Communication Officer – UK

Sandra has been with ReefDoctor as Communication Officer since 2014. Sandra holds a degree in International Business and Marketing.  In high school, she already started to work on projects of German Red Cross Youth. During her time at university, Sandra got the chance to learn how to encourage young people to volunteer for children associations in South Africa. This stay inspired her to help ReefDoctor as volunteer with marine conservation and sexual education for women in 2012. Shortly afterwards, she moved to France to expand her professional knowledge in project management and communications. Today, Sandra is in charge of improving ReefDoctor’s communications and social media outreach.


Alice 2

 Marie Alice Rosine
Accounting and Administration

Alice is a new member of staff from Toliara. She is in charge of accounting and helps out with administration.



 Science Officers

Science Officer

Beth graduated from Plymouth University with a first class degree in Marine Biology (BSc Hons) where her research focused on the ecology of kelp-associated marine ecosystems and biologically generated habitat. During her time at university, Beth completed her HSE commercial diving license and assistant instructor, provoked by her interest of the ocean and diving. After completing her degree, Beth travelled extensively in Indo-China, where she completed her SSI Divemaster in Koh Tao, Thailand. As a dive professional, Beth is now utilising her marine biological background and diving experience as a Science Officer at ReefDoctor. Here, Beth is following her aspiration of combining marine biology with diving by teaching volunteers and interns about marine conservation and leading projects to better understand the Bay of Ranobe.



Pierre Angelo Rabearisoa
Socio-Economic Investigator

Angelo, from Antananarivo, is a Socio-Economic Investigator on our fisheries surveys. Angelo has a Masters in Animal Biology and Ecology from Antanarivo University and has previously taken part in various surveys led by BIODEV and WWF around Madagascar to monitor bird’s species and populations in possible new protected areas. He is now turning his expertise towards marine conservation efforts.


Dive Officers

Mike Waddington
Dive Officer

Natalie Ohel
Dive Officer


Local Malagasy Staff


ReefDoctor’s boatman extraordinaire, Manjo, is responsible for running boat excursions start-to-finish, assessing sea conditions for dives    and surveys and for ongoing technical maintenance. His boating skills are second to none and are only exceeded by his can-do attitude and constant smile.



Victor is our head chef and is responsible for cooking all of our meals, combining Malagasy and Western cooking styles




Azy, our cook, is from Ifaty and lives on the property with her family. She cooks in a traditional Malagasy style using regional produce brought in from Toliara.




As the person in charge of ReefDoctor’s marine museum, Lebon guides tourists and provides them with information about the museum exhibits. Additionally, he assists the education staff with school visits and ReefDoctor’s kids club program.



Jonny is from Ifaty village and is ReefDoctor’s grounds keeper.












External Scientific Consultants

Dr Vivienne Johnson, PhD

Viv holds a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and a MSc in Tropical Coastal Management from Newcastle University. She completed her PhD, researching the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, at Plymouth University in 2012. Viv has worked as a science officer at ReefDoctor in 2008 and 2012. She has also gained marine research experience from a variety of other locations around the world such as Honduras, Thailand, Seychelles, South Africa and North Madagascar. She is currently based in the UK where she acts as a support officer to the ReefDoctor program.


Maria Campbell

Maria is a PhD fisheries research student at Plymouth University. She acts as a marine research, marketing  and NGO funding consultant for ReefDoctor.