Our Team


“We are passionate about the Sea, we are passionate about People. We believe that most of us want to do something good, and that many small actions can generate a tremendous positive impact. Coastal communities are often at the low end of the educational, financial and social institutional systems. Volunteer tourism is a way to bridge this gap and show these communities that marine resources management make economic sense.”

Team trip to Kinatarkan to investigate conservation practices on the rarely visited island.
Axelle Jorcin
After graduating with a double degree in Management and International Business (double MBA) from highly ranked universities, Axelle spent the first part of her career working for British Petroleum, as part of the company’s Future Leaders programme.

She received structured training in project management, operational management, team building, and managing change in international environments.

She then chose to apply those skills to environmental conservation. In her role as Expedition Manager in Blue Ventures, she had the responsibility of running all operations of a remote research site in Madagascar. She was working with a team of 25 local and international staff to run the marine research projects and organise the training and participation of 15 to 25 volunteers.

On her return from Madagascar, she dedicated one year to studying marine and coastal management issues (MSc Integrated Coastal Zone Management). This Masters course strengthened her understanding of topics such as stakeholder involvement and the linkages between environment, economy and social issues in relation to development.

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Ian Mills
Ian has dedicated most of his working life to his love of scuba diving and the underwater world. After earning a degree in Human Geography, his professional life since then has involved a number of different and exciting projects – all of them revolving around diving.

Alongside the ownership and management of a successful scuba diving business in the UK, Ian has worked as a dive guide in Palau, led overseas university diving expeditions, performed safety diving work for a number of media companies including the BBC and acted as a diving safety consultant for one of the world largest water based shows.

Amongst all of this, Ian earned a Masters Degree in Coastal & Marine Resource Management. His decision to do this was driven by a desire to have a more in depth understanding of the marine environment and the competing demands placed upon it. His research project took a particular focus on the importance of, and value that people attach to Marine Protected areas in the UK.

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Charline
While maybe still a little young to keep herself imersed in the day to day operations, it would still be fair to say that she is 'The Boss'! A genuine motivation behind the creation of People and the Sea, she provides the reasons to work hard, stay strong and always smile!

Please follow the link below to catch up with Charline's favourite thing in the world (after pancakes!)

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Judith Almonacid
Community Liaison

Judith was one of the very first people to join the People and the Sea team. As a local of Malapascua, she has been at the centre of all the work we have done. She is the invaluable link between our organisation and the wider

community.
Before working for People and the Sea, Judith worked in Kuwait as a Housekeeping Team Leader. After Typhoon Yolanda, she returned home and is now working to earn her Diploma Professional Education(DPE) to become a Professional Teacher.
"I have a passion to interact and to deal with people, and to kids and the local community how to protect and preserve their environment in coordination with our program."

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Kelsey Madison
Expedition Manager
Kelsey is finding her way in life through nature and learning about different environments and ecosystems. She was raised in Wisconsin of the United States and grew up on the Great Lakes.

Most of her work prior to becoming the expedition coordinator was as an environmental educator throughout the US. Most recently, she volunteered in the Philippines with the Peace Corps in coastal resource management. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology, but continues to learn something new every day.
Kelsey loves to read and enjoys swimming, camping and lounging in her hammock during any free time. She is excited to join the team at People and the Sea to work together to produce sustainable marine conservation.

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Aleja Genisan
Project Manager

Aleja is a BS Biology graduate, and Msc (Biology) candidate of University of the Philippines-Visayas. She has about 6 years cumulative experience working as Research assistant for scientific research and development programs

involving the coastal and marine habitats, working specifically for the development of culture technology and seedstock production of sea cucumbers as well as conducting coastal resource assessments and monitoring.
She then applied her technical and scientific background in helping coastal communities in implementing effective and strengthened Marine Protected Areas by spearheading, as a Coastal Extension Officer, the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Province of Guimaras.
Aleja’s research experience with the coastal and marine environment and her extension work with the fisherfolk community, have provided her a holistic background in community mobilization while providing technical direction. These skills came in handy in her role as People and the Sea’s new Project Manager.

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Lee Hankinson
Lead Science Officer

Lee hails from a tiny coastal town in Australia where his love of the ocean began as a kid. He has a background as a Senior Marine Environmental Consultant and Marine Biologist.

Lee has a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from James Cook University and Masters Degree in Ecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Lee has a rich variety of experience in marine science, from working on visually mapping the sea floor and deep sea coral reefs off the coast of Norway to building new Leatherback turtle hatcheries in Costa Rica.
He is a keen diver and budding, but passionate underwater photographer who also dabbles in the occasional popular science writing article to engage the public with the scientific issues at hand

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Fiona Dyrhauge
Field Scientist

Fiona comes from quite an international background; with both Danish and British nationality as well as a few others, she grew up in France, Denmark, Mexico, Switzerland and the

UK. She has a background in marine conservation and tropical habitat conservation. Fiona has a Bachelors degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Bristol and a Masters degree in Conservation and Biodiversity from the University of Exeter. After completing her Divemaster in the Caribbean she then spent a year working on a tropical habitat conservation project in Madagascar, and has also spent time researching river otters for her MSc thesis in Dartmoor.
She has a great love for the outdoors, and enjoys camping, sailing, painting and photography in her spare time. She even once held an art auction of her works to raise the money she needed to get to Madagascar!

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Kenneth Villacampa
Site Technician

Kenneth, more commonly referred to as RC, has recently joined the PepSea team. He started his time working as a Waste Collector and Educator in a program sponsored by the Business

Association and run by People and the Sea. He then slowly made the switch onto the permanent PepSea team. RC has a wife, Jhoana, and two little boys, JK and Zaickie.
RC’s work consists of compressor technician, maintenance man and general carpentry work around the office. RC says that PepSea is a nice organization because all the people here are like one family in one house. He does his best to be a good staff member because everybody here needs teamwork to make the project run.He didn’t have experience before in compressor work, as he was a bartender for some local bars on the island, but he is okay with making the switch because he is happy here in the PepSea family.

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Victor Pepito
Boat Captain
Victor spent many years as a fisherman on the island of Malapascua. He is also a long time member of the local 'Bantay Dagat' - or the 'Sea Police' around the island of Malapascua.

Having decided to move on from life as a fisherman, Victor is now the proud owner of two boats, both of which we are make regular use of in our ongoing survey work. Victors experience in the waters around Malapascua, and the wider municipality make him a huge asset to our team - we are happy to have him as our Boat Captain!

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Elvira The Green Fairy!
Green Projects Coordinator
Hi! I’m Elvira and I am the Green Fairy and the Mother of all volunteers! I live on Malapascua and I have four children; one in elementary, two in high school and one college.

My husband is a Dive master. While I was working at Mike and Diose’s Resort (Aabana) I meet Ian and Axelle and Charline (their daughter). I am the one who took good care of Charline, and treat her like my own child. Later, I joined the People and the Sea team full time. I am very much thankful that I am working with “People and the Sea”. I am the chief in the kitchen and the care take of the composts and gardens. All of these projects are doing very well, and I am now officially the “GREEN FAIRY”. Thanks to God that he gave me strength and wisdom.

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Marticela Pelayo
Green Projects Coordinator
Marticela, more commonly referred to as Mattie, has been working with People and the Sea for almost 2 years as a chef. During her time here, she has started to help in a lot of other aspects

including: composting, gardening, cleaning, and keeping a smile on everybody’s face! Mattie has 7 children – 6 boys and 1 girl. She really enjoys working in this small organization because it allows her to be with the PepSea family, who she describes as “amazing and exciting”. For her, PepSea is a big gift because of their love and teamwork. She has learned how to take initiative, creativity, politeness to other cultures, and of course practicing her English! We sure are lucky to have Mattie around.

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