The faces behind the project

Core team

Project Founder & Lead Researcher
Stella first worked in Madagascar in 2011 and fell in love with the country. A biologist with a MSc from Imperial College London, she saw her first whale shark in 2014 in Nosy Be and as a result decided to set up the project. Stella leads the project since its inception in 2016.
Costika Fidiarisandratra
Volunteer coordinator
Léonce holds a master degree in Biodiversity from the Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IH.SM). He oversees the permit obtention aspect and is coordinating all data entry on site, as well as volunteers.
Database manager
Enora is an engineer with a solid base on project and data management. In love with the ocean life since her youngest age she put her organization skill in service of the association.
Operator training coordinator
After studying Social Work and Development at the University of Ankatso - Antananarivo, Océane founded OR Business, a company specialising in project creation and management. She works with the Madagascar Whale Shark Project on operator training.
Social Media Strategist
Jonathan Jacobs is a senior digital strategist and marketing executive from Los Angeles, CA.

Project Collaborators

Amy Jones
Grants & fundraising Assistant
Melissa Hobson
Communications Specialist
Claire Eloy
Data Assistant
Romain Cariou
Website Designer
Olivier Gomez
Business Advisor
Kate Waite
Travel & Communications Specialist
Justin Beresford
Data Scientist


Tsiafoy Randrianantoanina
Whale shark tourism: benefits for the local community

Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines
Jacopo Fossati
Impact of tourism on local whale shark population

Università politecnica delle Marche
Léonce Costika Fidiarisandratra
Spatio-temporal distribution of the whale shark (Rhyncodon typus) in Nosy Be Bay, northwestern Madagascar.

Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines
Alicea Lubbé
Distribution and habitat preferences of marine megafauna in Nosy Be, Madagascar

Rhodes University

Thanks to our previous volunteers and staff-both in the field and remotely !

Inès Vernhes
Minaëlle Green
Audrey Botella
Laura Garcia
Rachel Eloy
Morgane Biret
Julie Chéron
Alizée Guimbaud
Nathan Beaufils
Yona Benahim
Jeanne Vanhecke
Laura Hoen
Emilie Chotard
Eugénie Assas
Tine Hollevoet
Lorrie Carassini
Noella Wai
Frédéric Barbotin
Tiana Haingo Andriamampionona
Vincent Bourdin
Mariana Perez
Marion Lovat
Robin Bally
Ingrid Richioud
Cédric Pfeiffer
Vincent Frasse-Mathon
Matthieu Bonhomme
Flore Meyerstein
Valérie Gagnolet
Guillaume Lechat
Amir Serhane
Laura Atchama
Simona Auteri
Marcel Caro
Magali Caro
Marie-Amélie Vidal
Romain Boucly
Mélina Lin
Agathe Gastaldi
Blaise Vincent
Juliette Eyraud
Amandine Pauvert
Tine Hollevoet
Alexandra Salmon-Lefranc Gennai
Chantal Dherbecourt-Solau
Fanny Floirat-Lohyer
Chloé Paré
Diane Bécu
Luna Payet
Raphaël Jarnias
Kelly Morvan
Mylène Richard
Carole Perrin
Fadia Al Abbar
Juliet Cussaguet
Mario Clemente
Florian Barnaud
Stéphane Gennai
Guillaume Bonnaud
Pierre Denneulin
Michaël Coconi
Arnault De Peretti
Jens Paulsen
Vincent Quiquempois
Joshua Rambahiniarison

On-site partners

Les Baleines Rand’eau
Partner Operator and Co-founder
LBR have been instrumental to the project, and have collected data for us in 2015. Since they support MWSP’s field season.
MADA Megafauna
Partner NGO
We collaborate with MM on both our volunteer and education programme, and have initiated together the "Guardians of the Oceans" movement on Nosy Be.
Safari Baleine
Partner Operator
Since 2018, we collaborate on the volunteer program with Fanja, Yasmina and Nahema from local operator Safari Baleine, who operate whale shark tours from neighbouring island Nosy Komba.
Partner NGO
Cetamada focuses on humpback whale research and protection, and together we are collaborating to provide operator training and amend existing laws protecting marine megafauna
Free Dive Nosy Be
Partner Operator
We collaborate with Free Dive Nosy Be, on freediving trips and volunteer training
Wildlife Conservation Society
Partner NGO
WCS is the leading organisation for shark conservation in Madagascar. Since 2019 we share our data to support local conservation initiaitves

Scientific Collaborators

Simon J. Pierce, PhD
Principal Scientist & co-founder
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Jeremy J. Kiszka, PhD
Assistant Professor & co-founder
Florida International University
Dr. Chris A. Rohner
Senior Scientist
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Dr. Jackie Ziegler
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Victoria
Dr. Rhett Bennett
Shark and Ray Conservation Program Manager
Wildlife Conservation Society
Dr. Gonzalo Araujo
Founder & Director
Marine Research and Conservation Foundation
Joshua Rambahiniarison
Research Scientist
CORDIO East Africa
Samantha Reynolds
PhD Candidate
Franklin Ecolab, The University of Queensland
Dr. Stephanie Venables
Senior Scientist
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Global Shark Movement Project
Marine Biological Association Laboratory
Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre
University of Western Australia Oceans Institute and School of Biological Sciences
Western Indian Ocean Symphony
Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
Mar Alliance
Ocean Tracking Network
Shark Project

Thank you to our sponsors and partners