Andrea Marshall

Educated in the United States and Australia, Andrea was the first person in the world to complete a PhD (in 2008) on manta rays – and she has since remained in Mozambique to spearhead manta ray conservation efforts along its remote coastline.

In 2009, Andrea co-founded the Marine Megafauna Association – now the widely known Marine Megafauna Foundation – to research, protect and conserve the large populations of sharks, rays, marine mammals and turtles along Mozambique’s coastline.

Almost a decade after her arrival in Africa, Andrea’s world-leading manta ray research program continues to examine aspects of their biology, reproductive ecology, habitat use, migrations and social behaviour.

Aside from dramatically increasing the level of knowledge on manta rays themselves, Andrea’s discovery of a new giant species of manta ray in 2009 was one of the largest new species to have been described by any scientist in the last 50 years.

Andrea is also a professional underwater photographer and, often accompanied by documentary crews, has introduced the world to a new frontier of African diving. From the BBC’s award-winning documentary “Queen of Mantas” to Ushuaia’s acclaimed 2010 production on this remote coastline, Andrea continues to use hard science and visually stunning media to capture the world’s attention and focus it towards conservation.