Marine Science Presenter
With audiences’ interest in the marine environment and the British coast, Maya has appeared on BBCs Springwatch, Autumnwatch, The Hungry Sailors and BBC Coast. She’s passionate about communicating marine sciences to the general public in an exciting, knowledgeable and understandable way.
Marine & Coastal Specialist
Maya has a BSc in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, and an MSc in Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
She studied seahorses at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth and has a sound knowledge of them – both their conservation status and their physiology.
Her MSc dissertation, An Evaluation of Sustainable Tourism in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, looked at the impact of “ecotourism” on the World Heritage Site Peninsula Valdes. This gave her a great understanding of all the different perspectives of stakeholders and her report is still used today for policy on this WHS by the organisation that she worked for – Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina.
In the UK she developed sustainable coastal management projects in the Exe Estuary in Devon. She also leads on marine education projects in the South West of Britain.
Maya’s first book ‘RSPB Handbook of the Seashore’ was published by Bloomsbury in May 2013. This book was inspired by some of the style of the historical seashore guides but with considerable new content and stories about the sea creatures that live in the intertidal. Her second book Seashore Watchers was published by QED in 2018 and encourages children to find out about what lives in the sea through hands-on activities and fact files.
Maya is a qualified commercial diver (HSE Level 4) and also a qualified BSAC dive boat handler and coxswain. She is AIDA 2* qualified. (aidainternational.org). AIDA is the Worldwide Federation for freediving. This means Maya is officially qualified in course specific skills and safety for freediving. Maya is an active sportswomen and loves to SUP, dive, open water swim, run and surf.
In 2019 in recognition of her dedication to communicating marine sciences Maya was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the British Naturalist Association.
Life Changing Assignment
An overseas career highlight for Maya was a trip to Midway Atoll in a leadership role promoting marine education. In June 2010 she was selected to become the first international representative for the PA’A ‘experiential leadership programme’ in Midway Atoll which helps encourage individuals to work towards marine conservation.
Maya: “Here, I discovered the plight of the albatross and their stomachs filled with plastic. This was an amazing and influential trip and really inspired me to continue to pursue marine conservation. My dream would be to go back and spread the word about this magical place and its amazing triumphs over damaging human impact. As a Marine Protected Area and World Heritage Site it also gave me first-hand experience of the value of Marine Conservation Zones.”
Learn to Sea
In 2008 Maya started a business that incorporated her knowledge and love of the sea and her love of communicating marine science. The funds to set up her business, Learn to Sea, came via an award she won in 2008 – Social Entrepreneurs through Unltd.
Patron of Marine Charities
Maya is the Patron for the marine conservation charity Sea-Changers. Their vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy, marine species are protected and where, far from damaging the oceans, those who use the sea for their leisure pursuits, positively contribute to the sustainability of the marine environment. www.sea-changers.org.uk
Head of Communications at the Marine Biological Association
Starting in 2020, Maya will be appointed as the Head of Communications at the Marine Biological Association. The MBA, established in 1885, was recently awarded a Royal Charter and is host to internationally recognised research scientists, modern research vessels, freshly refurbished laboratories and state of the art technology.