We were privileged to have an amazing line-up of marine conservation experts speaking at our conference. Find out more about who they are and what they had to say.

Guest speakers

Deborah Meaden

Deborah is a business leader, investor, TV personality and writer, well known for her appearances on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

Passionate about the environment, Deborah invests in several sustainable businesses and supports a carefully selected group of environmental charities.

Deborah Meaden Ocean Ambassador

Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur

Doug Allan

Doug is one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen. He specialises in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in some of the wildest and most remote places on our planet.

He’s filmed series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants and Operation Iceberg. And he’s covered the issue of overfishing around the globe through the documentary The Missing Fish.

Doug believes it is vital to reconnect people – young and old – with the natural marine world.

Doug Allan Arctic Penguins Ocean Ambassador

Doug Allan, award-winning cameraman

Credit: Doug Allan

Tom 'The Blowfish' Hird

Tom is a marine biologist, broadcaster, author and science communicator. A regular face on British television for the past few years, Tom has appeared as ‘The Blowfish – the world’s ONLY heavy metal marine biologist’ on CBBC, ITV, BBC, CITV and on Channel 4 as Sunday Brunch’s resident wildlife expert.

Tom presented the BBC worldwide production Fishing Impossible, shown across the globe. And he has written a book called Blowfish’s Oceanopedia – 291 Extraordinary Things You Didn’t Know About the Sea.

Tom’s aim is to encourage conservation by shaking up the established way of doing things.

Tom "The Blowfish" Hird Ocean Ambassador

Tom Hird, marine biologist and TV presenter

Prof Ben Garrod

Ben is Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University of East Anglia.

He is also a TV and radio presenter, presenting Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with Sir David Attenborough, The Day the Dinosaurs Died and Hyper Evolution: Rise of the Robots on TV and Bone Stories and The Human Hive on Radio 4.

He is author of several books, covering a range of subjects from evolution and anatomy to animal behaviour and natural history. Ben thinks because the ocean gives us so much, we should do all we can to ensure it continues to flourish.

Ben Garrod Ocean Ambassador Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Prof Ben Garrod, TV presenter and author

Credit: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Marine Conservation Society team

Sandy Luk


Sandy Luk is excited and proud to lead the Marine Conservation Society to help recover the health of our ocean, working with people and based on science.

An environmental lawyer by training, her career began working in London City law firms in their environmental, corporate and commercial departments and as a regulation/environmental law solicitor at Anglian Water.

Other public interest organisations Sandy has worked with include the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Before joining the Marine Conservation Society, Sandy was a Programme Director at ClientEarth, and a key member of the team that built the organisation.


Sandy Luk, CEO

Amanda Nobbs

Chair of Trustees

As a geographer with a masters in conservation, Amanda has been concerned for the environment throughout her career in the charity, public and private sectors.

As Chief Executive of the Council for National Parks, she successfully campaigned for better legislation and for the South Downs and New Forest to become national parks.

She has been appointed by ministers and the Environment Agency as a conservation member on various committees relating to tourism, waterways, water and environmental protection.

Amanda Nobbs MCS Chair Trustee

Amanda Nobbs, Chair of Trustees

Chairing the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee for eight years, she transformed the way partners worked together and now champions a joined-up approach including politicians, businesses, communities and partners.

Dr Peter Richardson

Head of Ocean Recovery

Peter joined the Marine Conservation Society in 2001, after 10 years of adventure running sea turtle conservation projects overseas.

He oversees the Marine Conservation Society Ocean Recovery team supporting their Marine Protected Areas work, Seasearch programme, UK Overseas Territories Conservation programme, Agents of Change and wildlife sightings schemes.

Dr Peter Richardson

Dr Peter Richardson, Head of Ocean Recovery

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt

Principal Specialist, Marine Protected Areas

Jean-Luc jointed the Marine Conservation Society in 2002, after two years of diving in the Philippines and working on Coral Cay Conservation, prior to which he was a coral reef expert in Tanzania.

Jean-Luc continues to push the boundaries to introduce Marine Protected Area management measures that will make a significant difference to how our seas are doing.

Jean-Luc Solandt.jpg

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, Principal Specialist in Marine Protected Areas

Dr Chris Tuckett

Director of Programmes

Chris is a leading expert on environmental protection, with a specialism in bathing water. She spent two decades working for government bodies on a wide range of issues from air quality to water resources.

Between 2010 and 2013, Chris was the Environment Agency lead on bathing waters during implementation of the revised Bathing Water Directive, when she worked closely with the Marine Conservation Society. She also led on agriculture and land management, tackling water pollution from agriculture.

Chris brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her role as Director of Programmes, and works closely with government in making sure our seas are protected and not overlooked.

Christine Tuckett.jpg

Dr Chris Tuckett, Director of Programmes

Anna Gelderd

Public Affairs Manager

Coming soon.

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