Ocean AmbassadorsWe're delighted to have the support of some great people who help further our work and champion what we do.
Ocean Ambassadors are passionate about our marine environment and want to help make it a better place for both wildlife and for people.
Photographer, Film maker, diver, author
Evolutionary biologist, great ape conservationist, TV presenter
Wildlife and diving TV presenter, author, public speaker
TV presenter, naturalist, photographer, author
TV presenter, author, adventurer
Biologist, public speaker, wildlife presenter
Dragons' Den investor and successful entrepreneur
Welsh naturalist, broadcaster, public speaker and writer
Doug spent seven years in Antarctica as a research diver, marine biologist, photographer and base commander for the British Antarctic Survey. In 1984 he changed direction to full time freelance filming. Since then he has become 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, working for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, filming for series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants and Operation Iceberg. In the last couple of years, he’s covered the issue of overfishing around the globe through the documentary The Missing Fish, filmed with the US based Living Oceans Foundation.
His photographic awards include eight Emmys and four BAFTAs. He has twice won the underwater category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and has three Honorary Doctorates in recognition of his camerawork, as well as two Polar Medals. In 2012 he published his book Freeze Frame - A Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice. Between filming shoots he gives presentations about his work, science and the environment to schools and institutions worldwide.
"MCS plays a vital role in reconnecting humans – young and old - with the natural marine world. It’s a crucial catalyst to persuade people and governments to adopt new ways of living more sensibly, more sustainably and with more understanding and gratitude for the planet’s oceans. The sea was my inspiration and I’d like to help it be a revelation to others. MCS has the message, I want to be one of the messengers”. For further information about Doug, visit www.dougallan.com
Ben is an evolutionary biologist and great ape conservationist with an MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College. He is currently writing his PhD looking at monkey evolution on tropical islands, titled 'Primates of the Caribbean' with University College London and the Zoological Society of London.
In addition to his role as Teaching Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, he has presented a number of television programmes, including Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur with Sir David Attenborough on BBC One, several One Show films on everything from ghost dogs to his own facial reconstruction, in addition to his own award-winning six-part BBC Four series Secrets of Bones.
Ben grew up on coastal Norfolk and still likes nothing better than to get out on the beaches there to see which species (both dead and alive) he can find. He now lives in Bristol where despite not being allowed pets in his flat, he lives with Lola, an articulated howler monkey skeleton.
“I grew up by the sea and could hear the waves from my bedroom window. Like anyone who has been fortunate enough to spend any time near the coast, I have a deep and complicated love for the sea. It's this mysterious realm, fuelling our imaginations and refreshing our minds. I feel as though I know the sea so well but at the same time have no idea about the secrets it may hold. Every day it's the same but different, where even one little stretch of coast can change across the seasons, across the days and even across the hours. I've worked and played in marine habitats around the world but love our coastline the most - from iconic basking sharks and immense fin whales to dazzling sea mice and charismatic little masked crabs, there is always something to see and discover. Our seas are some of our most ferocious and inhospitable habitats but are teaming with life and more fragile than you can imagine. For giving us so much, we should do all we can to ensure they continue to flourish.” For further information about Ben, visit: www.josarsby.com/ben-garrod
Chris Packham has led an extraordinary life, and gained widespread recognition as a naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter, conservationist, writer, filmmaker, campaigner and author.
As a broadcaster, his is a presenter of BBC’s award-winning Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch series. He has also presented notable natural history programmes such as Nature’s Weirdest Events, World’s Sneakiest Animals, Cats v Dogs, Inside the Animal Mind and Secrets of our Living Planet.
In October 2016 Chris earned the top honour at the Wildscreen Panda Awards – The Christopher Parsons Award for Outstanding Achievement in recognition of his significant contribution to wildlife filmmaking, conservation and the public’s understanding of the environment. Chris has also been awarded the Dilys Breese BTO Medal for ‘his outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences in 2010. And in December 2014 Chris was voted ‘Conservation Hero of the Year’ in the Birders’ Choice Awards organised by Birdwatch magazine. In May 2015 he reached second place in a line-up of Britain’s 50 most influential conservation heroes in The Wildlife Power List featured in the BBC Wildlife Magazine.
In May 2016 Chris’s autobiography, ’Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir’, was released to critical acclaim, reaching number 1 in The Sunday Times Bestsellers in just 2 weeks.
Chris believes we are living in exciting, yet challenging times for conservation. Whilst our knowledge and awareness of conservation issues have grown considerably in recent years, the pressures on our natural environment are immense and urgent action is required. Chris says: “Our oceans are facing threats on an unprecedented scale. With wildlife species on the brink of extinction and our incessant treatment of the seas as a dumping ground, our marine environment needs greater protection and care more than ever before.
“I love the work that the Marine Conservation Society does and I’m proud to support them. They are behind so many great initiatives that focus on finding solutions to the problems faced by our very precious, but fragile marine environment – from cleaning up our beaches to advising on the most sustainable fish to eat and protecting our amazing wildlife. I am delighted to be invited to become an Ocean Ambassador for MCS and I look forward to supporting them in the future.” For further information about Chris, visit: www.chrispackham.co.uk
Miranda is a wildlife and diving TV presenter, author, public speaker, biologist and trained diver. A resident wildlife expert on BBC One’s The One Show, she has presented natural history stories, ranging from robotic ants to rare dolphins, from all around the country for the last six years. She is also a regular on BBC One’s Inside Out and one of the original members of the Coast team exploring Great Britain’s shoreline from top to toe, revealing fascinating tales of marine life.
Miranda is also busy on radio with contributions to BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth, Living World and Tweet of the Day. She regularly writes articles on tourism and leisure for national newspapers and magazines and is the author of two books, Miranda Krestovnikoff’s Best British Beaches and Scuba Diving.
Her enthusiastic style and extensive knowledge of wildlife, diving, conservation and environmental issues make Miranda a natural Ocean Ambassador for MCS. She has been a Sea Champion for MCS
since 20xx, and has helped to support their work by speaking at their annual conference, attending events and shows, helping out on beach cleans and promoting MCS’s work on social media.
She enjoys motivating young people to share her love for nature and the environment, visiting schools, universities and clubs.
“Our seas and oceans are extraordinary places and I enjoy nothing more than getting my wetsuit on and exploring the fascinating watery world beneath. As a long time supporter of the Marine Conservation Society I know how hard they work to help protect our seas, shores and wildlife, therefore I am delighted to become an Ocean Ambassador. I urge others to support their work too by joining them as a member, volunteering on a beach clean or simply pledging to support one of their important campaigns.” For further information about Miranda, visit: www.mirandak.co.uk
SIMON is an adventurer and New York Times bestselling author and TV presenter who has travelled to more than 110 countries making multiple award-winning TV series for the BBC. They include Caribbean, Sacred Rivers, Indian Ocean, Tropic of Cancer, Equator, Tropic of Capricorn, Pilgrimage and Australia (Winner of the 2013 British Travel Press Award for Broadcast Travel Programme). He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award for "an outstanding contribution to greater world understanding" the prestigious Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, and the Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards.
After a decade spent making over 70 programmes, Simon has become a familiar face on TV and is well known for his extraordinary travels. Most of Simon’s documentaries combine travel with adventure and environmental, wildlife, and conservation issues, and have taken him across some of the most beautiful, dangerous and remote regions of the world – both land and ocean. Through his travels, his love of the sea is obvious, having dived with manta rays, seals and sharks as well as explored some of the world’s most beautiful underwater worlds.
In 2017, Simon agreed to become an ambassador for the MCS Plastic Challenge to help encourage more people to reduce their single-use plastic consumption. During his many travels, Simon has seen first-hand the effects of our obsession with plastic and its impact on the marine environment.
“Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society. That’s why I’m supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this June as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Don’t just get depressed about plastic – stop using it!” For further information about Simon, visit: www.shootandscribble.com
Lizzie is a biologist, public speaker and wildlife presenter / filmmaker with a keen sense of adventure. After establishing herself on Cbeebies as a wildlife expert, Lizzie has gone on to present for BBC Earth Unplugged where she finds creative ways to inspire audiences such as attempting to diving like a gannet as well as presenting in various productions such as a wildlife quiz show for BBC2 in between her studies.
Although proud to be both Welsh and German, Lizzie now lives in Bristol studying a research Masters investigating the sensory structures of arthropods. Lizzie aims to encouraging others to involve themselves in scientific endeavours by producing her own adventure wildlife films. She’s also passionate about striving for the coexistence of humans and African elephants and hopes to move to South Africa one day to continue her research. Lizzie spent 3 years living in Cornwall and in this time became infatuated with the ocean regularly spending her early mornings sea swimming.
"After spending a lot of time closely watching the sea I have developed a deep respect for it, however I also realise that I will never fully understand the ocean’s mysteries and the extraordinary wildlife that inhabits it. This mystery only intensifies my curiosity and enthusiasm to protect it. I feel very proud to be an Ocean Ambassador as I know what a difference the Marine Conservation Society make in helping protect our oceans. As the lifeblood of the earth and an ecosystem we rely so heavily on, it’s time we take care for what’s ours!" For further information about Lizzie, visit: www.josarsby.com/lizzie-daly
Destined to be a successful entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden launched her first business straight out of college, before setting up one of the first ‘Stefanel’ fashion franchises in the UK. With several businesses in the leisure and retail sector under her belt she became Managing Director of Westar Holidays, overseeing its expansion from one to five holiday parks and leading a management buyout. Deborah retained a 23% share of Westar Holidays when it was sold to Phoenix Equity Partners in 2005, before its eventual sale for £83 million in August 2007.
Perhaps best known for her appearances on the BBC2 series ‘Dragons Den’, Deborah joined the panel of investors for series three and has since invested in more than thirty businesses, ranging from market research to online antiques valuations and life-saving equipment for hospitals.
Passionate about the environment in which we live, Deborah has judged the Observer Ethical Awards since 2008 and has invested in a number of ‘sustainable’ businesses and also supports a carefully selected group of environmental charities. In addition to becoming an Ocean Ambassador for MCS, Deborah is a Fellow of the WWF, the world's leading environmental organisation, a Patron for Tusk Trust, and an Ambassador for Lend with Care, The Roundhouse and Medical Detection Dogs.
"I'm really concerned about the excessive packaging that you find in supermarkets and the way our seas are being overfished. MCS does a great job in finding solutions to both issues and I'm very proud to have been asked to become an Ocean Ambassador for the charity." For further information about Deborah, visit: www.deborahmeaden.com
Iolo Williams is a Welsh naturalist, broadcaster, public speaker and writer who’s worked in conservation for over 30 years. He is most widely known as a popular member of the Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch presenting team, and for presenting series such as Wild Wales, Rugged Wales and Great Welsh Parks for BBC 2. Iolo was born and brought up in mid Wales and studied in London for a degree in ecology at North East London Polytechnic.
After graduating he went on to work for the RSPB for almost 15 years as Species Officer for Wales, a job he loved as he worked with some of the country’s rarest breeding birds. Eventually this brought him to the attention of the media and BBC 2’s Visions of Snowdonia and Birdman followed Iolo’s work as an RSPB officer.
In the late 1990s Iolo left the Society to work full-time in the media. His series, in both Welsh and English, concentrated on the wildlife of Wales and the world and he co-presented several network series such as Nature’s Top 40 and Countryfile. Iolo, who is a PADI Divemaster, has written several books on Welsh wildlife in both English and Welsh and in his spare time contributes to wildlife surveys in Wales.
Iolo says: “As an experienced diver and someone who has been dedicated to conservation for over 30 years, I’m delighted to be an Ocean Ambassador for MCS. Our marine environment is under threat now more than ever before and I really want support them by helping put the life back into our seas.” For further information about Iolo, visit: www.iolowilliams.co.uk