Who we are

Chanel Comis

Chanel Comis

Chanel's deep desire to be an integral part of a team devoted to conservation efforts and scientific research has led her to work with sea turtles for over six years. Her enthusiastic and ambitious attitude, combined with an inherent desire to work with endangered species has inspired her to promote awareness about these species and important environmental issues. Chanel has pursued this passion through working with several environmental conservation organizations, both in America and Greece. She earned her B.S. in Biology and minor in Chemistry with honors from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, NY, while interning at the Bronx Zoo, where she became interested in animal behavior. Chanel graduated from Coastal Carolina University, SC, with a master's degree in Coastal  Marine and Wetland Studies. She conducted her research thesis on loggerhead sea turtle hatchling orientation in Kyparissia, Greece.

Nikos Vallianos

Nikos Vallianos

Nikos' love for the sea was fostered from childhood when he would often spend hours snorkeling to observe the sea bottom and its variety of plants and animals, often freediving at forty or fifty feet to reach them. Later in life, while working as a computer programmer, he volunteered with the Red Cross's Rescue Team in open water lifeguarding and earned a lifesaving instructor certification.

Since first volunteering for sea turtle conservation, Nikos has worked as a field researcher, field leader, and project coordinator for several conservation projects for over eleven years. He completed a BSc in Wildlife Management at the University of Aberdeen, UK, with a dissertation research project investigating the light pollution tolerance of sea turtle hatchlings. He specializes in technical instrumentation for research as well as the investigation and response to violations against wildlife and the natural environment.

 

Annya McKenzie

Annya McKenzie

Annya recently graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Marine Biology and is planning on continuing her education in this field with an MSc in Marine Biology starting 2017.

She is a hard worker and a strong team player, these skills have developed through different volunteering opportunities and university activities that she has taken part in.

Annya first came to Kefalonia in 2014 where she volunteered for a month with Wildlife Sense, with the intention of expanding her knowledge of sea turtles for her university course. She gained so much more! This led to her returning to Kefalonia in 2015 to be a field assistant, to learn more and share her passion of sea turtles with others.

Harry Thomas

Harry Thomas

Harry graduated from the University of Cumbria in 2011 with a BA in Wildlife and Media and as part of his course undertook many exciting projects from photographing Tigers in India to filming Red Deer on the Isle of Rum.

His professional background has been in sports and education, initially as a gymnastics coach and then working as a teaching assistant, sports coach and class supervisor in schools. He began his teacher training in 2014 but decided to have a break from the classroom to pursue his dreams of becoming a wildlife photographer and conservationist! The opportunity to combine his experience in education with leading a conservation field project is something he is extremely excited about.

Harry first volunteered at the beginning of the hatching season 2015 and considers it one of the best things he has ever done as it reignited his love of Wildlife and introduced him to some lifelong friends. He has since been compiling a portfolio of photographs and film that he hopes to add to during the course of this year's project.