Meet the team


Nicolas Pascal (PhD)

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Nicolas’ expertise combines marine science, economics, finance and policy; all aimed at protecting marine ecosystems. On the marine side, his more than 50 economic studies, scientific publications and technical reports on ecosystem services of coral reefs, have been used globally, to inform and convince policy makers. On the business side, Nicolas’ former positions include investment director and project developer for multinational companies as well as founder and CEO of a B2B company. These dual skill sets now inform marine conservation, inspiring alternatives and innovative approaches. Nicolas completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from ICN (France) and received his PhD in Marine Science from the Universidad de Barcelona (Spain).

Angelique Brathwaite (PhD)

Director Conservation & Science, & Co-Founder

Angelique is a Marine Ecologist responsible for coordinating conservation and science programmes for our MPAs. She is an expert in both coral reef science and integrated coastal management, with over 25 years global experience. She headed the Marine Research Section for Government in Barbados, for over a decade, developing coral reef related research projects; as well as management of reef systems within an integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) framework. She holds a PhD in Marine Biology from the Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Research University and is a PADI Instructor.

Gary Lotter

Ecotourism Director

Gary designs and implements sustainable, innovative and bankable nature-based programmes in our MPAs. Following a childhood passion, Gary began his ecotourism career in the African safari industry in the early 90’s, after completing a BSc in Zoology & Botany. Starting as a safari guide, Gary was deeply immersed the industry’s core offering, creating unforgettable interpretative wilderness experiences for visitors. He later transitioned to management and over several years had the privilege of honing his commercial skills in both the B2B and B2C arenas, from face-to-face relationship building through to the fast-paced and forever evolving sphere of digital travel. He later extended his skills to broader strategic expertise and delivering comprehensive business performance, via a progression from a pivotal COO role, several CEO postings, and time as a start-up entrepreneur. At all times in his career, he has centred on the principle that professionally managed responsible ecotourism is our most effective conservation instrument.

Roland Coulon

Blue Economy Director

Roland is responsible for the development of different blue economy sectors in and around our MPAs. He brings more than 15 years of experience as a senior executive in the consulting, SME finance, banking and token money sectors. During his professional life in Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania, he developed strong skills in management, problem solving, strategy, business development and digital finance. He has brought together financing for SMEs, retail banking and technology to create high added value services for low- and middle-income clients. Roland holds a MSc in strategy, marketing and finance from the École Centrale de Paris.

Thomas Egli

Thomas Egli

Blue Economy Vice-Director

Thomas has always balanced his passion for the ocean with the love of communicating it with others. As a marine biologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, he studied dolphins in New Zealand, sea cucumbers in Canada, shrimp in Indonesia, and sea turtles in Costa Rica. As an award-winning naturalist and wildlife guide, Thomas introduced people to wild killer whales and led photographic expeditions and adventure tours to five continents. He has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and for the last 6 years has focused on developing socially and environmentally positive fisheries and aquaculture projects in emerging economies. At Blue finance, Thomas is Vice-Director of Blue Economy and will develop investible projects to help finance long-term conservation of marine ecosystems.

Elisabeth Winter

Finance Director

Elisabeth is director of finance and human resources. She believes that financial resources are essential for taking action for the benefit of societal, environmental and humanitarian causes. Elisabeth has 20 years’ experience as finance director for profit and non-profit organisations both on the ground and at headquarters. Combined with 10 years in the banking environment, she brings extensive experience and expertise in finance, accounting, control management and finance compliance in an international environment. She has worked in Somalia, Kenya, Georgia and Armenia on the ground with Action against hunger (Action contre la faim) and as CFO in charge of finance, HR and IT for a French MedTech. Elisabeth has a degree from ESC Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Management Accounting (DECF). She also volunteers as administrator and treasurer of Handicap International since 2021.

Ryan Khoula

Ryan Khoula Profile Blue finance

Junior Accountant & Controller

Ryan is a junior accountant and controller at Blue Finance, utilizing his skills in managing financial data to drive the company’s financial health and success. Graduating from Sheffield University Management School with a Master of Science in Management, specializing in economics, accounting, and financial management, Ryan possesses a strong passion for numbers and their profound influence on the success of organizations. With experience in accounting and banking, he finds great satisfaction in analyzing financial data to optimize and enhance various business operations. Outside of his professional endeavours, Ryan demonstrates his commitment to community engagement by volunteering as a football coach and leading projects centred around addressing environmental risks. 

We are one of the only teams with experience in co-managed, self-financed MPA project execution in developing countries.

Our team is focused on the success of our MPAs

On the ground

More than 50 rangers, community officers and managers are implementing MPA management, science, compliance, revenue generation and community development in local MPA management entities.


A multi-disciplinary senior international management team is supporting the local MPA management entities. The team brings a comprehensive mix of expertise for effective management and sustainable financing of MPAs.

MPA Managers

Valdemar Andrade

Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, Belize

Valdemar is the manager of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve and Executive Director of Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA) the local entity managing the MPA on behalf of Government. Valdemar is a specialist in natural resources and trust fund management with over 16 years of experience. Valdemar brings extensive work experience at high levels of the NGOs, public sector and statutory bodies. He has been involved in negotiations, development and implementation, on behalf of Belize,of initiatives such as the Debt for Nature Swap, the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan, and long term protected areas funding, the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan etc. He also has the opportunity to sit on regional boards and committees. Valdemar’s vision is to make the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve the model marine reserve for Belize where the resource user will take an active role in the management and decision making based on the information received form the stakeholders themselves and the best available science. Valdemar holds a Degree in Environmental Planning and Policy, with concentration in Parks and Recreation Management, from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW).

Marian Doucet

Tompotika & Banggai MPAs, Indonesia

Marian is the executive director of the Yayasan Tompotika Biodiversiti Lestari Foundation, the local entity managing the Tompotika and Banggai MPAs on behalf of Government. Marian has developed management experience in the tourism industry in Indonesia following her passion for hospitality and nature. She explored also the world of non-governmental organizations, where she worked for local Liveaboard Association. She ensured harmonious relationship between the local governments and Liveaboards association as well as achieving conservation projects such as the Carrying Capacity studies. Marian holds a bachelor law studies in the Netherlands.

Bonifacio C. Tobias

North Oriental Mindoro MPAs, Philippines

Bonifaccio is the manager of the ‘Blue Alliance’ the official entity managing the MPA netwrok on behalf of local Governments. Bonifaccio has more than 2 decades of experience in managing and implementing community-based environmental conservation projects. Activities encompass marine and terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and resource-management initiatives, social enterprise, monitoring and evaluation, participatory social research and technical research. He has written more than 25 approved project proposals funded by different international donor-agencies. He has worked with program linked to World Heritage Site and Community-Management of Protected Areas for Conservation. Bonifaccio holds a Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science from Palawan State University and a MSc in Rural Development from Western Philippines University.

Said Ali Mbarouk

Kwanini Foundation, Pemba, Zanzibar

As a founder member and general manager of the Kwanini Foundation, Said is responsible for the management of the Foundation activities in conservation and livelihood in North Pemba, Zanzibar. As part of his role, he works closely with Government, local communities and Fishery committees. Said has a long-standing career that spans working for the Ministry in the Agriculture and Water sectors. For 20 years he has been a house of representative elected member and also worked as cabinet minister, Ministry of Fisheries as well as cabinet minister, Ministry of Tourism in Zanzibar. He is also focused on driving entrepreneurship and is a founder member of the Gando constituency entrepreneurship programme.

Expert project contributors

Thomas Vignaud (PhD)

Underwater Tourism Expert

Thomas is a shark and wildlife tourism expert collaborating with Blue finance in the development of sustainable tourism activities and revenue generating mechanisms. Thomas experience comes from both scientific research and the blue-tourism industry. He created several sustainable tourism projects benefiting both nature and people. He completed his PhD on sharks, and participated in several scientific missions, mainly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In Fiji, Thomas designed and managed a shark diving and conservation project that led to the development of a local MPA along with other benefits for communities. His work focuses on revealing, empowering or rebuilding coral reef ecosystems, as well as designing sustainable tourism strategies and businesses. His latest projects are turn-key solutions designed to boost tourism economy, scientific research while improving ecosystems health. Thomas is also a diving and freediving instructor as well as an award-winning underwater photographer.

Marina Gavaldão

Blue Carbon Associate

Marina is a carbon project expert, founder and Executive Director of Ubá Sustainability Institute, Blue Finance’s technical partner on climate finance. Marina is specialized in natural solutions for GHG sequestration and storage, climate change, results-based funding and Payments for Ecosystems Services schemes. Since 2003, Marina gathered experience in project design, management and monitoring, notably in the scope of sustainable landscape projects in terrestrial and marine areas working with a multitude of international donors, research institutions and private stakeholders. She has developed, certified and managed more than 15 carbon projects, alongside more than 40 social and environmental sustainability projects worldwide. She has also developed participatory methodologies for social engagement, impacts evaluation and strategic planning. Marina is a Brazilian forestry engineer from the University of São Paulo with a master in Sustainable Development and International Relations from the Graduate Insitute in Geneva.

Nicolas Gilbert

Underwater Cinematographer Associate

Nicolas is an underwater film maker and collaborates with Blue finance for the development of the Virtual Reality exhibit solutions. Nicolas has worked for more than 20 years in many film and TV productions. Passionate about the sea as well as computer graphics and video editing, this tech addict became a professional in underwater filming. Nicolas has realized more than 70 nature productions covering a wide variety of subjects, from institutional and educational films to scientific documentaries and ecological reportages. He is the co-founder of Oceanica Productions managing all phases of underwater audiovisual production. He also created GEOM, an organization developing multimedia educational tools for children to promote awareness of the fragility of the marine world. Nicolas was trained as a diver from COMEX; a company specialized in deep-water engineering operations.

Aurélie Made

Blended Finance Associate

Aurélie is a senior portfolio management leader with more than 14 years’ experience in finance (bank and asset management) with a focus on fixed income and credit in developed and emerging markets and a passion for impact and sustainable investing. She has expertise in structuring new investment products, creating inventive new business model including blended finance and all portfolio management functions inc. FX & liquidity management. She is managing portfolios of private debt globally and was managing USD 2BN in the impact investing space (Financial Inclusion, Sustainable Agriculture, Climate and Water) for 5 years up to 2020. Aurélie is as a well a fervent diver since her youth and she is now PADI instructor. She holds a Business School Diploma, a Master Applied in Finance from Macquarie University in Sydney, the CFA designation and has completed the Business Sustainability Management Programme from Cambridge Institute.

Serge Planes (PhD)

Coral Reef Science Associate

Serge is a coral reef scientist collaborating with Blue finance in the development of marine conservation planning. Over the past 20 years, he has published more than 200 papers in international journals mainly dealing with the population genetics of coral reef fishes as well as papers dealing with ecology, ecology of marine protected areas and recruitment of marine fishes. ISI Essential Science Indicators (ESI) analyzed research into coral reef ecosystems in the past decade (1995-2005) and ranked his work at #19 in the world out of 5,060 authors (see His views have major implications for conservation planning.

Our expert advisory board

Antonio Araujo

Antonio is an expert in Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation with more than 30 years’ experience in that field. He supported directly the development of the national network of Marine Protected Areas in Guinea Bissao, focusing on participatory management and community development. He was also responsible for project coordination of the Banc d’Arguin International Foundation in Mauritania and advisor to the Banc d’Arguin National Park Directorate. He managed also a large portfolio of projects focused on biodiversity conservation in West Africa, as Manager of the MAVA Foundation.

Eric Clua (PhD)

Fish Science Associate

Following a double training in veterinary medicine (Toulouse89) and applied economics (ESSEC91), Eric CLUA worked in the sustainable development sector (livestock) in the Caribbean (1991-1995) and then in West Africa (1996 to 1999). Following a PhD (2004) on tropical reef fisheries (Western Pacific), he was coordinator between 2005 and 2012 of an international program on the sustainable management of coral reefs in the Pacific (CRISP), funded by the French Development Agency (AFD). Scientific advisor to the High Commissioner of the Republic in French Polynesia from 2012 to 2016, he is now Profesor in Marine biology at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, based at the CRIOBE USR3278 EPHE-CNRS-UPVD, in Moorea (French Polynesia). Specialist in the behavioral ecology of large marine predators, Prof. Clua is an internationally renowned expert of shark conservation and shark risk management.

Pierre Rousseau

Pierre is an Independent Consultant for Finance and Sustainability. His main clients are large financial institutions, renowned corporations as well new disruptive entrepreneurship initiatives. Indeed, amongst several mandates, he is a Senior Advisor for BNP Paribas’s Corporate Engagement Department, Project Advisor for Deme Group and Senior Advisor to the CEO of innovative nature-based businesses such TerraGrn and Blue Finance. In addition to this consultancy role, Pierre has founded and supervise as Executive Chairman, Nomad Plastic Ltd, a social business providing marine services for sustainable coastal tourism, fighting ocean plastic pollution, building resilient ecosystems for marine biodiversity conservation and development of the local coastal communities in emerging markets. Prior to this, Pierre has more than three decades of experience across the financial services industry, two thirds of which have been spent in Asia Pacific. For more than 16 years, he was a Senior Executive Manager for BNP Paribas, most recently Head of Global Markets and Financial Institutions Coverage in Asia Pacific from 2015 to 2018 before acting as Senior Advisor for Sustainable Business on his return in Europe from 2019 to 2021. Forward-thinker and pushed by a practical and collaborative business drive, Pierre’s main achievement has been in leading BNP Paribas to be one of the main international finance players in Global markets in Asia-Pacific, mainly in Japan, but also in the newly-owned markets in China, India and the emerging South-East Asia. He also demonstrated a strong pioneer spirit by leading the creation one of the first electronic trading system in the late nineties and developing the first sustainable blended finance transactions for nature-based projects 5 years ago.