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Previous editions 2022

Alessandro Marroni

Prof. Alessandro (Sandro) Marroni is the founder and President of DAN Europe, Member of the Board of Directors of the International DAN Federation.
He serves as Vice President of the European Committee for Hyperbaric Medicine (ECHM); President of the European Foundation for the Education in Baromedicine; and Secretary General of the European College of Baromedicine. He is a Past-President of the International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine, of the European Underwater and Baromedical Society, and of the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques.
Prof. Marroni received his Medical Degree (Magna cum Laude) from the Bologna University and specialized in Underwater and Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of Genova, Italy.
In 1974 he obtained the Post-Graduate Specialization Degree in Occupational Medicine, and in 1993 the Post-Graduate Specialization Degree in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care.
While active in the international Underwater and Hyperbaric Medical scientific and diving communities, Prof. Marroni remained involved in clinical Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine and has served as Associate Professor of Underwater and Hyperbaric Medicine at the Underwater and Hyperbaric Medicine Post Graduate School of the University of Chieti and at the Post Graduate School of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care of the University of Ancona, between 1980 and 1997; Professor of Hyperbaric Medicine and International Faculty Coordinator at the International Post-Graduate School of Baromedicine of the University of Belgrade Medical School, Yugoslavia, since 1997.
He has also serves as Professor of Diving Medicine at the Faculty of Marine Biology of the University of Ancona and at the post-graduate Masters Programmes in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine at the Universities of Pisa, Italy, since 2005, at the University of Palermo and Catania, since 2011, at the University of Padova since 2014 and at the University of Insubria since 2016.
Initiator and Director of International School of Diving Safety and Medicine at the Malta Institute of Tourism Studies and of the first in the world Bachelor of Science Degree in Diving Safety Management since 2018.
An avid skin-diver since his early years, he learnt SCUBA diving at the age of 13 and became a Certified Diver with CMAS in 1964 and has been an Active SCUBA Instructor since 1966.
Author of over 250 scientific papers and publications, he is particularly active in underwater medicine research, with special interest in the prevention of Barotrauma and Dysbaric Illnesses in recreational diving and in the development of advanced techniques for remote diver’s physiological monitoring and of bidirectional diving telemedicine.

Armando Ribeiro

Diver since 1999, specialized in underwater photography and video, has won several national and international awards.
The taste for deep dives, unexplored wrecks and caves, lead Armando Ribeiro to create the 1st team of technical divers that use closed circuit rebreathers (CCR) in Portugal. Created in 2004/2005 the In-Silence Dive Team has as main objectives the development of CCR diving, the exploration off deep shipwrecks and caves on the Portuguese coast and the participation in international diving expeditions. Armando quickly became one of the first serious advanced expedition divers in Portugal, taking part in numerous adventures with some of the world’s best technical divers.
His most recent project aims to explore, obtain cave’s cartography and capture in video the biggest springs in Portugal. This exciting adventure was recently renewed by the discovery of new galleries that open the door to new challenges due to the greater depts and distance that can be achieved. The expeditions and projects impact, through the publication of articles in diving magazines and the national and international public projection of their videos, had a strong recognition in the national diving community, being already a reference in all expos and events related to technical diving.

Aviad Cahana

Aviad Cahana invented and developed the Avelo System, a revolutionary scuba system that is both lightweight and redefines how divers manage buoyancy. His diving career began as an instructor in the Red Sea where he also worked as a dive guide and trip leader for destination trips. Aviad has been diving for more than 28 years with experience in technical diving and other specialties.
After teaching scuba while undertaking a solo world-cycling expedition, Aviad returned to teaching scuba in the Red Sea where his significant other gently encouraged him to go get a real job.
Aviad is an environmental and chemical engineer with education from the Israeli Institute of Technology and in the United States. He has worked as CTO and CEO of a technology startup in the renewable energy and renewable chemical industry.
Aviad first developed the concept for the Avelo System in Maui by questioning the need for heavy gear and investigating ways to improve heavy and cumbersome dive equipment. He then created Avelo Labs and as CEO of Avelo is introducing the world to a new way of scuba diving.

Bill Stone

During the past 41 years Dr. Stone has founded 8 startup companies, holds 33 issued patents and 7 patents-pending, and serves on the board of directors for 4 corporations. He led the design, development, and manufacture of numerous scientific and exploratory inventions including closed-cycle life support systems, autonomous ground and sub-ice underwater vehicles; ice penetrating cryobots; and high energy optical waveguided power transmission. Since 2003 he was PI or Co-I of the NASA field robotics systems: ARTEMIS [NNX14AC01G] (first AUV to undertake long distance exploration under the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 2015); ENDURANCE [NNX07AM88G] (first sub-glacial lake exploration robot, 2008); VALKYRIE [NNX11AJ89G] (first laser-powered cryobot, 2014); and DEPTHX [NNG04GC09G] (autonomously explored the world’s deepest hydrothermal spring and discovered 4 new bacterial phyla, 2007). He is the chief architect of the Stone Aerospace SUNFISH AUV. Dr.
Stone was PI or Co-I on eight NASA field campaigns. All of those field campaigns were conducted with novel robotic systems in demanding settings with zero accidents and the teams all returned safely, as did all of the vehicles. During the past 5 years Dr. Stone has successfully directed the SPINDLE [NNX15AT32G], ARCHIMEDES [NNX17AF64G], and THOR [80NSSC18K1738] projects for the NASA Ocean Worlds program and is the PI for the SESAME project PROMETHEUS [80NSSC19K0612], all of which deal with technologies to enable Ocean World planetary missions. These NASA-funded endeavors have created 21 inventions affecting both sub-glacial AUV autonomy and cryobot design.

Brandi Mueller

Brandi Mueller is a photographer and writer obsessed with traveling and sharing the stories of what she sees. Learning to dive when she was 15 as a foreign exchange student in New Zealand, Brandi became a diving professional at 20 and a captain at 24. She studied marine biology in college and has a Master’s degree from the University of Hawaii.
Working on liveaboards around the world (and traveling other places to dive on her vacations) she started to take photos and collected tips and tricks from any photographers she met, eventually meeting a few editors willing to publish some of her work.
WWII wrecks are some of her favorite subjects and she is a captain of the M/V Truk Odyssey liveaboard which dives the Japanese WWII wrecks of Chuuk (Truk Lagoon.) But you can also find her with a macro lens photographing nudibranchs that live on the wrecks. She finds capturing the behavior of small critters just as exciting as tiger sharks or an airplane wreck.
Brandi continues to dive around the world with the intent to share images and stories of the people, animals and wrecks that live around the water and below. One of her current projects involves ocean environments and communities likely to be impacted by climate change with hopes of those images and words inspiring empathy and protection of those places.
Brandi has won several awards and is widely published in books, magazines, online and has a book called The Airplane Graveyard. She is an Ikelite Ambassador, is part of the Ocean Artists Society and a Platinum Pro 5000 recipient.

Carlos Almeida

Carlos Almeida is a senior researcher in autonomous systems. His passion for robots led him to take a course in electrotechnical engineering and computers. In 2001 he began his activity as a researcher in robotics and autonomous systems. He has a master’s degree in autonomous systems and currently works at INESCTEC’s CRAS (Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems). One of his other passions is the sea, so he has been working with underwater technologies, namely underwater robots. He has performed many missions with robots in hostile/unknown environments. He participated in multiple exercises with the Portuguese Navy where he was aboard several ships. His most recent research is related to the exploration of flooded caves using robots in deep waters. Recently on one of the expeditions he managed, together with his team, to reach the world record in depth in flooded natural caves.

Dalia Faria

I’m Dália Faria, 51 years old. Born in South Africa I consider myself to be vibrant by nature with an acute love for life and facing challenges.
Learning is one of my passions, having a degree in Human Recourses Management and an MBA in Business Administration.
Accomplished, experienced organization development leader, delivering innovative strategies and programs that result in higher workforce performance, improved national employment rate, as well as enhanced individual career development, learning skills and productivity. Brings 22+ years of consulting, competency assessment and development expertise and leadership of European Union funded strategic projects. Influential, results oriented systems thinker with successful track record in developing sustained improvements in competitive advantage of underperforming local economies by creating strategic partnerships between government, public and private sector. Active nationally in leading the community of training and development professionals and advocating for rights and equality of disabled people in Portugal.

Dan Orr

Dan Orr, President of Dan Orr Consulting, has more than 50 years of diving experiences. He retired from the position of President of Divers Alert Network (DAN) America where he helped focus DAN on its worldwide diving safety mission.
Dan is an invited speaker at numerous national and international diver conferences and conducts regular webinars for global audiences on a variety of diving safety subjects. He has published and co-authored more than a dozen books and manuals including 101 Tips for Recreational Divers, Scuba Diving Safety, Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries; Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries; and the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Training Manual. He has also published over 200 articles including The Normalization of Deviance (aka shortcut mentality), Time to Return to Diving but Cautiously, COVID-19, Local Diving and The Older Diver, The Ageless Diver, A Crisis Lurking Below the Surface-Emergency Hyperbaric Chamber Availability.
Dan has been honored by his peers by being the recipient of many prestigious awards and is a member of the Hall of Fame for Disabled Divers, the Diving Industry Hall of Fame, and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts relocated from Belgium to the Cayman Islands in 2009. And recently to UK. She has a master’s degree in modern history and education. After a career in IT she home schooled her 2 gifted teenagers and took up scuba diving in June 2011. Soon she combined it with photographing the wonders of the underwater world.
Ellen’s main drive is shooting images that contribute to achieving goals in conservation of marine life and education about the importance of our oceans and preservation of clean water. She tries to capture her subjects eye to eye so that the viewer would be drawn in.
Ellen has received numerous awards for her pictures and could be seen in exhibitions in Paris, St. Petersburg, Valencia, Marseille and New York. June 2017 she addressed heads of State on World Oceans Day at the General Assembly of the United Nations highlighting the plight of photographers and filmmakers engaging in protection of the oceans. She curates the UN WOD Photo competition and developed a Charter of commitments regarding ethics for UNWOD and Unesco/IOC.
As a Fellow Explorer International she became a member of the Flag & Honors Committee of the Explorers Club, having a front seat at future explorations! In 2018 she became a cave diver and in 2019 she was inducted in the Women Divers hall of Fame. 2021 she participated in her first cave exploration expedition Xunaan-Ha.
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Gareth Lock

Gareth Lock is the owner & founder of The Human Diver, an organisation formed to bring human factors knowledge, experience and practice from high-risk domains and academia into the sport of diving. Since January 2016 when he formed the company, he has taught hundreds of people in face-to-face classes around the world and thousands via online and webinar-based programmes. He has published Under Pressure: Diving Deeper with Human Factors, the only textbook that looks at this topic and in May 2019, released ‘If Only…’ which looks at a tragic diving accident through the lenses of human factors and a Just Culture. Over the last 3 years he has also led two reviews of fatal military diving accidents on behalf of Defence departments, applying systems thinking and human factors.
Recognising that the need for human factors is greater than one person can deliver, he has also trained ten instructors to deliver Human Diver materials around the globe and is working with two agencies to incorporate human factors concepts and tools into instructor development and diver training materials.
The Human Diver website is where you can find everything you want to know about HF in Diving and associated training materials.

Jean Claude Monachon

1974 marked the first dive of JC in a cold and dark Swiss lake, he was 14. It took him another 12 years to turn into a dive professional.
In 1986, JC decided to leave the corporate 9-5 and Swiss comfort to follow the dream of working as a diving professional in the Maldives. This passion changed the curse of his life for ever (like for many people that JC transformed the life in his career).
After climbing the stairs of a prominent diving organization and being a CEO for over 20 years, he continued to dedicate his passion to help SSI – Scuba Schools International to change the approach, and moved completely to a digital version of the programs, which certainly helped to change the approach of the diving education.
Monachon’s function as an International Business Development specialist gave this unstoppable traveler the opportunity to speak 5 languages and identify the needs in various market places. A typical example would be the launching of a Mermaid Program that nobody would have seen as a boost for the industry.
Scuba Diving education is one aspect of his career and his favorite claim is that better to take imperfect action than inaction.
Monachon’s aim is to stay as close as possible to local communities and market places, find ways to improve their marketing while using social media marketing organically, in which he has specialized over the past three years helping to develop specific webinars. He personally conducted over 423 webinars in 5 languages in the past 24 months.
Diving is covering all great market demands – relationship, health and wealth. It’s not a trend activity and that’s why the future can be seen with an optimistic view.

Kirk Krack

Kirk’s multidisciplined diving professional and Instructor Trainer who’s been instrumental in many innovations relating to breath-hold and freedive training. While a life-long freediver, he is also a mixed gas instructor trainer with TDI.
Founder and President of Performance Freediving International formed in Jan of 2000, PFI was the world’s first fully integrated freediving educational system with professional liability insurance. Kirk has trained and coached seven athletes to 23 world records including training seven different special operations groups from three different countries. He’s been an innovator in developing Technical Freediving.
A Performance Advisor with the Liminal Collective focused on human performance in the diving environment, he is currently forwarding the goal of seeing a ‘liquid breathing’ project come to life after a 2019 collective symposium on the subject.
Since 2017, Kirk has been the trainer and consultant for the cast and crew of the Avatar Sequels by James Cameron. In this time Avatar completed over a quarter-millions freedives with their largest scene involving 26 people underwater on breath-hold with breath-hold times as long at 4.5min and no hypoxic events or blackouts due to ‘technical freediving’ procedures being used.
Kirk is a wilderness EMT and Hyperbaric Technician along with being the 2016 DAN Rolex Diver of the Year.

Leigh Bishop

Leigh Bishop is a British shipwreck explorer and pioneer of deep wreck mixed gas diving. He is a well-known deep wreck photographer, and his research has led to the discovery and identification of hundreds of shipwrecks. He has been a member of the most significant deep shipwreck expeditions and scientific projects that have carried the explorer’s club flag.
Leigh has been featured on many television shipwreck documentaries and worked as a deep-water cameraman for National Geographic, History Channel, ITV, Channel 4 and other global networks. He is a prolific writer, speaker and lecturer of shipwreck exploration globally. Over the last two decades, his photographs and articles have appeared in countless magazines, books and major newspapers. He was the man behind the original concept of Eurotek, The Advanced Diving Conference. In recent times his focus of attention is directed towards forthcoming personal book projects.

Manthos Marras

Born in Athens th 5th 0f May 1966
Graduated the Naval Academy as Engineer and served the Greek Navy until 1989 when retired because of an accident.
After that as a paraplegic did a lot of wheelchair racing participating in many competitions, including World Championships and Paralympics.
Around 1995 started scuba diving and end up as PADI Instructor the year 2000. After that he focus in the diving business with his company, Aqua Team, based in Athens, with another dive center on Kythnos Island Greece.
Manthos is at this moment PADI IDC Staff Instructor, DDI Instructor Trainer, ANDI Level3 Trimix Instructor Trainer and CCR Instructor in several units.
He has been diving around the world, in different conditions, from the frozen lakes to the tropical waters and from caves to the strong currents, shipwrecks and even shark hand feeding.
As a trainer, he has trained hundreds of students, including disabled divers and instructors of different levels up to trimix and CCR.
His diving target to make a prototype dive center that can serve any kind of diving and offer the best service.

Marco Pires (CAO – FEPC)

Marco Pires was born on 01st May 1983, in Lisbon – Portugal. Begun his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1995. In 2009 has joined to Civil Protection Special Force (FEPC) as a professional firefighter. In 2010 has started his career as a diver firefighter (level I – equivalent to open water). In 2011 has trained as a diver firefighter (level II) in the Portuguese Navy. Between 2010 and 2016 belonged to the Water Rescue Team as a firefighter diver. From 2016 assumed roles and responsibilities of leadership and coordination, stopped working directly in the operations part related to diving, and remained connected to the team and the work it develops. He remains much attached to the ocean, diving sporadically for recreational and personal purposes. Currently is Command Assistant Officer in the Civil Protection Special Force (FEPC) from the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC).

Mark Caney

Mark first started scuba diving while serving with the British army. In 1980, he left the military to open a diving center in Cyprus and has worked full time in the diving industry since.
For eighteen years, he travelled to many countries training scuba instructors and working on diving-related projects. He also led an award-winning, four-month diving expedition to east Africa.
In 1996, he became a vice president of PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and was based in their office in Bristol, England which covers the area of Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2016, Mark moved into a global role for PADI Worldwide, although he continues to live in England.
Mark was instrumental in setting up PADI’s TecRec rebreather training range is presently involved in creating ISO standards for rebreather diver training and scientific diving.
Mark is well known in the diving world; he is the President of the European Underwater Federation, is President of the Rebreather Training Council and continues to serve in the senior positions in leading diving industry bodies such as the World Recreational Scuba Training Council. He is also the chairman of a major marine charity, PADI AWARE Foundation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Mark published the novel Dolphin Way – Rise of the Guardians in 2016, and in 2020, also released it as an audiobook.

Mark Powell

Mark Powell is one of the UK’s best known technical diving instructors. He has been involved in diving since the mid 1980s, has been teaching since 1993, and holds the rank of technical instructor-trainer for TDI.
Mark’s true passion is wreck diving and it is his exploration of deeper wrecks that led him into technical diving. Mark has served on the National Executive of the SAA, as well as being its technical diving advisor. He currently represents TDI/SDI at British Safety Diving group meetings and he is also a member of the BSI committees defining standards for diver training and diving equipment.
He also writes a monthly column in Sports Diver, which covers all aspects of technical diving. Mark is the author of the best-selling book Deco for Divers, which allows the average diver to fully understand the principles behind this fascinating and critical aspect of diving.

Nuno Sá

A full-time cameraman since 2015, Nuno Sá was part of the team of the BBC series – Blue Planet 2, having been awarded in 2018 with a BAFTA award as well as a Panda award for your participation in this series. The following year he was the main cameraman for the documentary of the National Geographic Wild channel “Europe’s Wild Islands”, and on several high profile documentaries such as BBC “Animal with cameras”, NHK  “Islands of the Atlantic” and several others.
Between 2017 and 2019 he divided his time between participation as an underwater cinematographer for major international productions and the production of the first major series about the Sea of Portugal, the series “Sea, the last frontier” in partnership with Oceanário de Lisboa and Fundação Oceano Azul, that is currently being show on chanels RTP1 and RTP3.
Nuno Sá is also part of the Mares ambassador team.

Nuno Vasco Rodrigues

Nuno Vasco Rodrigues is a Marine biologist and researcher at MARE IPLeiria (Peniche, Portugal). He authored of dozens of scientific articles and three books on marine fauna, having contributed to many others. As a photographer, he specialized in underwater photography, using image as a tool for study and communication, with the goal of conservation. Regular contributor of publications such as Oceanographic and National Geographic Portugal, his images have been widely published in books, newspapers and magazines and also exhibited globally, with several having won awards in international competitions. In 2021 he was awarded conservation photographer of the year by Ocean Geographic and in 2022 he won 2 awards in the UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition. Certified diver since 2000, Nuno has over 1500 hours underwater in various places around the world, most of which studying and photographing marine life.

Simon Mitchell

Professor Simon Mitchell
Professor of Anaesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Auckland
Simon is a physician and scientist with specialist training in diving / hyperbaric medicine and anaesthesiology.  He is widely published with over 160 scientific papers or book chapters. He works as a consultant anaesthetist at Auckland City Hospital, and Professor in Anaesthesiology at the University of Auckland. He provides on-call cover for diving emergencies at the North Shore Hospital Hyperbaric Unit in Auckland. Simon is Editor-in-Chief of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal.
Simon’s diving career has included more than 6000 dives spanning sport, scientific, commercial, and military diving. He has been a lead member of teams that were the first to dive and identify 3 deep wrecks of high historical significance in Australia and New Zealand. At the time of one of these dives (2002) the 180m depth represented the deepest wreck dive undertaken. He was elected to Fellowship of the Explorers’ Club of New York in 2006, and was the DAN Rolex Diver of the Year in 2015. His most recent expeditions were Truk in November 2019, the Pearse Resurgence cave (New Zealand) in February 2020, and a New Zealand project to take arterial blood gas specimens from an elite freediver at 60m in February 2021.

Stephane Hourdez

Stéphane Hourdez is a researcher in Marine Biology in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. He obtained his PhD in Biological Oceanography in 2000 from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (France). He was then a post-doctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University for 3 years before returning to France. His research focuses on adaptations of marine invertebrates from extreme habitats, especially regarding temperature and oxygen levels. The environments on which he mostly works are deep-sea hydrothermal vents and Antarctica. He spent four summer campaigns at the French Antarctic Station Dumont d’Urville in Adélie Land. During these four seasons, animals were collected while diving and later experimented on in the laboratory on shore.

Teresa Amaro

Teresa Amaro is a deep-sea ecology researcher who adopts a holistic view of Marine Sciences and uses a multidisciplinary approach to solve scientific problems. Teresa has a degree in Biology from the University of Porto in Portugal (1998) and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University in The Netherlands (2005).
Since 1998 she has acquired an extensive experience in seagoing (over 50 cruises) and sampling the seafloor using many different techniques such as Remote Operated Vehicles, man-submersibles, landers, sediment traps, corers, trawlers and especially in-situ experiments. In 2013, she had the chance to dive to 5262 m in the Pacific Ocean using SHINKAI 6500.
Teresa has been a diver since 1996, but only in 2017 she became an Open Water Instructor from both SSI and CMAS. As she has an extensive admiration for the deep sea, during Covid pandemic, she became a rEvo Decompression Diver.
Teresa has only used recreational diving as a hobby, but currently, she is leading a project in Cabo Verde islands, where she will combine both deep-sea instrumentation and diving (recreational and technical).

Tomasz Stachura

Tomasz Stachura is one of the most active wreck divers in the Baltic Sea. He specializes in deep underwater wreck photography. He has taken thousands of underwater pictures of Baltic wrecks as well as many caves on different continents. His photomosaic from MARS wreck in Baltic sea was on the covers of National Geographic in Poland and abroad. Member of the Explorers Club New York. Founder, owner and CEO of SANTI Diving – a worldwide diving company producing diving equipment. Co-founder of an international Baltictech Conference dedicated to promotion of the wreck diving in the Baltic Sea. Originator and chief of the ‘SANTI Find the Eagle’ expedition – a long term project aiming to find lost wreck of the submarine ‘Eagle’ (ORP Orzeł). Author of the book “Route of Death”- describing wrecks connected with Operation Hannibal. As a host he appeared in 20 episodes of a documentary series about Baltic wrecks.
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