THE FOUNDERS
  • Prahlad Kakar
    Prahlad’s identity as an ad-guru in India is well known, however few know of his love for the ocean. Inspired by his first dive in Mauritius, where he encountered an antique Koran underwater, he worked tirelessly to bring SCUBA Diving into India. One of his first vacations with his family to his new dive resort, he was struck by the sheer beauty of the sea and vibrancy of life within it. To spread awareness about this treasure and to work towards its protection, he co-founded ReefWatch Marine Conservation.
  • Mitali Dutt Kakar
    Mitali is a passionate SCUBA Diver, film maker and ocean lover. Committed to preserving India’s marine heritage, she along with her husband Prahlad Kakar, established ReefWatch Marine Conservation in 1993. Alongside her long career in the ad film industry, she has also produced many documentary films on marine conservation, worked with coral reef researchers and conducted workshops and events to raise awareness about marine issues. She also serves on the National Wildlife Board of India.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Nayantara Jain
Known fondly as Tara, ReefWatch’s Executive Director has her feet on the sand and her heart in the sea. She lived on the islands of Lakshadweep and Andamans as a SCUBA Diving Instructor for a few years, inspired by the beauty of the ocean, but increasingly disturbed by its degradation by factors global and local. Eventually she left the islands to learn more about marine biodiversity and conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and has returned informed, optimistic and passionate about protecting India’s marine spaces.
KEY STAFF
  • Roshni Yathiraj (Project Manager)
    Roshni graduated from the University of Tasmania (Australia) with a Masters in Marine Environment, majoring in marine conservation. After gaining her degree, she worked in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Foundation on the ecology of seagrass ecosystems in the Andaman Islands for 2 years. Transfixed by the oceans and the life within, she strives to understand the dynamics of marine ecosystems in the islands and safeguard our waters from degradation.
  • Akhila Vijayaraghavan (Marketing and Outreach Manager)
    Akhila has a background in Corporate Responsibility and has worked extensively to ensure that environmental protection remains on the mandate of the private sector. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. She has worked in the US, Europe, and India and written about sustainable business practices for various publications.
  • Jonathan Emmett (Project Assistant)
    Originally from Chennai, Jonathan has always had a strong connection with the sea. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, he moved to the Andaman Islands to pursue his Master’s in Marine Biology. Once on the islands he found that he’d fallen in love with the place and decided to spend a year after his studies, training to become a PADI Dive Master.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
  • Sumer Verma
    Sumer is one of the most experienced Diving Instructors in India. He is an acclaimed underwater photographer and videographer and has worked on several ad campaigns, magazine editorials, feature and documentary films. Ever conscious about giving back to the marine world that has been so generous with him, he uses his images and his experiences to educate the world about the ocean. He has opened his image bank to ReefWatch. Most of the pictures on this website are shot by him.
  • Dr. Aaron Savio Lobo
    Dr. Aaron Lobo is a marine conservationist who has worked in South Asia and West Africa. He currently works with the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme of the GIZ (German Development Cooperation). He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is also member of the IUCN Sea Snake specialist group and a recipient of the Sanctuary Asia – ABN AMRO Award.
ADVISORS
  • Dr. Greg Rouse
    Greg Rouse is a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and curator of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection at Scripps.
    He has been on numerous expeditions that span habitats from tropical coral reefs to polar and deep-sea habitats, including whale falls, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps. His research interests include echinoderms, particularly crinoids (featherstars and sea lilies), annelid worms and seadragons (Syngnathidae). He has been involved in the discovery and naming of more than 50 species of animals and has published two books and more than 170 scientific papers.
    Prior to joining Scripps, he held research positions at the South Australian Museum, the University of Adelaide, and University of Sydney, and as a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Queensland and Ph.D. from the University of Sydney.
VOLUNTEERS

  • Our volunteers are an indispensible part of our team and the work we do at ReefWatch. Over the years, we have welcomed students and professionals from various fields including marine biologists and divers, but also law students, designers and management professionals. Our only criterion for our volunteers is enthusiasm, passion for the ocean and professionalism.
  • Kanchi Mehta
    One month at the ReefWatch base in Chidiyatapu was a rich and soulful experience. As an ocean lover and diver myself, I got a deep understanding of marine biodiversity, the symbiotic relationship within the reef as well as conservation of every species.
    The team consists of experts and is passionate about what they do. ReefWatch involves the entire local community of the coastal village, including education for the children. This created close interaction with the community and a chance to share my creativity with them.
  • Mauravi Jukar
    My time as a volunteer at Reefwatch was simply magical. The days I spent on the islands, learning about the marine ecosystem and participating in protecting it, has definitely changed the way I live my life now and I feel great about it. Be it interacting with the locals or the marine life underwater, everything seemed so interesting while I learned about it from some amazing marine conservationists and fellow volunteers, who really inspired me to think big. Volunteering with Reefwatch still remains the best experience of my life and I'd love to be a part of it again.