The Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies (BCSS) and its founder Nina Flohr care immensely for its people and the surrounding local community. We employ between 70-80% of our team from local communities, with the remainder joining internationally. Our multicultural research and management team, along with the station staff, come from all backgrounds and cultures. Above all we pride honesty, effort and transparency.
Part of BCSS since August 2019, Adolfo began as a driver and maintenance assistant. Working closely with Chief Engineer Baptista, he has learned a great deal about mechanics. Adolfo’s favourite parts of his job is the social aspect of working in a big team and the continuous opportunity to learn.
A BCSS team member from the beginning, Adriano is a proud member of the security team. He enjoys working with the other security guards, and is grateful for the peace and harmony at BCSS.
“I love that I get to wake up every day and come to the kitchen to do what I know best”. Ana is an experienced and passionate chef, who joined the BCSS team in September 2020. She enjoys working and sharing skills with Jose and Saquina, in the kitchen.
Americo joined our team in April 2021 to assist with skippering our new research diving boat. He has been working on Benguerra Island for many years, and has guided many guests on dives while working for the original Benguerra Lodge, which was built in 1988. He not only helps us with driving the boats but he also assists us with research diving expeditions.
Together with Sergio and Chloë, Arlindo is responsible for the gardens on the BCSS premises – from the vegetation to the food forest. Together they make sure the natural resources around the station are maintained and flourishing. Keen to continue learning, he also assists in the kitchen to prepare the garden’s harvests.
Armindo is often called “Guebuza”, after the former president of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, because of their similar sounding name. Armindo likes to have control over the boats; keeping everything in check and organised. He celebrates the fact there is always something to learn, from shark tagging to scuba diving.
ENGINEERING & WORKSHOP
As Chief Engineer and Workshop Technician, Baptista is responsible for the holistic maintenance of the station, with Adolfo at his side. Baptista has been working at BCSS since 2019, and is looking forward to many more years in service of the center.
FINANCE & BOARD MEMBER
Bernard brings a strong financial background in leadership, analysis, systems implementation and logistics management. He has vast experience in managing five star hotels and resorts for hotels, having worked on international brands such as Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental. His work has led him to living and operating hotel openings for Southern Sun Hotel in the Middle East and now Kisawa Sanctuary. Bernard holds a Master of Laws in International Business Law from the University of Cumbria.
Chanoca joined BCSS in April 2020, becoming part of the housekeeping team. In her first year she has learned from Susana, while teaching Susana new things too. They make a great team together and enjoy each other’s company.
PERMACULTURE & BOTANY
Chloë studied a degree in Botany due to her strong passion for permaculture. She has since obtained and coordinated a number of permaculture certificates and courses, leading her to designing and implementing garden projects in Southern Africa and beyond. Chloë manages the BCSS and Kisawa Sanctuary gardens – with the goal to be more self-sufficient, provide organic food and minimise the CO2 footprint of the food consumed. Chloë also implements efficient waste management strategies and initiates permaculture-related community projects on Benguerra Island.
Chorten Wangyel is an accomplished Hotel General Manager with a wealth of experience in the profitable and efficient management of some of the most luxurious five star hotels and resorts in Asia and the Caribbean. A nature lover at heart, Chorten cultivates a culture of excellence in order to exceed customer expectations of world class service, creating shared vision and leading by example. Chorten is currently General Manager of BCSS’ sister property, Kisawa Sanctuary.
VOLUNTEERING & INTERNSHIPS
Claire has worked in project management for many years, setting up and managing several community, conservation and animal welfare programs and initiatives. She is also a board member of two community led animal welfare charities. Originally from the UK, her passion for travelling has led her to many different countries across the globe and she has lived in various places in Southern Africa.
Dinis has been working for BCSS since December 2019, when he joined the security team. He likes having the responsibility that comes with being a security guard and hopes to be able to stay at BCSS for many years to come.
Emilia joined the team in April 2021 to assist our growing kitchen output, as we have seen an average occupancy growth of 70% compared to previous years. She has had many years of experience working at the Anantara Resort on Bazaruto Island and is very happy to be working on one of the Archipelagos islands again, this time for for BCSS.
A founding team member of BCSS, Feliciano is part of the security team. He is proud of the fact that when he’s on duty, no problems have occurred – and he hopes to keep it that way.
Ginela is Francisco’s brother, another skipper at BCSS. Together they grew up on Benguerra island and know every hectare of water like the back of their hands. Passionate about his home island and surrounding waters, Ginela loves taking care of people on the boat and ensuring a successful expedition.
BOARD MEMBER & SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY
Dr Ian Hudson brings a broad background of leadership and practical experience from both the corporate and academic sectors. Ian currently serves as the Head of Environment at world leading mining company, Anglo American and he previously spent 15 years in leadership roles in oil, gas and private equity. He is a marine biologist with a PhD in deep ocean ecology and has remained active in this space since his early work at the National Oceanography Centre. Ian has served a variety of NGOs and conservation groups.
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS
With a strong affinity for sustainability, local cultures and behavioural change through design, Iris is a multi-disciplinary creative professional, dedicated to producing quality designs that communicate the mission and values of an organisation. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, she has worked as a travel journalist in the luxury eco-tourism industry, as creative manager of a pioneering sustainable tour operator and as project and community manager for a marine conservation NGO in West Papua, Indonesia.
OPERATIONS & COMMERCIAL
As commercial and operations manager, Jason’s priorities are to ensure all on-site operations run smoothly, while identifying and developing commercial opportunities for the research station. Jason was born in Durban, and developed a love for the ocean from an early age, leading him to becoming a qualified free-diving instructor. He leads freediving for research at BCSS and supervises all freediving activities at the station. In addition to operations, Jason assists with fieldwork, expeditions and research.
Joaquim has been with BCSS since the launch in 2017. He enjoys having the responsibility of guarding the BCSS premises.
Karen is an early-career environmental scientist, interested in the Earth as a system, and understanding how humans interact and alter them. After achieving a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Karen has worked on the intersect of science and policy as an environmental consultant in Mozambique, and conducted field research in Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Mozambique. She joined BCSS to coordinate projects for the Ocean Observatory and manage data and laboratories.
Luis has been part of the BCSS security team for almost two years. Patrolling the BCSS center, he is dedicated to keeping everyone safe.
As part of the security team, Mario works together with his colleagues to ensure BCSS is safe, guarding every corner of the station premises.
DIRECTOR & CHIEF SCIENTIST
Dr. Mario Lebrato
Dr Mario Lebrato has over 15 years of experience working at the interface of marine and environmental sciences, with expertise in oceanography, marine biology and ecology, chemistry, and data management. Mario holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton (UK), plus a PhD from the University of Kiel (Germany. He has worked as a postdoc at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (USA) and has coordinated research projects for German and Chinese governments. Mario continues to contribute to the top peer leading journals, internationally.
Mario used to be a skipper, but opted for a career change and joined BCSS when the research station officially opened. He enjoys guarding the facilities and premises.
MARINE OPERATIONS & DIVING
Mauro manages all marine activities; from scientific dive expeditions to servicing scuba gear. He is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with 5 x scuba specialities, an experienced EFR instructor, INTED compressor operator and PADI equipment technician with more than 10 years of diving experience under his belt. His love for the underwater world started in childhood, and it was natural that he became a scuba instructor and teacher. As Marine Operations & Diving Manager he ensures that everything runs smoothly, from fieldwork expeditions to underwater research equipment maintenance.
Part of the wonderful kitchen team since December 2020, Saquina enjoys cooking every day and making people smile. Equally she enjoys keeping the kitchen tidy and organised. She has learned much from the other BCSS chefs.
Susana has been with BCSS from the beginning in 2017, and managed the housekeeping on her own until Chanoca joined her in April 2020. They have worked closely together ever since, exchanging skills while making sure BCSS is kept clean and thoroughly sanitised.