Nekton Team

Nekton combines world-class experience across multi-disciplinary marine research expeditions, submersible operations, multi-platform content creation and distribution, marketing and communications, scientific research, international collaborative networks and sustainable organisational development.

Oliver Steeds,
Chief Executive

Oliver is responsible for developing the mission strategy, running operations at sea and piloting one of the submersibles. He is a leading explorer, a critically acclaimed broadcast journalist, TV presenter and communications specialist having worked with NBC, ABC, Discovery Channel and Channel 4. His expeditions, reporting and adventures have taken him to 100 countries and he’s the youngest explorer featured in ‘Faces of Exploration: Encounters with 50 Extraordinary Pioneers’. He is also the co-founder of Digital Explorer ( and the Ocean’s Academy, set up to inform and engage young people in global environmental issues.

Professor Alex Rogers, 
Science Director

Alex is a Professor of Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Scientific Director of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean and Scientific Advisor to the Global Ocean Commission, as a result of this he is one of the world’s pre-eminent oceanographers. Alex’s research is focused on understanding how communities of marine organisms are structured, what human activities impact them and how resilient they are to these impacts. He has led and participated in 20 major marine expeditions including coordinating technical dive teams. His marine policy work includes projects for the UN International Seabed Authority, UN Division of Oceans and Law of the Sea, the IUCN, and the G8+5 Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). 

Belinda Bramley,                                                  Partner Engagement Manager

Belinda is a chartered accountant with a passion for enterprising initiatives that have a positive environmental impact. After qualifying with KPMG in London, Belinda spent ten years working in the City within finance and treasury roles at Lloyds Bank and Salomon Brothers International. She supported trading desks, managed currency exposure and improved business systems. She then moved to the non-profit sector, becoming CFO for Earthwatch and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP). She also served as a Trustee of the GCP in its formative stages. 

Dr Lucy Woodall, 
Principal Scientist 

Lucy is a marine biologist with a passion for the aquatic world. Her PhD on the conservation genetics of European seahorses provided valuable research for captive breeding and international monitoring programmes. While her work broadly focuses on the processes that drive biodiversity in the marine biome, including the impacts of human activities, she has also worked in coastal and deep sea habitats and is an expert in marine litter. Her microplastics research was the first to reveal the ubiquity of this pollutant in the deep sea which led to further work on marine debris in our most remote oceans. In addition to project managing duties she leads the microplastic and marine debris research, as well as developing new genetic based techniques to understand the biodiversity in the ocean.

Dr Paris Stefanoudis,                                               Senior Laboratory Technician

Paris is a marine biologist. His PhD investigated the effects of modest seafloor topographic variation on benthic ‘foraminiferal’ communities, for instance microscopic, shell-bearing, single-celled eykaryotic organisms, from ultra-deep waters. Having participated in three research cruises in the NE Atlantic he has experience with seagoing procedures and biological sampling. His general research interests include ecology and biology of deep-sea habitats, marine pollution and conservation. Currently, he is managing Nekton’s laboratory in Oxford and works on the analysis of plankton samples collected during Nekton’s first mission.

Will West,                                                                         Head of Content

Will is a self- shooting producer and director with over 15 years experience making documentaries for international broadcast. He started his career in wildlife film-making, working extensively in southern Africa before moving into Current Affairs with a specialism in challenging and hostile environments. He has filmed in over 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia, and has experience in aerial filming, working off-shore with the coast-guard, military and police and in undercover work. He is also an experienced stills photographer and an avid yacht racer.

Dr Catherine Head,                                                 Marine Biologist

Catherine is a marine biologist with a background in conservation. She undertook her PhD at the University of Oxford focusing on the biodiversity and community structure of coral-associates in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, one of the world’s largest no-take marine protected areas. Previous to that, she worked in marine conservation for the Zoological Society of London and Coral Cay Conservation. Currently her post-doctoral research focuses on investigating the genetic connectivity of corals between shallow and deep depths to identify if mesophotic reefs (reefs deeper than 40m) can act as a refugia from human impacts, allowing reseeding of shallower reefs after mortality events. Catherine is also exploring the use of new genetic techniques, such as Environmental DNA, as a non-invasive method of monitoring marine biodiversity. 


Rupert Grey

Senior libel lawyer at Swan Turton, seasoned global adventurer, photographer and experienced Trustee, currently on the board of The Mary Rose Trust.


Professor of Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, Scientific Director of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean.   

Nigel Winser 

A Life Scientist with a career directing international geographical field research programmes at the Royal Geographical Society, London and Earthwatch International, Oxford. Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westminster University for services to the environment and conservation.


  • Scientific Committee: ensuring that Nekton’s research programmes are robust and focused on priority areas to maximise impact.
  • Impact Committee and Advisory Board: ensuring Nekton’s scientific research and media activities inform strategic interventions to catalyse marine policy.