Nekton is run by a core team of management and staff combining world-class experience across scientific research, marine operations, ocean policy, knowledge exchange, multi-platform content creation and distribution, marketing and communications.

Oliver Steeds,OBE

Chief Executive, Mission Director

Oliver Steeds is the Chief Executive and Founder of Nekton, and Director of Ocean Census. Oliver leads the management and development of the organisation and field operations. Formerly he was a critically acclaimed broadcast journalist with ABC, NBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channels and others. He is co-founder of Encounter EDU including the Ocean’s Academy.

Alex Murphy

Finance and Operations Controller

Alex is responsible for Nekton’s financial and operational management. After starting her career in practice she soon developed a taste for business and commerce and now has thirty years of finance experience spanning a wide variety of commercial organizations and industries, including advertising, publishing, retail, design, architecture and more recently capital delivery in the UK water industry and construction engineering.

Tara McDonald

Finance & Operations Coordinator

Tara is responsible for the day to day finance and administration. She assists the Head of Finance and Central Operations with all financial matters. She has over twenty years of finance experience in various organisations and insustries including construction and education. Tara is an Open Water Qualified diver and is interested in developing her ability to explore and help protect our ocea. She enjoys a variety of extra curricular activities including dance and music.

Sheena Talma

Nekton Science & Knowledge Exchange Programme Manager

Sheena Talma is a marine scientist from Seychelles with a keen interest in learning more about how we use the ocean and the implications of overfishing marine pollution and climate change in that relationship. Sheena holds a post-graduate degree in fisheries and ichthyology. Prior to this she worked for the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change in Seychelles working towards environmental sustainability.

Lucy Woodall

Principal Scientist

Lucy Woodall is an Associate Professor in Conservation Biology and Policy at the University of Exeter. She is a marine biologist with a passion for sharing the delights and importance of the aquatic world with global citizens. While her work broadly focuses on understanding the processes that drive biodiversity in the ocean, she is especially interested in the impacts of human activities on threatened species and remote ecosystems. Lucy is featured as one of Inverse’s FUTURE 50, profiling people who will shape the coming decade, as she regularly provides expert opinion on seahorses, marine conservation, ocean pollution and sustainable marine management. Lucy is a co-founder of the Heritage Marine Foundation.

Nuria Rico Seijo


Nuria is a marine biologist with an interest in the different organisms that form zooplankton communities around the world. She has worked with samples from the Iberian Peninsula, the Gullmarsfjorden on the west coast of Sweden, the Seychelles and the Maldives. She was also co-lead for the assessment of the presence of microplastics in the Weddell Sea with an international and multi-disciplinary team. In addition to this, Nuria curates and manages the samples collected on Nekton's expeditions.

Nina de Villiers

Research Assistant

Nina de Villiers is a marine biologist from South Africa with a passion for discovery, conservation and science communication. She holds a Masters in marine biology which focused on the impact artificial structures had on fish and benthic invertebrate communities. Prior to this she was a research assistant investigating density and distribution of two endangered syngnathid species as well as a number of estuarine ecological studies. She is a keen explorer of rock shores and loves to find marine species. She is a qualified Class IV Commercial diver and loves to share the marine environment with others through underwater photography.


Expedition Director

Rhidian is an experienced and innovative expedition leader and operations manager. A former commando officer, he leads high performing and diverse teams managing government and commercial projects around the world; in the film & TV sector he has worked as a producer, location manager and advises on risk, safety & security. A seasoned expert in planning, logistics, training and communications; leading expeditions in challenging conditions often in remote and hostile locations. Rhidian keeps current in a range of skills that include: mountaineering, wilderness medicine & boating. His portfolio of experience includes high performance dinghy and ocean racing, the management of risk for major Hollywood TV adventure series and the coordination of security for national elections in Afghanistan.

Jack Hogan,

Communications Manager

Jack is a marine science graduate who spent seven years navigating the world's oceans aboard private expedition yachts, in this time sailing over 170,000 nautical miles and participating in key scientific expeditions. Before joining the Nekton Mission, Jack refined his writing skills as a magazine editor in London, where he focused on investigating sustainability in the private yachting industry and exploring the potential of luxury yachts to contribute to marine research. Beyond his professional pursuits, Jack is an avid marathon runner and hiker who loves discussing movies and books during downtime on expeditions.