SMSG People

The Shallow Marine Surveys Group is comprised of scientists, dive enthusiasts, and volunteers from the Falklands community.

Steve Cartwright

p3142915Steve is co-founder, Director, and current Chairman of the group. He is also the diver and boating safety officer, a research diver and coxswain. Steve is the owner of "Chancer" a 28ft American Fastfisher adapted for use as a dive platform, from which most of the diving around the Stanley area is undertaken. Steve has been diving in these cool waters since 1995.Originally from Yorkshire, England, Steve moved to the Falkland Islands in 1984.  His boating career includes working as a coxswain for Sulivan Shipping Services Limited in the Falkland Islands for 16 years, the last 10 as chief coxswain.  During this time he gained RYA qualifications and commercial endorsements in motorboating.

No PhD to report but if you need something done, fixed or found Steve's your man!

Dr Paul Brickle

Paul BricklePaul is co-founder of SMSG, research diver and one of the group’s marine biologists. Paul is currently the Director of the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI).  Paul grew up in Zambia and Malawi but for some reason sought cooler climes by attending universities in the UK and then working and living in the Falkland Islands.  Paul has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He also has an MSc and PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in fisheries biology and zoology respectively. Paul’s interests include the ecology and oceanography of the southern Patagonian Shelf, particularly the reproductive biology, age and growth, population dynamics and the population structure of marine species inhabiting the waters of this region. He also has a keen interest marine parasites and their use as biological tags for investigating the population structure and migration of fish hosts. Paul continues to be a part of a number of trophic studies of marine fish around the Falkland Islands and is interested in the environmental and fisheries impact on trophic structures in communities. Paul is also interested in shallow marine ecology, community ecology and biogeography of small isolated islands.

Dion Poncet

Dion PoncetDion is a Director of SMSG and research diver. Dion is also the skipper of the Hans Hansson. He is one of the most remarkable skippers on the high seas, having been born and raised on a yacht in the Southern Ocean.Inevitably, with this background there are few corners of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands that Dion does not know. His working knowledge of high latitude charter vessels, coupled with his ability to fix almost anything, makes Dion a valuable addition to any project or expedition.Dion skippers our regular charter vessel the "Damien II", He is also one of the group's research divers and is involved in underwater photography and specimen collection.



Dr Paul Brewin

Paul BrewinPaul is a Director of the group and the current Secretary.  Paul has been a diver and research scientist with the group since 2010, starting out as SMSG's South Georgia Shallow Marine Program project officer.  Paul gained his PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand, studying the deep-benthic community ecology in New Zealand's fjords, and has held a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California San Diego, where he studied seamount community ecology and oceanography. Paul has an interest in marine benthic community ecology, fisheries science and oceanography. Paul also brings to the group a wealth of diving and deep-sea survey experience having worked extensively in Antarctic, temperate, and the tropical marine realms. Click here for a list of recent publications.

Juliette Hennequin

attachment.ashxHaving skippered sailing yachts in the Antarctic region as well as in the Arctic since 2004, Juliette has joined her partner Dion Poncet with whom she now runs the Hans Hansson. An accomplished sailor and a keen diver, Juliette also holds extensive knowledge of the Sub Antarctic and Antarctic regions. She was introduced to scuba diving here in the Falklands in 2013, and has rapidly become addicted to it. Her passion for the marine world has naturally brought her to join the SMSG team and she helps with boat driving, specimen collections, transect surveys, underwater photography, and Director of social media. 


Joost Pompert

DSC 4012 001Joost is regular weekend and expedition diver, surveyor, and scientist with the team.  He became involved with SMSG in 2012, after finishing his MSc (Zoology) by research in the Falklands through the University of Aberdeen. Joost is originally from the Netherlands, but travelled to and settled in the Falklands in 1989. After having worked for both the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department  and a local fishing company as a Scientific Fisheries Observer, he started leading the Observer team from 1997 onwards, and has done this ever since. Joost started diving in the mid 90’s doing his BSAC training both in the islands and finishing it off in Weymouth, primarily to be included on the dive surveys that the FIFD started to include within their research programme. With the FIFD he did regular surveys in port William as well as some surveys around the islands on the RV Dorada.

Sacha Cleminson

sacha cleminson mug shot 001I am a volunteer diver for SMSG. I will do anything to get myself the opportunity to float through the extraordinary gleaming forests of kelp of the Falkland Islands. I enjoy doing survey work and taking photos, getting to know a little of the lives of all the beasties down there. Working with and learning from the knowledgeable and fun members of SMSG is a great pleasure too.

I live with my wife and daughter in Stanley and work in wildlife conservation for my day job. I studied marine biology at St Andrews University surrounded by the equally chilly but exciting waters of Scotland. One day I look forward to finding somewhere warm to dive.

Jerry Pierce

JerryJerry is a non-scientific, volunteer member of the group and struggles with Latin (as he did at school!) but he is good at filling cylinders and an excellent underwatre photographer. He is living on the Falklands with his wife Moyra, who works at the local hospital. Jerry learnt to dive in the UK in 2008 and is a PADI Divemaster and has experience diving in Russia, Norway, Egypt, The Maldives, Mauritius, Shetland and the Orkney Islands. He is a keen photographer both above and below the surface and enjoys all aspects of working close to wildlife and the environment.

Natalie Winward

IMG 4389 cropHaving qualified in the mid 1990’s, I spent several happy years diving around cod–filled and dark Dorset shipwrecks and the beautiful Devon and Cornish waters of the South West English coast. Then North with nosey Scottish seals and their leggy, spider- crab companions, qualifying as a PADI Rescue Diver.

In a dense and somewhat unnerving Falklands blizzard, my family and I landed in August 2013. I have been diving with the SMSG since the following October, helping with their underwater surveys, photographs and collections and generally having a really good time.

Dr Martin Collins

Martin CollinsMartin is involved in research diving, photography, and identification of marine fauna. Having moved here in 2009 Martin, is now the outgoing Director of Fisheries and Senior Executive for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Originally from Liverpool, Martin first came to the Falklands as a fisheries observer in 1990, but left after a year to undertake a PhD investigating the ecology of squid around the Irish Coast. After completing his PhD Martin worked at Aberdeen University, researching deep-sea fish ecology and lecturing. During his time in Aberdeen Martin learned to dive in the cool Scottish waters and has dived sporadically ever since in various parts of the world.  In 2002, after seven years in Aberdeen, Martin moved to the British Antarctic Survey to work on the ecology of Southern Ocean nekton (fish and squid).

Sarah Browning

Sarah BrowningSarah has been living in the Falkland Islands since August 2011, arriving with her husband Simon who was posted there with the Army. Diving since 2004 Sarah is a BSAC Advanced Diver, Assistant Instructor and Diver Coxswain. She has enjoyed the sport all over the world in locations such as the Maldives, Oman, Tobago, Easter Island, Ascension Island and the UK.

A keen all round conservationist, Sarah has undertaken diving with Sea Search UK, volunteered with the Episkopi Turtle watch in Cyprus and more recently in the Falklands; diving with SMSG and topside working for Falklands Conservation recording and controlling invasive plants. Sarah is a support diver with SMSG helping with specimen collection and identification, transact surveys and underwater photography. Sarah and Simon were the SMSG Logistics planners for two expeditions to Ascension Island in 2012 and 2013.


Simon Browning

Simon BrowningSimon graduated from Swansea University in Environmental Biology before heading to Ireland delivery research support to Matt Murphy at Sherkin Island, where he led the Littoral Flora and Fauna survey team, red seaweeds his specialisation. He attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and commissioned as a Logistics Officer he has followed the flag for 24 years to see deployments across the globe which has included Belize, Kuwait, Iraq, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Germany, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and finally to the Falkland Islands. A diver of over 25 years he is a BSAC Dive Leader and Diver Coxwain. His passion for marine biology never far from the surface Simon has been diving regularly with the Shallow Marine Survey Group for the last 24 months, fascinated by the diverse marine life and enthralled by the Fur Seals and Sea Lions.

Simon is a support diver with SMSG helping with specimen collections, transact surveys and underwater photography. Simon and his wife Sarah were the SMSG Logistics planners for two expeditions to Ascension Island in 2012 and 2013.


Steve Brown

Steve BrownSteve is a member of the Shallow Marine Surveys Group technical services team as well as one of the research divers and photographers. Steve is used to functioning in cold climes having worked for the British Antarctic survey for 6 years, working on all of their Antarctic stations initially as an electrician then in a management role. As well as his ability to fix most things Steve also has his RYA powerboat qualification.  Steve was introduced to the ways of diving in Bonaire in the Dutch Antilles and has since become truly addicted and has had the opportunity to dive in the Maldives, UK, Easter Island, Red Sea and the Falklands.


Dr Judith Brown

Jude BrownJoining SMSG in its infancy Judith has been a keen member of the group since 2008 and is involved in the research diving, photography and identifying of marine critters.  Judith took up diving in 1991 in her home waters in the North east of England and is a BSAC Advanced diver and is HSE IV qualified. She has a BSc in Applied Marine Biology from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and completed her PhD on the ecology and life history of Patagonian toothfish whilst working in the Falkland Islands. Employed mainly in fisheries research and on marine biodiversity projects, Judith is working her way around the South Atlantic Islands! She spent two years on South Georgia studying the commercially important fish species in the area for the British Antarctic Survey and then spent six months on Signy Island as a freshwater limnologist. Next she spent 2 ½ years in the UK based in the Lake District with Eden Rivers Trust carrying out surveys on the salmonid populations and on river restoration projects. Judith then moved to the Falklands to work for the Falkland Island Government Fisheries Department, researching Patagonian toothfish (ageing, reproduction, diet and migration studies) and then worked for South Georgia Government as their Fisheries Scientist. During her time on Falklands she took part in all the SMSG research trips around the islands as well as to South Georgia and two expeditions to Ascension Island. As the Project manager on a Darwin funded Marine Biodiversity project she then spent two years on St Helena (amongst other things writing a book on the inshore marine life!) before moving to her current position as Director of Fisheries on Ascension Island.


Dr Vladimir Laptikhovsky

Vlad LaptikhovskySince 1999 Vlad worked in the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, and has been a diver and research scientist with SMSG. In 2013 he moved to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS, Lowestoft) where he is involved in stock assessment of different marine fish and invertebrates of the Atlantic Ocean and Antarctic. He is an official scientific expert of the European Commission's Directorate-General on Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) working for the Joint Scientific Committee within the EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement.  Despite being away from the Falklands, Vlad still joins SMSG on expeditions to Ascension, and beyond.


Dr Wetjens Dimmlich

Wetjens DimmlichWetjens is a Director of the group. He is also a research diver and photographer. Originally from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He moved to Melbourne, Australia and obtained his BSc in Zoology and GIS/Remote Sensing at James Cook University of North Queensland. He worked in fisheries research around Australia for a decade before accepting a PhD scholarship in Fisheries Science at Adelaide University. A keen photographer, Wetjens has also been diving since 1986.

Wetjens began his career working on the ecology and conservation of marine turtles in tropical Australia and has since been involved in many other research projects, with particular emphasis on pelagic fish species. He studied the prey species of the little penguin (Eudyptulaminor) in Victoria for several years before moving to South Australia to develop fisheries monitoring protocols for the nascent sardine (Sardinopssagax) fishing industry in that state.  His main focus before moving to the Falkland Islands has been an investigation of the biology, life history and stock assessment of anchovies (Engraulisaustralis) in South Australian waters. During three years with the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, Wetjens was involved in oceanographic studies in addition to stock assessment and management of commercially fished species around the Falkland Islands.

Wetjens currently works in the Seychelles. where he is the Indian Ocean Tuna Manager for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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