About Us

Meet Our Team

Anthony Saner, ReefCI Director

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At heart, Anthony is an environmental conservationist and a teacher, trained in environmental science and education, with an ardent commitment to the natural world. His passion for environmental protection and education, coupled with his love of water and diving, makes being a part of ReefCI unique and extremely exciting!

Anthony has two passions that have guided him throughout his life– environmental protection and education. He has had two careers in pursuit of these passions –wildlife biologist and teacher. As a wildlife biologist he worked on endangered species projects in several western states of the USA, from the cute and cuddly endangered pygmy rabbit to the majestic but critically endangered Mexican Wolf. As a teacher, Anthony is certified in science and social studies and enjoys sharing knowledge about our fascinating natural world and various cultures. He has a B.S. in Fish and Wildlife Conservation from Oregon State University, a B.A. in History and Masters in Education from the University of Kentucky.

Anthony has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, rather it be about the natural world or cultures. He also has an insatiable appetite for chocolate and peanut butter! Please keep it hidden as he has no power to resist!

Anthony believes the ultimate goal of ReefCI is to preserve and manage the Belize Barrier Reef for generations to come by inspiring, educating, and encouraging change via our volunteer citizen-scientists. Our volunteers are the change they wish to see in the world and ReefCI makes that possible.

Frank Hachmann, Director of Marine Sciences and Operations Manager

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Frank is dedicated to making the spectacular dive destinations of Belize an exciting and magnificent adventure for our guests. Spending most of his time on the island, he tends to all day-to-day operations activities while doing his utmost to provide a unique and relaxing experience in a welcoming and safe environment.

Over the course of his previous engagements in Belize with Cotton Tree Lodge, an eco-lodge in the Toledo District and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) he has proven his management skills in the fascinating cross-cultural context and has developed strong ties to Belize and its people. As such, Frank is passionate about the great outdoors of Belize and its marine environment, as well as the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage.

Born and raised in Germany, Frank graduated from the Technical University Munich with a degree in “Natural Resource Management” (B.Sc.) before earning a Master’s Degree in “Sustainable Tourism Management” (M.A.). Moreover, he is a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor with diving experience in Portugal, Indonesia and Honduras.

Frank is dedicated to providing an extraordinary, educational, and fascinating experience for his guests while preserving his passion for the successful conservation of the unparalleled biodiversity in Belize and introducing the guests of ReefCI to the concepts of eco-protection.

Stephanie Macdonald, Marine Biologist and PADI Dive Instructor

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Stephanie is a tropical marine ecologist specializing in coral reefs, fisheries and coastal ecosystems. She has been passionate about the natural environment, its protection, and the creatures that inhabit it ever since she can remember. Her fascination with the ocean was first noticed at a young age wanting to spend hours at the beach or in the sea.

After traveling around parts of Africa and while diving in Cabo Verde her fascination remained and Stephanie decided that she had to pursue a life underwater. With a Bachelor of Science in Biology she gained a better understanding of the natural world as a whole. Completing her Divemaster certification enabled Stephanie to complete a dissertation researching coral reefs in Utila, Honduras where she developed knowledge of underwater species and the complex ecological processes that exist there.

She later went into become a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and has continued to dedicate herself to Caribbean Coral Reefs having conducted research in Honduras, Cuba and Belize and this is only just the beginning.

 

Willie Caal, Marine Biologist and PADI Dive Instructor

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Willie has a lifetime of passion for the Belize marine environment. He has a degree in Nature Resource Management, gained at University of Belize in 2014. Willie is ReefCI’s science coordinator and Marine Biologist. He is a PADI Dive Instructor and responsible for our conservation initiative programs.

Willie worked as a community researcher at Toledo Institute of Development and the Environment (TIDE) and was one of the longest standing and most accomplished member of the team. He was active within the research and monitoring department, regularly taking part in the marine program within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve in Southern Belize, surveying coral, fish, and commercial species. He took part in many additional workshops and training seminars and represented TIDE at international conferences. Willie also worked with the Belize Fisheries Department and Belize Coastal Zone Management in research and monitoring throughout Belize. Willie has been working for ReefCI since August 2015. He is a great asset to our organization; in particular, the development of our intensive Lionfish program.

Willie was born in Punta Gorda in southern Belize. He has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He comes from a fishing family, his Dad and all his brothers are fishermen. But Willie didn’t want to become a fisherman! He is passionate about the ocean and made a decision to help protect the Caribbean Sea that he loves.