Having successfully contributed to create a database now counting more than 170 species of identified whale sharks, the established Marine Biology Centre of LUX* Maldives welcomes the new resident marine biologist Ms. Charlie Hawley to lead the on-going researches and activities conducted within SAMPA (South Ari Marine Protected Area).
New Zealand-born, Charlie has been working in the Maldives for the past two years leading the marine biology base of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Explorer and Landaa Giraavaru with a team of resident marine experts contributing to the ‘Sea Turtle’ head start and rehabilitation programs. After having graduated with honors in Marine Studies, during which she joined the Tennessee Aquarium at the River Journey building known as the largest fresh water aquarium in the world as an Aquarist. Charlie also spent several years in Australia where she worked on several projects including research on seahorses in captivity on the Gold Coast. Moving to the Great Barrier Reef as an underwater photographer, Charlie developed an extensive image library which now enlists more than 200 species among 8000 different shots from the Maldives alone. Being underwater all the time emphasized her passion for the Marine environment which led her to the Maldives.
‘I am thrilled to join the team at LUX* Maldives’ says Charlie ‘being located in such a special area famous for a year-round presence of whale sharks, it offers the perfect location to develop new projects and researches within the activities of the centre’. The Marine Biology Centre of LUX* Maldives runs weekly activities for all the guests including half-day trips aimed to search and swim with whale sharks, manta rays and guided diving session focused on fish-watching and identification. The latest addition to the already rich schedule is a special highlight on the reef turtles of the Maldives, conducted through photo identification on any of the scheduled snorkeling or diving excursions.