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RSEC Volontäre 2018: (Portraits werden nicht mehr fortgeführt)
Name Foto Beschreibung
Käthe Robert Käthe Robert

Hi everyone! My name is Käthe. I’m a 22 year old biology student from the University of Antwerp, in Belgium. One of my hobbies is scuba diving (2* CMAS) and I’ve visited Dahab in February 2017 for the first time during a fun dive holiday. In October starts my last master year in the specialization ‘Biodiversity, Conservation and Restoration’ and since I had to do a conservation internship at an external organization, it seemed a great idea to combine work with pleasure and apply for the 3 week Dahab Reef Monitoring Project II 2018 at the RSEC. Afterwards I have to write a report about what I’ve learned and done during this internship. It is amazing to learn about such an interesting topics, contribute to international research and obtain a marine biology fieldwork experience (and Reef Check Eco diver certification) at the same time! I definitely enjoyed my time here in Dahab!

Nauras Daraghmeh Nauras Daraghmeh

Hey fellow marine science buffs, Reef Ckeck divers, fans of warm waters teeming with fish and all other ocean nerds out there. I am Nauras, 28, from Dresden, Germany. My educational background differs a little bit from the one you might expect a marine science scholar to have. Earlier this year I achieved my diploma degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. However, the field of marine biology, especially concerning tropical latitudes, has been my true passion for quite some time now and I will commence a Bachelor course in Biology starting this fall, followed by a Master course in Tropical Marine Ecology. I was fortunate enough to be able to already write my diploma thesis on such a topic, namely the environmental impacts of maritime traffic on coral reef ecosystems.
I have been participating in RSEC’s Winter Academy earlier this year, diving Dahab’s reefs and being trained as a Reef Check EcoDiver. So I applied for the International Year of the Reef 2018 scholarship granted by Mare Mundi/RSEC and was lucky enough to become this year’s scholar. I’ll be staying in Dahab for 6 weeks, taking part in the Dahab Reef Monitoring performed twice a year. Besides participating in the regular surveys, my main task will be to analyze underwater images of 2m x 2m squares of reef substrate taken 10 years ago. Additionally, during the next weeks I will take photos at the same spots, analyze them as well and compare the reef substrate data to the data from 10 years ago. By doing so, we will be able to figure out if and how coral cover and substrate composition (hard or soft coral, algae etc.) have changed and if coral mortality, bleaching or diseases and recovery from them have possibly occurred.
During the coming weeks you will regularly hear from me and my experiences with my fellow participants here in Dahab on RSEC’s Facebook and web page. I will keep you posted on my work and findings and try to illustrate everything as best as I can by uploading pictures of our activities. But please do not expect videos or other fancy media material – the internet in Dahab is a nightmare and I will probably not be able to upload such things, sorry.

See you soon

(your very proud scholar) Nauras

Helen Schroeter Helen Schroeter

Hi there, I'm Helen from Germany currently doing a Master's course in Nature conservation and Ecology, aiming to specialise in tropical marine ecosystems and conservation. Participating in the Dahab Reef Monitoring Project gave me the perfect opportunity to learn about tropical reef ecosystems, underwater field work, as well as diving in general. It's a stunning world below the surface and I'm extremely grateful that I got to experience its beauty and diversity. At the same time, monitoring coral reefs will confront you with the fact that these precious and vulnerable ecosystems are facing major threats to their existence by over-exploitation, unsustainable tourism, and environmental changes. How things will pan out for all of us in the near future will greatly depend on our ingenuity and creativity to solve the ongoing environmental challenges and I salute the whole RSEC team for their great contribution, as well as the Sinai Divers staff for fascilitating our dives. Can't wait to be back!

Chantal Visser Chantal Visser Hi ! I’m Chantal, 21 years old and your typical Dutchie (try and say ‘Schevenings beschuitje met hagelslag’ ). I have been combining my studies with a few of my biggest hobby. I love nature, diving and, of course, the marine world. Therefore, I made the choice to study Biology (Bsc) with a focus on marine biology at Utrecht University. Through my university I ended up at the project RSEC is running for volunteers. Last year, I also went to a volunteering project at a NGO in Mauritius where we mainly focused on the connection with the locals (a lot of income is derived from fishing) and creating VMCA’s (Voluntary Marine Conservation Area’s). This extra volunteering work is to get some practical experience between the theoretical learning. Both that work and the project here really spiked my interest in the interactions between animals and substrate presence in the coral reefs and the dynamics of (tropical) ecosystems. I really liked my work over here because it may be significant for my future career view that I have at the moment. Of course, first I have to finish my bachelors but after that I want to do a master study that is also focused on marine biology. I really enjoyed my work and dives here and I hope that I have the time to come back some day !
Maximilian Bültge Maximilian Bültge  
Helene Wellm Helene Wellm

Hi, my name is Helene Wellm, 23 year old from Copenhagen (Denmark). I study Environmental Engineering in Copenhagen with a special interest in marine biology and marine conservation.
This year I had a longer summer vacation than normal which gave me the opportunity to go travel for a longer period. This program was a perfect chance to dive a lot while making field work and obtain more knowledge about the tropical coral reefs. I have had a passion for diving and the underwater world since I tried diving for the first time when I was 17 years old, and when I turned 21 I could call myself a dive master.
In the future I hope to find a job like the RSEC program, combining diving and underwater scientific research. I want to learn more about marine ecosystems and the environmental impact due to global warming and/or anthropogenic impacts. The RSEC project “Dahab Reef Monitoring II” was a great opportunity for me to try how its like to combine diving with scientific work.
It has been a wonderful journey learning about the coral reefs in the Red Sea and try to collect data for scientific purpose (Nina has been a great teacher). I could not have had a better summer vacation!

Isabel Erlebach Isabel Erlebach

My name is Isabel Erlebach and I am from Linz (Austria). I am studying Visual Communication (MA) and I will start my second master program Educational Media (MEd) in September 2018. Additionally I work in adult education.
So why getting involved with RSEC and becoming a volunteer for the DRM II project for 4 weeks?
Just because the sea and the marine flora and fauna has always fascinated me. So I took the chance to dive in great spots, see the beautiful Red Sea and get a deeper understanding of the underwater world.
I would like to combine my interest for marine biology with my work as a designer in the field of data visualization in order to make the data, collected within this and other projects, visible and understandable for the public.

Fabienne Pinnau Fabienne Pinnau

Hi, my name is Fabienne Pinnau and I’m a 20 year old biology student from Munich in Germany. As the study is quite general in the first semesters (I’m currently in the 2nd semester), I wanted to get an insight into marine biology, in which I’m really interested in. When I was in school my biology class went to Krk in Croatia for one week with Mare Mundi, which is a partner organization from RSEC, to get a closer look of the underwater world there. I really enjoyed that and when I heard that there’s another field station in Dahab, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to find out if maybe marine biology could be the direction I want to go. I really like the idea of combining environmental work with studying, meeting new people, getting to know a whole new culture and country and, of course, diving. Since I’ve been here for about two weeks now, I can say that I’ve learned and experienced so much not only about the beautiful underwater world of the Red Sea but also about what I want to do in life. I’m having such a great time here so if somebody asked me if I would like to come back, my answer would always be yes.

Christopher Weik Christopher Weik

My name is Christopher Weik, I‘m 18 years old, so I just graduated from Grammar school in Weilheim, a small town near Munich. I was looking for an adventure and travel and tried to combine that with environmental work. In the end it was my brother who showed me this program. All in all I’ll be spending 9 weeks in Dahab having a good time, meeting new people and maybe even finding out what I want to do with my life. Although I’m thinking of going into the direction of engineering I still enjoy doing the surveys and learning about the marine life. I’ve also always been interested in diving and seeing the underwater world, for which Dahab is a very good place to start.

Amber Barbella Amber Barbella  
Katja Kreisel Katja Kreisel

Hello, I'm Katja from Stuttgart. During my Biology degree I participated in a practical training for monitoring artificial reefs in Trinidad and Tobago. I am currently doing my PhD on fish virus, but I didn't lose my love for coral reefs. So now I'm taking a short break at the moment in sunny Dahab. The project gives me the chance to learn more about corals and coral diseases and also about the protection and conservation of coral reefs. In future I would like to work in the field of environmental education.

Christina Ewerhardy Christina Ewerhardy

Hi, my name is Christina. I´m a recent graduate from Göttingen University with a masters in Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution. Even though my focus was on plant ecology and ecosystem research, I was always fascinated by marine ecology, biodiversity and conservation. Since I did my diving license in 2009, I dived mostly in the Mediterranean Sea and only did a few dives on the Seychelles and in the Northern Red Sea. Getting the opportunity to work with RSEC was really exciting and I’m happy to be able to spend 6 weeks here with participating in the Coral Project and getting certified as a Reef Check Diver.

Oona Bienentreu Oona Bienentreu

Hi, my name is Oona. I am 21 and am originally from Frankfurt am Main. I am soon starting my 3rd year studying Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen. As I am passionate about marine conservation, volunteering with RSEC gives me a great opportunity to learn about corals and get some first-hand practice in conservation work and monitoring. I will stay in Dahab for 7 weeks and participate in both the Coral Project and the Summer Academy. So far, I’ve only been diving in the cold waters of Scotland and am very excited to be able to dive in the Red Sea and to gain some experience in conducting underwater surveys.

Macarena Bahamondes Ortiz Macarena Bahamondes Ortiz

Hi, I'm Maca from Chile. I studied Environmental Science at the University of Chile in Santiago. Since I started my degree I've been interested in marine ecology and conservation.   I will take part in the Coral Project for 3 weeks. The project is an amazing opportunity to discover the underwater world of Dahab and learn about corals and monitoring. In future I would like to participate in other coral conservation projects and use my certification as a Reef Check diver.

Ilja Voorsmit Ilja Voorsmit

Ilja currently is a master student in the Erasmus Mundus Joint International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRsea), where he follows the applied marine ecology and conservation track. He graduated from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (2017), with his Bachelor Thesis topic “The effect of global warming and ocean acidification on ecosystem engineers of coral reefs”. Passionate about the seas and oceans, he became an enthusiastic diver. He has a great interested in coral reef ecosystems and their complex interactions with the animals dependent of the reefs. He also is eager in applying the knowledge and experience gained from an internship at the RSEC, giving him interesting skills for future work. Future aspirations are working in marine research with a special interest in the effect of reef degradation on the predators depending on the coral reefs.

Gizem Poffyn Gizem Poffyn

Gizem is a student of the International master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea). She previously studied general biology at Ghent University, but always knew she was heading in the marine direction. She has been passionate about the marine environment her whole life and has seen the negative effect of human activity on the oceans where humankind so strongly depends on. She is interested in the effects of land use, aquaculture and tourism on the marine environment. She is interested in the process of developing effective marine policies on governmental level, although she also believes in a community based approach and local, small scale projects. With her knowledge, she would like to inform other people and help built a sustainable future step by step.

With the good guidance of the people of RSEC, she is conducting her professional practice and is learning more about corals and coral conservation more specifically. Here in Dahab, she enjoys being under water, participating in the transects. Together with her fellow students, she will be analyzing the data collected over the past 10 years and will contribute to finding ways to improve reef monitoring techniques.
Alexandra Hanusch Alexandra Hanusch

Alexandra Hanusch is a student from the ERASMUS Mundus Joint International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Bremen with an exchange year at the University of Guelph (Canada) in 2016.

After graduation, she conducted two marine biology internships to gain hands-on experiences in this field. Firstly, in October 2016, Alexandra joined the resort COMO Cocoa Island in the Maldives as an intern, conducting coral propagation as well as guided snorkelling tours, to rehabilitate the local reef and spread awareness. Secondly, she took part in boat-based surveys to focus on the distribution and behaviour of marine mammals at the Marine Institute Archipelagos in Greece (2017). While participating actively in marine conservation, she completed successfully the expert track of the Marine Litter MOOC. Alexandra is an Advanced diver with more than 50 logged dives.

During her Professional Practice with RSEC, her goal is to learn as much as possible about the Red Sea coral reef with its fish, substrate, and invertebrate indicators. Furthermore, she wants to collect reliable data as well as enhance her underwater sampling skills. She will analyze collected data of the Dahab Reef Check Protocol from 2007-2017, and the current collected data during her stay. It is important to her to support marine conservation using her academic background and experience in public outreach and education. In future, she wants to work in the marine conservation field and ecotourism by improving MPAs as well as monitoring fragile ecosystems and threatened species.

Janette Otterbein Janette Otterbein

How do you get a place in this environmental project.”, some of my student friends from Munich asked me. My answer was: “Oh well I send them an Email and asked if it’s ok when I join the project for 5 weeks.” So actually very easy. I found a poster of RSEC on a blackboard of my faculty in the first semester. I started diving in 2014 so the concept of studies and diving at the same time is perfect for me. Now I finished my 5th semester of Geography at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and I took the chance to go to Egypt before I have to start my Bachelor thesis. My name is Janette Otterbein and I’m 22 years old and like most Geographers I love to travel the thing I’m studying, earth. I’m looking forward to the reef monitoring. I never did a survey under water so far and I hope it will work out fine. Anyway I’m happy to participate! Greetings from a really hot place close to the ocean. (In Bavaria it’s - 6 C right now and they have tons of snow.) :)

Lotte Krüger Lotte Krüger

Hey! I am Lotte, 22 years old and have just finished my Bachelor in Bio Science at the University of Potsdam. I did my thesis at the marine department of Alicante, Spain about the benthic accumulation of microplastics derived from aquaculture. Before I will continue my Masters in marine biology, I came to Dahab to take part in the RSEC winter academy for one month. I dived here for the first time and so far it has just been awesome. The underwater environment of the Red Sea is amazing, I am looking forward to learn more about the ecology of the reefs and gain more diving experience in my upcoming weeks. But I already know that I will definitely come back to this place. 

Nauras Daraghmeh Nauras Daraghmeh

Hey, I am Nauras, 27, from Germany. I have been interested in tropical marine biology for quite some time now, though have not been involved in it on an educational level so far. I have just completed a diploma degree in Industrial Engineering, elaborating the environmental effects of maritime traffic on coral reef ecosystems for my final thesis. In the near future, I will commence a marine biology course and therefore wanted to gain some experience by learning about field work in a (sub)tropical marine environment. By taking part in RSEC`s Winter Academy and being trained as a Reef Check  Eco Diver, I gained invaluable knowledge on coral reefs of the Sinai region and how to perform underwater research. Plus, I had a great time with the whole student group and staff of Sinai Divers. And we saw whale shark!!!  


Sabine Zinner Sabine Zinner

Hello from a lovely, windy but sunny day in Dahab. My name is sabine zinner and because of a lucky coincidence it happened that I can join the applicated reef ecology modul from Hochschule Anhalt.
Before arriving here I barely knew something about marine life and just snorkeled once. Now I`m a certified eco diver and an advanced diver with heaps of knowledge about different sea organisms and how they interact with each other. Furthermore I met a lot of nice people here like the other RSEC students and the people who work at and pass by Sinai divers who make the paradise like days here even more enjoyable. The days just pass by like nothing and after a while you start to understand why so many people get lost in the “Dahab life” and decide to stay.
Anyways the RSEC program still keeps us busy and gives us input through presentations and observation dives for our student project. At the end I just highly recommend to join the course.

Sarah Westphal Sarah Westphal

Hi, my name is Sarah Westphal, 25 years old and I am studying nature conservation and landscape planning at Hochschule Anhalt, Germany. Doing my diving license in Dahab last September I was so heavily fascinated by the underworld I had to come back to learn more about this amazing environment. Thanks to my University, RSEC, Sinai Divers and my family I am spending 6 weeks in beautiful Dahab, attempting the RSEC Winter Academy, learning about fish, invertebrates and corals and discovering a bit of the peninsula of Sinai. To apply the new knowledge I am currently studying the behavior of clownfish towards intruders.

Enno Schumacher Enno Schumacher I am 24 years old and living in a shared flat with a friend in the small town called Bernburg in Lower Saxony (East Germany). We are studying Nature Protection and Landscape-planning. On my free time I like to swim, paint, explore new places and celebrating life. My favorite color is blue and my political direction is more left than right. When I was younger and still somedays now I used to watch MareTv a series witch gave me the wish to become a Marine Biologist (of course some other things like reading the book “The Swarm” from Frank Schätzing might be included). Unfortunately or luckily life is bringing us not always directly straightaway to a certain point. So after becoming a chef and Nature-protector, becoming an Eco diver here and learning so much about fish/coral species in the red sea and the interaction between everything is one of the first steps on my ladder. I am exited what will be the next step!
Marco Fischer Marco Fischer

I am 25 Years old and studying Nature protection and Landscape-planning in the third Semester in Bernburg (Germany). I was diving before in 2011 in Thailand, where I did my Open Water Diver. I liked it a lot and always wanted to go diving again. This course was the perfect chance to do so and I was quite excited to take the possibility. We have to do a Presentation about a self-chosen topic, where we do underwater surveys and analyse the Data, and the Reef Check Test to qualify us as Reef Check Divers around the world. Both were taken into account for our grade for this six-week course.
I am super happy to be here and to have the chance to see and do all these beautiful things. Dahab is amazing and the Atmosphere is very relaxed.

Lynn Bauer Lynn Bauer

I am Lynn, a german student of the Hochschule Anhalt. I came here with 4 more students to learn all about the reef ecosystem of the red sea and even to become a good Reefchecker as well. I´m very lucky to have been choosen for this wonderful 6 weeks in Dahab now. Of course I will do my best to study all these species which we can found in this fascinating underwater world. This also means to take care of the reefs, to learn and teach about the protection of them.

Alexandra Lazendic    
Adriana Giger Adriana Giger

Hallo zusammen, ich heisse Adriana und studiere Biologie. Meine Leidenschaft ist das Tauchen und alles rund um das Thema Meeresbiologie. Deshalb habe ich vier Wochen in Dahab verbracht, wo ich meinen Advanced Open Water Diver Kurs absolvierte. Der Deep-Dive bei ‘The Bells’ war unglaublich toll! Ausserdem habe ich viele interessante Leute kennengelernt, die meine Freude an Riff-Ökologie teilen.        
Im Reef Check Kurs lernten wir die Fischfamilien des roten Meeres kennen und wie man verschiedene Krankheiten von Korallen unterscheidet. All dies zu lernen hat mir sehr viel Spass gemacht! Während den Reef Check Tauchgängen konnten wir erleben, wie es ist, unter Wasser zu arbeiten.       
Der Ausflug zu den Mangroven (Nabq) war besonders spannend, wir gingen dort schnorcheln, und ich beobachtete die Muränen und Feuerfische, die sich zwischen den Mangrovenwurzeln versteckten. Danke an alle, die mit mir dort waren, für die witzige und unvergessliche Zeit!