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Mars Coral Reef

Section 5

People and Partnerships

Our core team are based in the UK, Australia, Indonesia and USA. Together, we work collaboratively with local communities, conservationists, scientists, governments and businesspeople to implement and support coral reef restoration around the world.

Core team

Jos van Oostrum

Senior Director, UK

Alicia McArdle

Program Lead, Australia

Philippa Mansell

Program Lead, Indonesia

Noel Janetski

Senior Technical Advisor, Australia

David Smith

Chief Scientist, UK

Lily Damayanti

Program Manager, Indonesia

Saipul Rapi

Program Manager, Indonesia

Freda Nicholson

Program Officer, Australia

Cudo Prasetya

Program Officer, Indonesia

Permas Maulana

Program Officer, Indonesia

Tim Gordon

Science Officer, UK

Frank Mars

Strategic Advisor, USA


Collaboration is central to our success, and we are proud to work with a wide range of local and international partners who share our vision. If you would like to work with us then we would love to hear from you - please do get in touch via the contact page.

Filter partners:

We work closely with Universitas Hasanuddin on a range of research topics at our central Indonesia sites. Together, we are conducting an extensive ecological monitoring program at our restoration sites and natural reefs in the surrounding area.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis were instrumental in helping us design the monitoring program and scientific research strategy for our first major Reef Star builds in Indonesia. See here for our collaborative research paper detailing the impacts of Reef Star restoration on coral cover at Badi Island.

Partners at the University of the West of Scotland are helping us to investigate the impacts of reef restoration on fish populations. We are testing the impact of our coral restoration on the abundance and biomass of fish communities, both in the short term (several weeks after restoration starts) and the long term (months and years after interventions begin). See here for our collaborative paper published on this topic in 2020.

We are working with partners at the University of Essex to monitor the ecological impacts of our restoration project within Indonesia. University of Essex have been heavily involved with the design of our Standard Operating Procedures and in analysing the resulting ecological data. Staff at the University have helped to define and implement our thematic research structure, guiding our future restoration approaches.

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Exeter, we are recording the soundscapes of our restored reefs. Lots of animals on coral reefs make sounds, and we’re trialling the use of passive acoustic monitoring as a new method of measuring the health of our ecosystems.

Working with researchers at the University of Bristol, we are designing experiments to test how reefs, and their associated soundscapes, change during recovery. We are developing optimised monitoring programmes to track how reef communities grow, helping to ensure future reefs have the best chances to flourish.

Research partners at the University of Western Australia are helping us to understand the hydrodynamics of our Reef Stars. We are discovering how Reef Stars dissipate wave energy, and how we can maximise the storm protection benefits that restored reefs provide to coastal communities. Find out more about the research here.

We are working with researchers at the TropWater group in James Cook University to monitor our restoration projects on the Great Barrier Reef. Staff have been involved with defining our monitoring procedures, collecting ecological data and analysing this data so that we are able to quantify the performance of our restoration projects.

Researchers at University of Technology Sydney are actively involved with our coral restoration research. We work closely with these researchers to investigate the biology of restored corals and how this influences restoration success. We are also investigating whether it is possible to eradicate the use of plastics from coral restoration practices.

Researchers at Duke University are working with us to research methods for the smart ecological design of restoration. The aim of these studies is to increase scalability by decreasing the time it takes to for a degraded coral reef to be restored.

Researchers at University College London are helping us expand our existing acoustic monitoring at our restored sites around the globe. This research will use the latest in acoustic sensor technology and machine learning driven analysis to understand how restoration can be tracked in reef soundscapes across the world.

The island communities of Pulau Badi and Pulau Bontosua (central Indonesia) showed great trust, hospitality and leadership by inviting Mars to help them restore coral reefs at the beginning of this journey. These values have been at the heart everything we have achieved since then. We continue to support initiatives identified and led by these communities, helping to improve reef-based livelihoods.

Oceanus, A.C. are a Mexican conservation NGO working to restore coral reefs in the Mexican Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico since 2007; Mars started to collaborate with Oceanus, A.C. in 2019. Oceanus' track record on reef restoration and partnership with local communities provides a strong foundation to provide training and test the suitability of Reef Star restoration within the region.

The Coral Triangle Centre are an independent foundation who promote the conservation of marine biodiversity and the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources across the Coral Triangle. Mars, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Coral Triangle Centre have joined forces to build a reef restoration taskforce to oversee the quality of well planned restoration projects in the region.

The Nature Conservancy and Mars have started a partnership to demonstrate a replicable model for jumpstarting reef recovery around the world. The Nature Conservancy are aligned in their deep commitment to reef recovery and are delighted to be working with Mars on this critical restoration program, starting in the US Virgin Islands.

The Maldives Coral Institute is a science-led body that aims to help coral reefs to survive and adapt to the changing climate. Since 2020, the Maldives Coral Institute and Mars have worked together to identify suitable restoration sites and collaborate on a pilot program to test the effectiveness and scalability of Reef Star restoration.

The Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment and Mars work together to promote the importance of responsible coral reef restoration in Indonesian waters, helping to train and advise teams in Marine National Parks and other groups with a track record in restoration activities.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Mars are collaborating to test the effectiveness of Reef Star restoration on Green Island as a flexible method in the restoration toolbox for the Great Barrier Reef, and to facilitate the training of a group of competent reef builders who can be deployed where suitable and required.

The SHEBA® Brand is a key partner leading the Sheba Hope Grows campaign - the world's largest coral reef restoration program. This bold project includes a commitment to restore 185,000 m2 of coral reef around the world by 2029.

Bali Hai Cruises were the first tourism business who asked us to help them train their team and set up a reef restoration program. We are working together in Lembongan, Indonesia, to help protect the reef for generations to come. Tourists experience first-hand the magic of coral reefs and the value of responsible restoration with Bali Hai Diving Adventures.

Reef Magic Cruises are a pioneering tourism operator in Australia. We have been working in close partnership with Reef Magic to put the very first Reef Stars in Australian waters. We helped train their staff to enable the restoration of parts of Moore Reef.

Hurawalhi Resort has a strong interest in the protection of the coral reefs that their business, tourists and island communities depend on. We have trained their staff in Reef Star restoration, and continue to support them to carry out independent reef restoration programs.

Soneva Jani Resort has a strong interest in the protection of the coral reefs that their business, tourists and island communities depend on. We have trained their staff in Reef Star restoration, and continue to support them to carry out independent reef restoration programs.

The Ocean Agency are a non-profit creative agency working to raise awareness and support for marine conservation. They have taken beautiful photographs of our restoration projects, including those featured on this website.

Biopixel are an Australian video production company specialising in aquatic life. Biopixel have filmed and produced exceptional video content of our restoration work, including all of the videos on this website.

Underwater Tribe are a video and photo production company based in Bali, Indonesia. They have captured beautiful photos and videos of our restoration programs in Sulawesi, both above and below the water.