Andrew John Willson


Current Address:

The Scientific Center Kuwait,

P.O. Box 3504,




               Fax: (965) 5710297/ Mob: 9583646


Permanent Address:


Cryers Hill Rd,

High Wycombe,


HP15 6LJ, U.K.

Tel/ Fax: 01494 713770

Date of Birth: 6/ 6/ 74

Status: Single

Nationality: British

Driving: Full, (U.K.).


Educational History


1993 – 96. University of Wales, College of Cardiff; BSc (Hon’s) Marine Geography.

Course content summary: atmospheric, oceanic, ecological, pollution and geological marine sciences. Ocean and Coastal Zone Management, Geographic Information Systems and oceanic and geological sampling techniques and analysis. Environmental assessment studies of ecology and anthropogenic impacts within the inter-tidal zone.

Dissertation Title: The Role of Marine Interest Groups in the Conservation of the Marine Environment.

1992 – 93. University of Wales, College of Cardiff: Foundation Year in Environmental Engineering.

Course content: electronics, engineering analysis, pure maths and physics.

1985 – 92. King Edward’s School Witley, U.K: Secondary Education.

A- Levels; Geography (B), Design and Technology (C) and Physics (E). GCSE; 9 subjects including Math’s and English.


Work Experience and Employment Details


1999- 2003

Position; Senior Aquarist at ‘The Scientific Center of Kuwait’.

General Duties: Building of temporary aquarium facility; PVC plumbing, fibre-glassing, glass work and welding.

Manufacture and maintenance of fish collection equipment; boats, nets, traps, transport boxes and life support systems.

Participant in capture of live animals; boat handling, trawling, trolling, netting and diving.

‘In-flight’ technician and coordinator of large shark transfer by chartered plane from South Africa to Kuwait.

Start-up and problem solving of new public aquarium facility, including maintenance and design modifications to exhibits.

Involvement with mass media, including television documentary interviews.

Responsibilities: ‘Acting Dive Officer’: Management of maintenance schedules for aquaria between 100 and 1.5 million litres.

Development of training program for aquarium dive team and assistant to instructors on Commercial Dive Training course.

Skipper and management of boat related activities including passage planning and maintenance of vessel; 36ft 500 horse power.

Management of collection and husbandry operations for stocking, and modification to aquarium exhibits, including; transplanting/ propagation of hard and soft corals, strobalation of jellyfish and investigating techniques for care of specialised filter feeders.

Collection/ identification of undocumented invertebrate species on reefs of Kuwait for national species diversity list.

Additional Activities: Ownership and use of digital underwater video camera for the generation of footage of all diving and aquarium activities. Working/ training with in-house ‘IMAX Cinema’ Director in editing skills for the creation of clips for aquarium displays. Photo-cataloguing of aquarium species, using professional techniques with own medium format camera.


Founder member of: ‘Kuwait Marine Turtle Interest Group’.

Background: One of a group of six people involved with the formation of an NGO involved with generating research and public awareness programs for the protection of marine turtles in Kuwait.

Achievements: Hosting of national conferences and workshops; formation of a ‘select committee’ of government and private agencies; writing of papers for speeches and proceedings of conferences; attainment of funding from multinational companies; rehabilitation and necropsies of juvenile and adult marine turtles; monitoring of nesting beaches; on-going educational media releases and co-operation with commercial fishing companies for implementation of selective fishing gear; development of public information signage and posters. Development of research programs including; marine turtle nesting, and public observation program ‘Sea Watch’, (turtles, cetaceans and whale sharks).

Investigation of local cetacean populations and initiation of cetacean sighting records for Kuwait. Necropsies undertaken on behalf of National Oceanic and Aerospace Administration for CITES I listed ‘finless porpoise’, Neophocaena phocoenoides.

Regional Research Team: Collaboration with the Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment (UNEP), and other scientists for the formulation of a regional turtle-monitoring network in the Arabian Gulf, (on-going in 2003).


Fieldwork Assistant: ‘Oman Whale and Dolphin Research Group’.

Two months of sea and beach surveys studying humpback whales and small cetaceans of Oman with the ‘Oman Whale and Dolphin Research Group’ in 2002/ 2003. Specialist assistance was given with conducting boat surveys and maintenance, videography, necropsies and species identification at sea. 


Commercial Diving: ‘Dive Caroline’

Various inspection and search/ recovery diving contracts undertaken since 2003.


1998- 1999

Founder Member of: ‘Ocean Wise Foundation’, Australia.

Background: One of a team of three, involved with establishing and running a non-profit organisation involved with marine research and public awareness initiatives. Personal development of management skills to form links and mediation with government agencies, local businesses and community groups.

Achievements: Successful completion of research program within Ningaloo Marine Park (sub-tropical coral reef marine ecology survey), on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. This included; literature reviews, development of methodology, acquisition of resources, diving transect surveys (documenting flora and fauna) data analysis and final report compilation. Submitted for resource identification and conflict resolution to the Minister for the Environment, Western Australia.


Volunteer for: Department of Conservation and Land Management, Australia.

Care for injured and diseased stranded adult turtles. Data entry for ‘Whale Shark Monitoring Program’.


1993- 1997

Play-leader, (child development activities) for Wycombe District Council, U.K.

Participation in recreational and educational environmental activities for children of all ages. Contribution to child protection and development seminars. Undertaking of lifesaving duties as part of childcare around water environments.

Position: Process Operator for Mars Confectionery, U.K.

Other: Numerous temporary holiday jobs in building, manufacturing and catering industries.


Additional Qualifications and Experience


Diving: Class IV Commercial Diver, PADI Dive Master, TDI Advanced Nitrox, TDI Drager Rebreather (including ownership). Currently studying TDI Decompression Diver and Gas Blender courses.

Dive Hours: 800 hr, (since 1991). 600 hours of working dives. Includes Nitrox, re-breather and decompression diving.


Boating: Royal Yachting Association Day Skipper Practical, RYA Power Boat Handling 1, Canadian Coast Guard ‘Boat Safe Operator’, RYA Short Range VHF Radio Certificate, RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance, Award of Merit  Royal Life Saving Society. Currently studying Royal Yachting Association ‘Yacht Master’ courses.

Working Sea Time: 1654 hr. Includes large power boats, RIBs, diesel engine work boats and fishing trawlers. Additional experience gained through yacht sailing; ownership of a 24 foot yacht and undertaking a 1200nm passage through the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf on a 40ft yacht. Currently own  30ft cruising catamaran, available and ready for cetacean and diving related survey work, in the Gulf (from September, 2003).


Symposia/ Conference Attendance; Marine Animal Rehabilitation Workshop, Perth, July 1998; International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Nov 2000; Regional Marine Turtle Specialist Group Workshop, UAE Nov 2000; Kuwait Marine Turtle Symposium, Kuwait, 2001; International Conference on Coastal Zone Management and Development, Kuwait, March 2002.



Involvement in competition swimming, dingy racing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing and snorkelling from an early age, have all contributed to the development of skills for marine related activities. Motivation for current and past work stems from a genuine interest in raising awareness and creating initiatives for the promotion and protection of the marine environment. These interests are a culmination of experiences gained from 16 years residency in the Middle East (Dubai and Kuwait), 11 years in U.K, and two years travelling through Asia and Australia.




Academic: (Research)

Ben Fitzpatrick,

Marine Conservation Officer,

Department of Conservation and Land Management,


Western Australia.


Work: (Aquarium Curator).

Tony McEwan,

The Scientific Center,

P.O. Box 3504,




Fax: (965) 5710297