+44 (0)207 697 8598

Fran Humber

Tuesday, 29 April 2008 11:26

Past Thesis Titles

Since 2004 Blue Ventures has accepted a number of independent researchers at the Andavadoaka field site.

Please have a look below at the previous titles which have been studied. If you would like any more information or a copy of these theses please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via our online form.

If you are interested in completing an independent research project with Blue Ventures please contact us for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Preparing for REDD+: Identifying and Mapping Human Threats to Mangrove Habitats, Madagascar

Samir Gandhi, Kings College
MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling & Management


Gear Selectivity and the Influence of Socioeconomic Factors on Gear Choice in a Small-Scale Coastal Fishery in Western Madagascar

Katrina Dewar, University of Bangor
MSc Marine Environmental Protection


Etude du stock de carbone dans le mangroves de Madagacar - case de Maintirano, region Melaky

Volahasina Tsilavina Ranoelison, Universite d'Antananarivo
Mémoire en vue de l’obtention du Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies


Subjective Wellbeing and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Mangrove Forests of Madagascar

Deon LLouw, University of Oxford
MSc Environmental Change and Management


Etude des impacts socioéconomiques d’un projet REDD+ pour l’écosystème mangrove à Madagascar

Pierre-Francois Roy, Blue Forests and Coastal Communities Programme
Not completed for any degree programme


Facteurs explicatifs de la déforestation et de la dégradation des mangroves en vue de la mise en place de REDD+: Cas de Maintirano

Rado Andrianirina Rakotomanana, Universite d'Antananarivo
Mémoire en vue de l’obtention du Diplôme d’Étude Approfondies


Can payments for carbon sequestration services in mangrove stands improve livelihood, ecology and sustainability? A Case study of mangroves in Ambaro Bay, Madagascar

Samuel Welderufael
MA NGO and Development Management


A comparison of qualitative and quantitative ecological assessment methods of mangroves in Southwestern Madagascar

Sondra Winders
SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management




An Investigation into the Impact of Environmental Conditions on the Effectiveness of Temporary Closure Periods for Octopus Cyanea Fishing in Southwest Madagascar

Victoria Taylor, UCL
MSc Conservation


Investigating the rate of recruitment of Ocotpus cyanea to an unfished area of reef flat in southwest Madagascar

Sam Wragg, University of Warwick
BSc Biology


Initial investigation of spatial resource use by octopus gleaners in Andavadoaka

Julie Baines, Swansea University
BSc Marine Biology


A baseline study of the squid, Ommastrephes bartramii, fishery in Andavadoaka, SW Madagascar

Julia Baker, Swansea University
BSc Marine Biology


Evaluation de la qualite d'habitat appropriee pour les poulpes (Octopus cyanea) d'Andavadoaka dans la region sud oust de Madagascar

Andrisoa Aladin Danoary, IH.SM
DEA Océanologie appliquée




Investigating the effects of sewage-outlet proximity to coral reef communities in Pulau Tioman, Malaysia.

Charlie Fayers, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
BSc Zoology




Feasibility study of the culture of red algae (Euchema denticulatum) in the Velondriake management zone.

Heriniaina Juliano Dany Ramanantsoa, IHSM, Madagascar


Rapid changes in fish utilization of mangrove habitat in Western Madagascar

Judith and Peddrick Weis, Rutgers University and Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of
NJ, Newark NJ, USA.

Not completed for any degree programme


Malagasy Meadows; The threats and effect on three different seagrass habitats in the Velondriake 'marine protected area', Madagascar

Robbie Weterings, Van Hall Institute, Netherlands

BSc: Diploma in Environmental Science


Malagasy Meadows Map Book; GIS maps of three different seagrass habitats in the Velondriake 'marine protected area', Madagascar

Robbie Weterings, Van Hall Institute, Netherlands
BSc: Diploma in Environmental Science




Identification of the reproductive season of Octopus cyanea in the southwest region of Andavdoaka

Daniel Raberinary, IHSM, Madagascar
MSc: Diploma in Applied Oceanography


Investigation of the level of mangrove resource use and potential sources of human impact around Andavadoaka

Claire Connon, University of Cambrige, UK
BA Natural Science


Spatial and Temporal variation in coral reef fish assemblages of the reef systems of Andavadoaka, south west Madagascar

Lea Fennelly, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
MSc Marine Environmental Protection


The extent to which short term, community-run no-take zones serve as a tool for promoting sustainable octopus fisheries in Southwest Madagascar

Alice Miller, Sussex University, UK
MA Environment, Development and Society


Linking People and the Environment: a Study of Environmental Education with Rural Communities of South West Madagascar. MA in Environment Development and Policy

Lucia Cresti, Sussex University, UK


What factors contribute to the progression and integration of sustainable livelihoods within coastal communities in Madagascar?

Heather Campbell, Kings College, London, UK
MA Geography


Microbial and chemical analysis of the drinking and bathing waters in the rural village of Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar to identify faecal contamination; with the objective of designing a sanitation programme using biogas technology

Katrice King, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
Applied Terrestrial and Marine Ecology




Establishing experimental No take zones to promote a sustainable fishery for Octopus cyanea (Gray) in south west Madagascar

Frances Humber, University of Plymouth, UK
MRes Marine Biology


Mangrove Forests of Baie des Assassins, Madagascar: An Assessment of Forest Structure, Human Impact and Subsistence Value

Rhadika Dave, Yale University, USA
MSc Environmental Science


Seagrass and Coastal Communities: Investigating sustainable development in Andavadoaka, south west Madagascar

Micah Stanbridge, University of Edinburgh, UK




A study of volunteer tourism- Results for Blue Ventures

Alexandra Coghlan, James Cook University, Australia
Tourism Programme




Fishery activities in the village of Andavadoaka

Gaëtan Rovestin Tovondrainy, IHSM, Madagascar
MSc: Diploma in the technical science of coastal management Option: Integrated Coastal Zone Management


A threat to traditional Society? A case study of the threat of tourism to the traditional fishery of Andavdoaka, south west Madagascar

Matthew Linnecar


Interaction between Different Enterprises making use of Coastal Resources in Andavadoaka

Charikleia Xirou, Imperial College, London, UK
MSc Environmental Science


Tuesday, 22 April 2008 14:25

Guillame Marchais, French, 28

Guillame joined an expedition in Madagascar on a career break. During his time in Andavadoaka, he helped with an "open day" to share the results of our marine research with the local community.

Wednesday, 09 April 2008 09:31

Graphic/Web Designer

Are you interested in assisting a marine conservation charity with its web design, marketing or data visualisation? Blue Ventures is looking for talented web & graphic designers to help with ongoing design projects.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008 11:17

What makes us different?

Different expeditions and volunteering opportunities suit different people. The quality and type of experience varies considerably among different organisations, so you should make sure that you do a bit of research to find the right trip for you.

You may like to consider asking some of the following questions:

  • What are the aims of the project, and how will your participation contribute to these aims?
  • If you’re looking to join a conservation or research project that claims to be achieving conservation goals, ask what results have been achieved and what research has been published, and how volunteers were involved in that work?
  • Who is running the expedition; the organisation you are booking with or a sub-contracted local partner?
  • What is the status of the organisation; charity, not-for-profit or private company?
  • How are your expedition fees spent; what percentage is spent in-country and what percentage supports head office costs?
  • How many staff does the project employ to provide training, support and guidance for volunteers?
  • Can I talk to ex-volunteers about their experiences?
  • What health and safety measures are in place?
  • What are the sleeping arrangements for volunteers? Some expeditions house volunteers in dormitories while others can offer private accommodation.
  • Are volunteers expected to cook for the group, or are local chefs employed to prepare meals?
  • Remember that an attractive website with appealing marketing does not necessarily mean that the expedition itself will meet your expectations, or give you the experience that you are looking for.

    Speaking to the organisation and asking a few direct questions can help you to decide which organisation to travel with. We are always willing to talk, so give us a call on +44 (0)207 697 8598 to discuss our expeditions in Madagascar and Belize.

    What makes Blue Ventures different?

    Our organisational structure

    Our award-winning expeditions are run by a social enterprise which fuels our marine research and conservation work in Madagascar and Belize. Profits generated by Blue Ventures Expeditions (a private company) are re-invested to maintain the standard of our expeditions and further channelled to Blue Ventures Conservation (registered charity number 1098893) in order to support the development of our innovative and integrated community-based programmes.


    Our conservation impact

    We have hosted more than 1,800 volunteers at our sites over the last decade, resulting numerous reports and scientific papers being published about the state of Madagascar and Belize’s coral reefs, and directly contributing to the development of our marine conservation work.

    Our expedition volunteers also play a vital role in diversifying income-generating opportunities away from fishing within coastal economies, generating more than US$100,000 for local homestays to date in Belize alone.

    Our volunteer to staff ratio

    We limit the number of our volunteers on each expedition to a maximum of three per staff member (with an average group size of 12-14 volunteers) so that everyone receives a high standard of science and dive training and support, no matter what their background.

    Madagascar team

    Other organisations offering similar research opportunities and expeditions tend to accept greater volunteer to staff ratios but we feel that this can limit the learning experience, availability of facilities and diversity of activities that volunteers can participate in.

    Our expeditions are run by experienced staff recruited, trained and managed by our London headquarters to ensure we deliver consistently high-quality training, safety and expedition experiences. The teams consist of at least four international staff members (including PADI dive instructors and marine biologists) working alongside at least four local staff members.

    Our science and dive training

    All of our volunteers complete an intensive two-week science training programme run by our field scientists at the beginning of each expedition, to ensure that their knowledge is sufficient to carry out underwater surveys with our marine biologists coordinating the research.

    Science training
    Both qualified and non-qualified divers are welcome to join our expeditions, with the PADI Advanced Open Water course offered to those without this qualification. PADI Emergency First Response, Rescue Diver and Dive Master courses are also available for those who wish to advance their diving qualifications.

    Our health and safety

    Safety is our top priority when working both above and below the water in remote environments. Our volunteers are required to complete a medical check with their doctor before joining an expedition with us, and we aim to have a qualified medic on site at all times, with additional 24-hour medical support provided both from our UK based medical professionals and within each expedition country.

    Health and safety
    Rest days (decompression days) are incorporated into our schedules, and conservative dive profiles allow for a large safety margin. Communications can be difficult on remote expeditions so our field sites and research boats are connected by VHF radios and/or mobile and satellite phones at all times, and our research boats carry medical oxygen on all diving trips.

    We have a worst-case scenario medical evacuation (Medivac) plan, supported by 24-hour contact with our head office staff and medical advisers. All of our expeditions staff are experienced divers, with training in first aid and practical rescue management skills.

    Our accommodation and food

    Our expedition volunteers stay in beach-front eco-cabins at our dive sites in Madagascar and Belize, with a maximum of four people per bungalow. We offer private accommodation for a small supplement; ideal for couples, families or those wanting their own space.

    Coco Beach
    Three meals a day are prepared by local chefs, with plenty of fresh vegetables and seafood, and we are normally able to cater for those with specific dietary requirements. Volunteers are also given the opportunity to learn how to make traditional snacks, such as doughnuts, fish samosas and tortillas. Tea and coffee is available with most meals and treated drinking water is freely available on site, with bottled water and other beverages available to purchase from local restaurants or shops.

    Our value for money

    The cost of our expeditions is among the most competitive in the sector, and we believe that we offer the highest standards of science and dive training, accommodation and food. We don’t charge for dive kit hire (we have all of the expensive equipment that you need available for you to use at our research sites) and PADI dive courses are subsidised to keep prices low.

    Our expeditions help to finance our marine conservation programmes in Madagascar and Belize, and we want as many people as possible to join us, learn with us and contribute to this work. We recommend that you compare our prices, quality and reputation versus other marine conservation expedition providers in the market.

    Our responsible practices

    We are a member of the Year Out Group and all of our expeditions abide by their Code of Practice and Charter. We spend more than 70% of volunteer fees in our expedition countries, with the remaining sum used to support our UK-based team, marketing, insurance and payment protection.

    We have been recognised six times in the annual Responsible Travel Awards, winning the prestigious 'Best Volunteering Organisation' in 2010, and also winning the ‘Best Volunteering Organisation’ in the British Youth Travel Awards in 2012. As a leader in responsible travel, we have also been recommended as an ethical volunteering organisation by the Guardian and the Telegraph.


    Thursday, 21 February 2008 15:24

    Will Proto, British, 43

    Will, a biologist from Liverpool university, joined one of our expeditions in Madagascar to broaden his research experience and learn how to dive.

    Saturday, 21 February 2004 15:24

    Jess Jambert-Grey, British/French, 20

    Jess volunteered with us for almost 6 months in Andavadoaka, where she became actively involved in developing our social programmes, as well as participating in our marine research.

    Friday, 21 February 2003 15:22

    Andrew Ritchie, Australian, 31

    Andrew took part in one of our first expeditions in Madagascar, volunteering for 6 weeks.

    Thursday, 21 February 2008 15:15

    Leda Smith, American, 26

    Leda spent 3 months with us in Madagascar as an expedition volunteer. She writes beautifully about her vibrant experiences in Andavadoaka.

    Thursday, 21 February 2008 15:14

    Emily Carroll, British, 18

    Emily joined one of our Madagascar expeditions during her gap year, before going on to study biology at Edinburgh university.

    Monday, 18 February 2008 10:57

    Frances Humber

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