Our commitment to science runs deep. 1,000 meters deep.
Our explorations go to places previously unseen, discovering whole new worlds within Earth’s oceans. We aim to create greater understanding of these extraordinary ecosystems, stoke passion about them, and ultimately produce responsible stewardship of them. By integrating scientific exploration with visual storytelling, we are pushing excitement about and knowledge of the oceans, and the communities that depend on them, into the broader public consciousness.
Marine research and discovery in remote areas of the sea is not easy, but pushing boundaries is in our DNA. Our partnerships with leading scientific institutions have led to important breakthroughs, including the discovery of new species and the observation of never-before-seen biological phenomena.
Less than 5% of the deep ocean has been explored, and we are committed to changing that. We know that as we learn more about these previously hidden worlds, we’ll gain vital insights into our life above them.
SCIENCE & SHIP OPERATIONS TEAM
Dr. Vincent Pieribone
Dr. Vincent Pieribone joined the Dalio Foundation as Vice Chairman of the Dalio Ocean Initiative. In addition, he is a Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience at the Yale School of Medicine and a Fellow at the John B. Pierce Laboratory. His research is directed at discovering and engineering methods to measure brain activity using a combination of light and proteins found in the ocean. Over the past 15 years he has conducted ocean research expeditions across the globe. He has started both a pharmaceutical company and a medical diagnostic company. Vincent also serves as a Research Associate for The American Museum of Natural History and on the Scientific Board of Directors of the Mystic Aquarium.
Vincent attended New York University College of Arts and Sciences where he received a baccalaureate degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1986. He then attended New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and received his doctorate in Philosophy in 1992 in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. He later received his Masters of Art privatum from Yale University. From 1990 to 1992 he was a National Science Foundation and Fogarty International Fellow at the Nobel Institute of Neurophysiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden. From Sweden, Vincent did post-doctoral work at The Rockefeller University in New York from 1992 to 1995 and became an Assistant Professor there in 1995. Vincent joined the Pierce Laboratory in December 1997 where he continues to conduct his scientific research today.
Special Projects Associate
Born in Amsterdam, Joshua Vasbinder moved to Spain at a young age where he gained a passion for the seas and the ocean, at the age of 21 he started his first company at the shores of the Meditteranean sea in the form of a chain of beach bars and restaurants. In 2008, he moved to the United States to study Financial Economics and Environmental science at Columbia University and continued his entrepreneurial endeavors in the form of a financial services company, a product development company as well as wellness company that became the #96 of the Inc 500 fastest growing companies in the US.
Throughout his career, Joshua has supported and volunteered in various charitable programs. Most notably, he contributed and volunteered for a scuba-dive program where he mentored at-risk teenagers in his home-town in Spain. The program helped troubled teenagers through exploring what lies beneath the waves and taught them self-control, teamwork, and develop a deep appreciation for nature. Joshua has over a 1,500 scuba-dives and technical cave dives under his belt.
CEO Marine Operations
Born in Christchurch New Zealand, Gerrard joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1971. Following a career spanning some 22 years based both in New Zealand and overseas, he resigned to look for new challenges, still within the marine industry. At the time of his departure from the navy, he held the multiple roles of Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Navy Shore Establishment in Defense Headquarters Wellington, as well as the operational roles of the Director of Naval Engineering Plans and the Director of Marine Engineering.
On leaving the navy in 1993, he joined the internationally multi-award winning Pacific Islands based boutique cruise company, Blue Lagoon Cruises, as the Director Marine Operations and Engineering. Two years later he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the company as the Managing Director and CEO, a position he held for the next 12 years. In 2008, Gerrard joined the international company Fraser Yachts Worldwide as the Director of Yacht Management based in the US. Some 18 months later his responsibilities had expanded to also include head of Charter Management and Marketing Worldwide, Project Management Worldwide associated with new-builds and refits, and the role of the President of the subsidiary company The Crew Network. Shortly after this, Gerrard was appointed as the COO for the company.
In 2015, Gerrard joined the Alucia team in the role of CEO Marine Operations. In this role he has responsibility for all things marine within the OceanX including the purchase and conversion of the Alucia 2 into a recognized worldwide leader in the field of Oceanographic Research.
Peter joined the Alucia team in 2014, and is Captain. He has overriding authority on board the ship. He makes sure that the Alucia is properly manned and maintained. He also supervises administrative tasks such as budgeting, obtaining necessary and up-to-date certificates, charts, and documents, as well as recording logbooks. Before the ship goes on any voyage, Peter checks its seaworthiness, and that all cargo and equipment are correctly transferred. Once the Alucia starts its journey, he ensures it is navigated and maneuvered safely.
Peter comes from a family who worked in ship manufacturing in North East England. In 1989, he started his career at sea as a deck officer after graduating Warsash Nautical College Southampton. He worked on larger cruise vessels until 2006, when he started working on expedition vessels. Peter was given his first command in 2008, and has travelled all over the world.
As Captain of the Alucia, Nick has overriding authority on board the ship. He ensures that the vessel is properly maintained and staffed. He oversees administrative tasks such as budgeting, getting necessary and up-to-date certificates, charts, and documents, and recording logbooks. Before every voyage, Nick is responsible for making sure it is seaworthy, and that all cargo and equipment are transferred properly transferred onboard. Once the Alucia is on its journey, Nick makes sure it is navigated properly and maneuvered safely.
Nick was born in London, England, and graduated from the Sir John Cass School of Transport and the Warsash Nautical College. He was the first in his family to go to his sea, and was subsequently followed by his father. Nick has served on reefer ships, ferries, cruise, and expedition vessels. He decided to join the Alucia to explore ocean research and take part in its missions.
Scott joined the Alucia crew in 2012. As Chief Mate, he is the Captain’s next of command, and personal assistant. He is responsible for ensuring the Alucia’s seaworthiness, which he does by working with the chief engineer to maintain deck operations. He also is responsible for minimizing the Alucia’s impact on the environment by monitoring potentially hazardous materials, and overseeing waste management, and supervising the ballast water. Scott performs ship navigation and maneuvering, and records a daily log.
Scott grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan. After getting a degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Scott pursued his maritime career, obtaining his USCG Master 1600 ton license. In his spare time, Scott enjoys downhill skiing and SCUBA diving around the world, or wakeboarding with his friends.
Derek McQuigg is Chief Mate – the Captain’s next of command and personal assistant. Together with the chief engineer, he manages deck operations and maintenance. He monitors any potentially hazardous materials aboard the ship, as well as overseeing waste management and the ballast water system. He works with the nurse to maintain medical equipment inventory, and keep the hospital tidy. Derek ensures the Alucia’s seaworthiness, and performs ship navigation and maneuvering, and records a daily log.
Derek is originally from Kuttawa, Kentucky, where he grew up on the waters of Lake Barkley. He got a degree in business management from Lipscomb University in Nashville, before starting work in the yachting industry. He has since obtained his 1600 Ton Master license. When not yachting, Derek enjoys diving, motorcycling, and playing the guitar.
Alejandro has worked in the maritime industry since 1983, and joined the Alucia Project in 2006. As Chief Engineer, he is the Master’s technical representative, and is responsible for all the technical machineries and engineering concerns on the ship, and keeping them in compliance with operating as well as Quality and Safety guidelines. In addition to keeping the inventory stocked, performing the stated recordings for the logbooks, Alejandro determines what repairs are needed, monitors maintenance, and reports any defects that could affect the ship’s performance.
Alejandro was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lives with his wife and three daughters. When not working, he likes to watch his daughters’ field hockey games, and is an avid rugby enthusiast.
As Safety Officer, Ross’s daily duties revolve around ensuring the well-being of the Alucia and her passengers. Ross takes charge of a navigational watch no the bridge, and also makes sure Alucia poses minimal risk to the health and safety of her passengers, and to the environment. He verifies the vessel and crew are well prepared for any emergency that may arise by running drills and inspecting safety and life-saving equipment.
Ross hails from Newcastle Upon Tyne. He worked on large worldwide cargo vessels, and attained his Officer of the Watch Unlimited qualification at South Shields Marine School. Ross hopes to create a better understanding of the oceans, and is passionate about making new discoveries. He wants to continue to explore the world, and to grow as a mariner.
Gaeli is the ship’s Purser. As purser, Gaeli is responsible for accounting. She assists the Master with general administrative needs. She also collects passenger travel documentation, distributes onboarding documents, maintains crew and passenger lists, and communicates with the authorities when entering and leaving ports. She represents the crew, and facilitates their medical needs, ensures they have current visas, and coordinates all travel arrangements.
Gaeli, a proud Canadian, calls Vancouver Island in British Columbia home. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and has worked extensively in all aspects of the hospitality industry. She loves exploring destinations off the beaten track, and has had memorable trips to Eastern Africa and the South Pacific. She is always keen to try new things and immerse herself in different experiences.
Natalie is responsible for feeding the crew and any supernumeraries on board the Alucia. She is in charge of developing and adhering to a budget, and keeping stock of provisions. Most importantly, Natalie creates nutritious menus and ensures food quality. Together with her team of two other chefs, Natalie provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner to everyone onboard.
Born and raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Natalie has been working on yachts for over 10 years. She joined the Alucia in May 2014, and her favorite parts of her job are experimenting with produce from all over the world, and working with her fellow Alucia chefs.
Janine joined Alucia as 2nd Stewardess, before taking on her current position of Chief Stewardess, where her she ensures the wellbeing, comfort, and safety of passengers and guests. She makes safety arrangements in the cabins, and demonstrates how to use safety equipment to guests. Janine keeps the cabins and common areas tidy, maintains inventory, and assists the kitchen team with serving meals. She also plans and arranges guest activities for when they reach land.
Janine is from a small town in Cornwall, UK, where she grew up sailing with her family. She studied health and social care before moving to the South of France to begin her career in luxury yachting, which allowed her to travel the world extensively. In her spare time, Janine enjoys hiking, camping, and diving.
Kirsty is one of the chefs aboard Alucia. She supports the Head Chef in the preparation of all crew meals. Kirsty maintains food quality, and keeps the gallery and food storage areas clean, hygienic, and safe.
Originally from South Africa, Kirsty started her hospitality career in London. She discovered luxury yachting in 2009, and worked seasonally as a stewardess. Eventually, she decided to combine her creative side with her love of food, and became a chef. In her off time, Kirsty enjoys spending time with her family outside of Cape Town. Kirsty enjoys being outdoors, and her hobbies include photography, travel, design, and experiencing new cuisines.
Raymundo Aguirre Montalvo
Electrical Technical Officer
Raymundo is the Electrical Technical Officer. It is his responsibility to keep the ship’s electrical systems up and running, which requires regular maintenance. He monitors the engine room, which holds the ships generators and main switchboards. He also keeps an eye on the deck and accommodation electrical systems, which are essential to ship operations and safety protocols.
Raymundo is from Verracruz, Mexico. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling and discovering new and untouched coastal areas. He enjoys spending time on the beach with a good book, his wife, daughter, and son.
Dive Safety Officer
As Dive Safety Officer, Steve is responsible for all SCUBA and re-breather diving operations onboard ALUCIA. He ensures the safety of all diving operations from the vessel, including diving for guests, media, and science teams. He obtains necessary permits, and makes sure the appropriate training, certification and safety operations take place, including organizing educational dive lectures. Steve supervises and leads Alucia dives.
Originally from Bristol, England, Steve became a PADI Dive Instructor in 1995, and ran dive centers in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Egyptian Red Sea. He became one of PADI’s youngest members to obtain the rating of PADI Course Director. Steve has done dives on every continent. He loves all aspects of being underwater, from filming content, teaching new divers, and encouraging others to experience the underwater world.
Sub Team Leader
As Sub Team Leader, Mark is responsible for carrying out all submersible and ROV operations on Alucia. He ensures that all submersibles are safe to use, and that the people using them have the proper equipment and training. Mark maintains the subs and their equipment. He also handles mission related logistics. During dives, he maintains communications with the subs, and is on hand to monitor the situation.
Originally from Dorset, UK, Mark served in the British Royal Navy for 14 years as a clearance diver, conducing bomb disposal and underwater engineering. He also worked as a senior rescue pilot for the Singapore Navy. Mark now lives on the Island of Nusa Lembongan off Bali with his wife. In his off time, Mark enjoys surfing, kite surfing, and diving.
Walter “Bubby” Pavlo
As Dive Master, Bubby assists the Dive Safety Officer with diving operations. He ensures the safety of operations by ensuring proper certification is performed and that divers have the necessary experience. He conducts safety briefings, and makes sure that conditions are safe before dives. Bubby maintains inventory, and inspects equipment in accordance to safety guidelines. He helps organize dives, and acts as in-water supervisor for guests, scientists, media divers, and crew.
Bubby grew up in Savannah, Georgia. His maritime career began in 2009 aboard a dining cruise boat. Since then, he has been a captain of a research vessel in the Dominican Republic, where he was part of a treasure hunting team. Bubby enjoys spending as much time in the water as possible, and is also an avid golfer.
Sam joined Alucia in January 2013 as a deckhand and was promoted to Bosun in 2014. He is responsible for leading maintenance jobs on the deck. Sam is in charge of ensuring working equipment and personnel protection equipment are properly used and in good condition. Sam also conducts bridge, deck, and anchor watches; part of this is preparing the anchors for pilotage waters and securing the anchors at sea.
Sam grew up on coast of Maine, with a marine photographer father, and has been on boats for his entire life. Prior to working on the Alucia, Sam worked as a boat builder, lobsterman, hot rod mechanic, firefighter, and as a Boatswains Mate in the Coast Guard. In his spare time, he enjoys being outside, riding motorcycles, diving, and hiking.
George started day working on board the Alucia, before being invited to be a permanent crewmember. The Alucia is his first vessel, and he serves as deckhand. He performs painting, lubrication, repairs, and other maintenance jobs. He helps ensure safety and working equipment are used correctly and are in good condition. He also assists with the launch and recovery of submersibles, and with ship operations such as mooring and anchoring. George supports all media and science guests.
George was born in the UK, but moved to New Zealand in 2000 and is not based in Auckland. He enjoys hiking, swimming, and keeping active. His main hobby is ice hockey, and he has had the honor of wearing the New Zealand jersey in two world championships.