2022-2023 Scholars


Luke FitzGerald


Luke is from Limerick, Ireland. He received his B.Eng. in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick in 2019. Upon completion, he began an internship as a Robotics Research Engineer with the Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, and subsequently started a Ph.D. degree in the area of computer vision for robotics. In 2022, Luke was awarded the GEBCO scholarship and has taken a leave of absence from his Ph.D. to complete the one year graduate certificate course in ocean mapping at the University of New Hampshire. He believes that everything he learns during this year will mesh well with his previous work, and hopes to contribute to the field of underwater vision and mapping going forward.


Rebecca Formanek 


Rebecca is from Shellharbour, Australia. She completed her bachelor’s degree in marine science from James Cook University, Townsville. After completing her degree, Rebecca led and participated in surveys in land, coastal, near shore and offshore environments as a hydrographic surveyor. Ignited by her passion for hydrography, she is undertaking the GEBCO scholarship. Particularly passionate about deep sea mapping and exploration, even in leisure you will find her in or by the sea. 


Fadhili Malesa 


Fadhili Malesa is a Tanzanian Marine Scientist. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries from the University of Dar es Salaam in 2017. In 2018, he was awarded a Master's Scholarship by the government of Sweden under the Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) funded- Bilateral Marine Science Program (BMSP) to study at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Dar es Salaam. He has been working at the Aqua-Farm Organization (AFO) from 2016 to 2020 before he joined the University of Dar es Salaam. Currently, he works as an Assistant Lecturer at the School of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Technology. He participated in several offshore oceanographic cruises including the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) research cruise on board the SA Agulhas II organized by the Republic of South Africa around the Western Indian Ocean region for survey sample collection and data analysis. Moreover, he has been mapping ocean productivity and potential areas for mariculture along the coast of Tanzania. This experience drove him to be more interested in ocean mapping activities. Fadhili would like to understand the field of ocean mapping, and software for ocean mapping which is crucial for his future Ph.D. research career in Oceanography. After completing the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO training program at the University of New Hampshire, United State of America, he will fill the gap in his University as currently it lacks experts in ocean mapping and productivity modeling. Moreover, he would add value to the ongoing marine spatial planning project in Tanzania.  


Daina Mathai 


Daina Mathai, from Mombasa, Kenya, is a Coastal and Marine Researcher with a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences. She earned a European Joint Master Degree (EJMD) in Water and Coastal Management from University of Bologna and the University of Càdiz. Her thesis work focused on the quantification of coastal ecosystem services with an emphasis on the freely available satellite imagery and mapping tools. Before coming to CCOM/JHC she worked at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in the GIS and Remote Sensing lab on coastal ecosystems mapping-related projects and data analysis collected onboard R/V Mtafiti. Daina is currently a GEBCO scholar who is curious about the complexity of the coast and intends to expand her career in coastal mapping. Away from her laptop, you will find her lost in the scenery of hiking trails.  


Jihad Rachid 


Jihad Rachid is a Ph.D. student in Geosciences and Environment – Marine Palynology at the Ben M'sik Faculty of Sciences, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco. Her research focuses on the environmental and climatic variability of the Middle Pleistocene to the Upper Holocene of marine sediments associated with carbonate mounds of cold-water corals in the Gulf of Cadiz and the Alboran based on the marine and terrestrial microfossils, with a detailed assessment of the impact of environmental and climatic variability on the development of cold-water coral carbonate mounds. She holds a B.Sc. in Applied Geosciences to the sustainable environment from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, and an M.Sc. degree in Applied Geology to prospecting natural resources at Hassan II University of Casablanca. Jihad works as both a Contractual Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant in the Department of Geology, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco.

Her interest in mapping was piqued when she participated in the oceanographic research cruise with the German research vessel Maria S MERIAN (MSM/82) (Montevideo(Uruguay) - Las Palmas de Gran Canaries (Spain)). She is pursuing a postgraduate certificate in Ocean Mapping to gain a deeper understanding of hydrographic surveying and mapping projects.


Ekechukwu Uzoeshi 


Ekechukwu Uzoeshi is a naval officer from Nigeria. He works with the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office Lagos as a hydrographic surveyor. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in geophysics from the University of Port Harcourt Nigeria. Since joining the Navy, he has worked as a tidal officer and a survey assistant in various projects. Some of the projects undertaken by him include the bathymetric survey of Andoni River using single beam echo sounder and the survey of Commodore channel Lagos.

Ekechukwu is currently a GEBCO scholar at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center at the University of New Hampshire. He is passionate about ocean mapping and the application of geophysical methods to map oceans for safe navigation. He equally has interest in cartography especially in the production of Electronic Navigational Charts for easy navigation by mariners in Nigeria. His hobbies include reading, making researches as well as sports.