Dayna Szule – Finance Clerk

Szule_Dayna_picAs the Finance Clerk for the Sea Around Us, Dayna’s role includes setting up project grants, reconciling monthly ledgers, monitoring all grant expenditures and preparing external and internal financial grant reports. Previously with the UBC Botanical Garden, Dayna joined the Sea Around Us in July 2014 to focus and develop a financial skill set within the University. In her spare time, she can be found identifying plant species in a forest somewhere or playing golf or football.


Kyrstn Zylich – Senior Research Assistant

KrystenPhotoCroppedKyrstn completed her BSc in Biology at the University of British Columbia. Although unsure of where her degree would take her, the ocean had always held a special place in her heart. Growing up only an hour away from Vancouver allowed for numerous trips to the aquarium which helped instill a curiosity of marine organisms. As well, she has enjoying several family vacations to Hawaii which included snorkeling with turtles and other incredible sea life. After joining the Sea Around Us as a volunteer in February of 2011 she completed her first reconstruction on the island of Tokelau. Once joining the project fulltime as a staff member later that year, she has continued working on catch reconstructions, focusing mainly on South Pacific island countries. Kyrstn is now the senior research assistant of Sea Around Us and works on all aspects of the project including data updates, data quality checks, and report editing/formatting.

Click here for a list of of Kyrstn’s publications.

Ar’ash Tavakolie – Senior Web Developer

arash_bioAr’ash is a senior software developer, and comes from an engineering/Artificial Intelligence background. He has been designing and developing .NET based solutions for about eight years.

Ar’ash designs and maintains the Sea Around Us suite of web applications and the related databases. He is currently busy working on ‘SwordFish (SF)’, which will replace the core components of legacy code with a multi-tiered architecture [DataWarehouse + AnalysisEngine + ClientModules]. He is developing SF to make the web/databases applications more agile, extensible and also lower the maintenance costs. SwordFish is based on OLAP/BI, C#, and .NET technologies. SF prototypes showed that MDX querying language is closer to the domain and can reduce the lines of codes by 80%.

Ar’ash is also an avid tea fan and likes reading books. Currently his favorite novelist is Haruki Murakami and his favorite programming gargoyle/guru/writer is Martin Fowler “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.” Ar’ash regularly and enthusiastically baffles project staff during meetings by trumping the biologists’ ability to talk in technical jargon.

Dirk Zeller – the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean

Dr. Dirk Zeller is Professor of Marine Conservation and leader of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He can be reached at

Prior to joining the University of Western Australia, Dirk was Senior Scientist and Executive Director of the Sea Around Us (Sea Around Us – Global) at the University of British Columbia (UBC,, and has been part of the Sea Around Us since its inception in 1999.

Click here for a full list of Dirk’s publications, including PDF’s