Meet the Team


Kate Meyer – Director

Kate fell in love with the ocean after doing a high school project on overfishing. She learned that the vast beautiful oceans are in more danger than many people think, and decided to spend the rest of her life working to protect them. After getting her Open Water Diver certification in the manatee-inhabited waters of Crystal River, Florida, her love for the underwater world has taken her from murky lakes of the Northeastern US to the frigid waters off Northern California, and from the Indo-Pacific region to the Caribbean Sea. After graduating with a degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, she joined the WSORC family as a research assistant and went on to complete her Divemaster and PADI Instructor training on Utila. Now WSORC’s director, she is excited to inspire new generations of conservationists and share the joy of marine science with WSORC interns. Kate believes that education is the key to saving our precious ocean resources, and wants to make sure everyone knows that sharks are friends, not food!


Dan Hughes – Research Coordinator

Having grown up in rural England, at one of the furthest points from the sea; His love for the ocean developed at a young age, from annual trips to his uncle’s salmon farm on the Scottish coast. Even the fourteen-hour drive wouldn’t dull his enthusiasm to get back in the cold Atlantic water. This passion has developed in to a need to explore and understand the marine world. Having graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from Newcastle university, this passion has taken him to Madagascar, Fiji, Indonesia and South Africa to try and find ways to help our already degraded, but precious seas.


Rafael (Raf) Manrique – Community Outreach Coordinator 

Raf grew up fascinated with the ocean and all its mysteries. Learning to dive on neighboring Roatan at age 8, he found his passion and never looked back. After graduating with a degree in Marine Biology and Eco- businesses in Peru, Raf came to Utila to become a PADI dive instructor and was soon hired by WSORC.  Raf is a firm believer that a few passionate people can make a difference in this world, and finds no greater joy than in giving people the knowledge and resources to do so.



Sean MacCarthy – Admissions Officer

Sean grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts and spent a lot of his time recreating on the Atlantic Ocean throughout his youth. As he grew older, play turned into a desire to better understand the ocean and its inhabitants. This desire wasn’t fully realized until his first dives here on Utila while getting his Open Water Diver certification. Now dedicated to supporting and promoting ocean conservation efforts, Sean spends his days continuing his dive training at the professional level and works on recruiting marine biologists to join the WSORC Team.