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Meet The Team

The Mediterranean Marine Life Center has two full-time staff members - the majority of our work relies on the help of dedicated volunteers from across the globe. If you’d like to volunteer, you can find out more on our volunteer page.

Yannis Vardakastanis in Gerakas on a Tractor
Founder

Yannis Vardakastanis

Yannis grew up on Zakynthos and has always had a passion for nature. After seeing firsthand how tourism has negatively impacted the environment here in Zakynthos and the impact this had on the sea turtles he started his own conservation organization Earth, Sea & Sky (now called the Mediterranean Marine Life Center) to protect Gerakas Beach. He became a full-time conservationist in 1991 and established Earth Sea and Sky in 1993. Yannis’ efforts are focused in Gerakas in the region of Vasilikos, the heart of the carettta caretta nesting grounds.

Program Director

Jenna Norton

Jenna is the Program Director and manages volunteer and internship programs, recruitment, events, communications, social media, and donations for the Mediterranean Marine Life Center. Originally from the UK, Jenna is currently studying a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Management & Sustainability. Jenna is also from Florida in the United States, which is home to many Loggerhead turtle nesting sites, like Zakynthos. After Jenna became involved with the center during her conservation internship in  2023, she decided to dedicate herself to the conservation of the sea turtles of Zakynthos. Jenna works hybrid, in-person and virtually, to manage the turtle center all year.