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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 Cyril Langston in Zakynthos
Program Director

Cyril Langston

Cyril manages volunteer and internship programs, recruitment, events, grants, and donations for the Mediterranean Marine Life Center. Originally from the United States, she became involved with the center during her work with the College of Charleston Center for Civic Engagement in Charleston, South Carolina, which is also home to many Loggerhead turtle nesting sites. After receiving her MSc in Accounting and Finance and a CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting in Edinburgh, she moved to Zakynthos to work in conservation full time.

Program Director

Jenna Norton

As of 2024, Jenna is the Program Director and manages volunteer and internship programs, recruitment, events, and communications for the Mediterranean Marine Life Center. Originally from the UK, Jenna is currently studying a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Management & Sustainability. After volunteering with the turtle center during the 2023 season, she decided to dedicate herself to the conservation of the sea turtles of Zakynthos.

Mila Stolwerk with tortoise zakynthos
Conservation Intern

Mila Stolwerk

Conservation Intern

Faustine

My name is Faustine, I’m 19 and I’m studying international trade. I’m working at the center as a trainee for two months, with the aim of improving my English and my language skills.

I chose to come here because the animal cause is very important to me and it allows me to learn more. I have a lot of animals at home so their welfare is very important to me and I want to help contribute to that.

Here, I’m learning every day, whether it’s English or turtles, and I’m really happy about it. I thrive in this job!

Intern Jackie Mutter in Zakynthos
Conservation Intern

Jackie Mutter

Hello! My name is Jackie and I am 21. I am from the United States and attend Loyola University New Orleans. I am studying Environmental Studies and I have always been very passionate about environmental activism and wildlife conservation. In the future I hope to have a career dedicated to helping the climate crisis and saving animals. I have worked with sea turtles in the past and I wanted to work here as an intern to gain even more experience in this field and to see environmental impacts in a new country. I have already learned a lot in my time here and I am excited to learn more.