Our Team

Dr Ron Ritter

Founder

Ron has spent 20+ years engaged in exploration, research and environmental work. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Miami, and Ph.D. in Zoology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, UK. Field research includes mid-water and deep ocean benthic sampling, reef ecology; cave exploration and applied terrestrial ecology. He was crew on multiple marine research cruises in the Caribbean, Grand Banks of Canada, and served as a Fisheries Observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Bering Sea. Ron designed and led a 3-½ year wildlife research project in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert in support of the Government. This was followed by several extended discovery and survey expeditions to caves in the western part of Botswana. Prior to this he was team member on an extended expedition across the Trans-Amazon Highway and up the Xingu River. He has over 20,000 nm of ocean sailing experience on Sea Dragon. He holds a Marine Radio Operator Permit, US Sailing Cruising certification, Wilderness Medicine First Aid certification, PADI Divemaster, TDI Deco/Advanced Nitrox and NSS CDS/TDI Cave Diver. He is also a General Class HAM.

Balancing out his outdoor work, Ron has spent the last 15 years working in global business and government. This includes 12 years with McKinsey and Co as an Expert Principal focused on manufacturing and operations performance. He then was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the USAF, Department of Defense. Ron Focused on strengthening the ability of Airmen to improve overall mission, financial and environmental performance. In 2008 he was awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

In addition to core work in business, he has helped to develop a national strategy for the Audubon Society and a local Land Conservancy. Ron has over 15 publications related to his exploration work and is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club.

Emily Penn

Director

Emily has sailed around the world in several different guises. On the world record-breaking biofuelled powerboat, Earthrace, she co-ordinated events promoting alternative fuels in 120 international cities.

Then, living on a remote island in Tonga, Emily organised one of the largest clean-up operations in the Pacific.

Awarded Yachtsmaster of the year by HRH Princess Anne, Emily is now Program Director for Pangaea Explorations, leading sailing expeditions around the world studying plastic pollution and coral reef biodiversity.

Eric Loss

Skipper

A native of California, Eric has been on the water since an early age. He has sailed more than 55,000 offshore miles, and has sailed everything from windsurfers to 115′ schooners, and recently he completed a single-handed circumnavigation by way of the great capes. He enjoys teaching all aspects of sailing, from boat handling and dinghy racing to navigation and seamanship. He is always eager to share his knowledge of celestial navigation. Eric has been involved in sail training for most of his life, and is an US Sailing instructor. He holds an IYT Master of Yachts Ocean with commercial endorsement and a USCG 100 ton master’s license. Eric is also an experienced diver and PADI Divemaster.

Shanley Mcentee

First Mate

Shanley was born and raised in San Diego, CA and graduated with a BA in Environmental Policy and a minor in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. Having grown up by the sea, she holds a deep passion for Mother Ocean and our ever-growing need for protection and awareness of the problems our environment is facing. She enjoys anything having to do with the sea, from surfing to scuba diving to sailing, and loves offshore passages. She is PADI Rescue Diver certified and holds an IYT Master of Yatchs Offshore with commercial endorsement.

Dr. Spike Briggs, BSc, BM, FRCA

Chief Medical Advisor

Spike serves as principal medical advisor to Pangaea Exploration. With the full MSOS team, he provides direct at-sea medical support to the Sea Dragon crew. He is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia in Poole, UK. He originally graduated with a degree in civil engineering and worked for ten years designing foundations for oil rigs, before returning to medical school. He has sailed all his life, including the Fastnet and racing around the world in 1996 as navigator. He is an instructor for advanced life support and advanced trauma life support courses, and he lectures at Southampton Medical School. He is an advisor, instructor and examiner on medical aspects of yachting for the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Medical Support Offshore Limited (MSOS) was formed in 2006 by Dr Spike Briggs, Dr Campbell Mackenzie and Dr Tommo Tomson. The aims of the company are to provide medical training, medical kits and tele-medical support to the sailing community, which includes racing teams, adventure companies and private individuals.

The directors have very strong sailing backgrounds, and all have dealt with medical emergencies at sea, from the Solent to the Southern Ocean. This gives them valuable experience and authority when teaching sailors how to deal with life-threatening medical emergencies, and when giving advice over the telephone to sailing boats, far from help on the ocean.

Asta Mail

Great Lakes Program Coordinator 2013

Asta is a Canadian marine scientist completing her Master’s of Professional Science Degree at the Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Miami, Florida. Her area of expertise is Scientific Communication and Outreach, and has background experience in coastal zone management work.

Asta is Pangaea’s first internship student, and will be responsible for organizing and planning the upcoming Great Lakes Expedition in the summer of 2013. She is a trained AAUS Scientific Diver and SSI Dive Control Specialist, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in citizen science and marine research.

Clive Cosby

Skipper 2009 – 2011

Clive Cosby is a skipper on board Sea Dragon. He holds his RYA Yachmaster Oceans with Commercial endorsement. Clive cut his teeth as a skipper in the 2004 Global Challenge race where he developed an exceptional reputation for team leaderships and seamanship.

Forming and leading a team competing in the world’s toughest yacht race, was a challenge in itself for Clive. The Southern Ocean tested him and his crew beyond anything they could have prepared for, challenging their resolve. Team Stelmar went on to win the Trans-Atlantic leg, capitalising on their experience of adversity, and turn it into victory.

Since the Global Challenge Clive has gone on to lead other teams competing afloat and, having drawn out the leadership lessons from skippering Team Stelmar in the 2004-2005 Global Challenge, brings his leadership experience and skills to life in the classroom. He has also been project manager, skipper and consultant to a number of racing, refit and expedition sailing projects.

Dale Selvam

Skipper 2012

Dale was the Skipper on board Sea Dragon during 2012, and on board full-time from 2010-2012. Dale, jack-of-all-trades, is from New Zealand – if there is a problem on board, this is the man to fix it.

He grew up as a big-wave surfer, and since then has made a career around the sea. He has extensive sailing experience on board multiple yachts, over his 20-year sailing career. On land, he has served as product marketing roles for major surf companies.

Dale has sailed over 40,000nm on Sea Dragon alone. He is an RYA certified Yachtmaster Oceans, Commercial Endorsed and Medical. Dale is also an experienced diver and certified PADI Divemaster.