Current Members of the Advisory Body

Toufik Hamoum

Toufik Hamoum, Chairperson (Algeria)

Since 2010, Toufik Hamoum has been in charge of archeology projects at the University of Algiers and the National Archaeological Research Center. Hamoum holds a PhD in Archeology and Sciences of the Antiquity (2009) and is specialist in archeology and epigraphy of the old Maghreb from the University of Algiers. Hamoum has been a researcher at the French Ministry of Culture (2005 and 2007) and member of the scientific team working on the Etruscan village Mussana and the archaeological excavations at Palatino, Rome (1991-1992). He has worked as a professor and associate director at the Institute of Archeology at the University of Algiers (2002-2009 and 2010-2015), at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Algiers and at the National Museum of Antiquities in Algiers (1991- 1992).


Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin

Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin (Nigeria)

Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin is an Underwater Heritage Specialist and Cultural Officer with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has been working with the UNESCO Division of the Ministry for over a decade and has been responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO Cultural Conventions ratified by Nigeria.  He is at present the focal person for underwater cultural heritage activities in Nigeria.

Auron Tare

Auron Tare (Albania)

Auron Tare is the Executive Director of the Albanian Center of Marine Research. He is one of the founders of Butrint National Park, a World Heritage Site of UNESCO and the First Director of the World Heritage Site of Butrint. He has worked for many years in mobilizing interest and support among many international organizations and institutions to protect and preserve heritage.

Dolores Elkin

Dolores Elkin (Argentina)

Dolores Elkin is archaeologist and professional scientific diver, holding a research position at the National Research Agency (CONICET). She graduated with a Doctoral degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 1996, and since then has developed the first Underwater Archaeology Program in Argentina based in the National Institute of Anthropology and dealing with research and management projects. She has been a professor both at the University of Buenos Aires and the National University of the Central Province of Buenos Aires.


Lesa La Grange

Lesa La Grange (South Africa)

Lesa La Grange is the acting head of the South African Heritage Resources Agency’s Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage unit. She obtained her Master’s degree in Archaeology from the University of Cape Town in 2015 and went on to obtain a certificate in Heritage Resources Management and a Class IV Department of Labour Commercial Diving Licence the following year. She has worked with various institutions as a lecturer, consultant, and archaeological collections assistant. She was elected to the STAB in June 2019.


Emad Khalil

Emad Khalil (Egypt)

Emad KHALIL is Professor of Maritime Archaeology at the Alexandria University, Egypt. He is the founding Director of the Alexandria Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage, and an Academic Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton, UK. Since the early nineties, Emad Khalil contributed to projects in the field of maritime and underwater archaeology including the Pharos Lighthouse Underwater Excavation, the Sadana Island Shipwreck Excavation, the Northwest Coast Shipwreck Survey, the Lake Mareotis Research Project, the Thistlegorm Documentation Project and, at present, he is directing the Marsa Bagoush Survey Project, funded by the Honor Frost Foundation.


Michel L'Hour

Michel L'Hour (France)

General curator for underwater archaeology, holding a PhD in underwater archaeology, and Member of the Marine Academy, Michel L'Hour has been the Director of the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research (DRASSM) of the Ministry of Culture of France since 2006. He joined the DRASSM in 1982 as underwater archaeologist, where he was responsible for the western coasts of France, the overseas territories and international relations. He has directed numerous major underwater archaeological excavations both in France and abroad and specializes in the history of maritime trade from the late Middle Ages to the dawn of the modern era. L'Hour is regularly sought after as an expert by many international organizations such as UNESCO, ICOM and Interpol. 


María Elena Barba Meinecke

María Helena Barba Meinecke (Mexico)

Helena Barba Meinecke graduated with a degree in Mexican Archeology from the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico, and is a professional scientific diver. At present she is the head of Underwater Archaeology in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Underwater Archeology Vice directorate, INAH.

Azzedine Karra

Azzedine Karra (Morocco)

Azzedine Karra is a diver and holds a PhD in Archeology and Heritage (2002) from the National Institute of Sciences of Archeology and Patrimony (I.N.S.A.P.). Since 2014, he has been Regional Director of Culture in Marrakesh. He has worked as Director of a study center and alternate professor of archeology in El Jadida. Karra has coordinated archaeological programs and has extensive experience in underwater archeology. Since 2013 he has worked closely with UNESCO in relation to underwater archeology as a representative of Morocco and as an organizing member of different congresses and seminars.


Adote Blim Blivi

Adote Blim Blivi, Vice Chairperson (Togo)

Adote Blim Blivi holds a PhD in Tropical Physical Geography (1993). He has worked as a consultant, coordinator and expert for different international organizations and universities. He maintains a close relationship with UNESCO, for which he has worked as a coordinator and expert on different projects at an international level. The projects and programmes he has worked on include the Regional Project Research and Training on Coastal Marine Systems in Africa (1987-1998), the United Nations Environment Program (1990-2009), World Bank (1996) and the Economic and Monetary Union of Africa (2004-2016).


Barbara Davidde Petriaggi

Barbara Davidde Petriaggi (Italy)

Barbara Davidde Petriaggi is Director of the Underwater Archaeology Operation Unit (NIAS) at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro - Major Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR) of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC), since 2011. Since 2017, she is also Underwater Archaeology Official at the Istituto Centrale per l’Archeologia - Central Institute of Archaeology (ICA).

She is visiting professor at the Roma Tre University, where she teaches underwater archaeology since 2010.

Since 2001, she focused her research activities on the in situ restoration of underwater cultural heritage as a researcher in the Restoring Underwater Project.

Andrej Gaspari

Andrej Gaspari (Slovenia)

Andrej Gaspari is associate professor for Roman Archaeology and acts as the head of the Department of Archaeology at University of Ljubljana. As experienced archaeologist-diver and founding member of the Underwater Archaeology Workgroup at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (2002–2007), he engages in the research of sites in the Adriatic Sea and internal waters. He collaborates in designing management schemes for the protection and promotion of underwater cultural heritage in the framework of maritime spatial planning and fosters international cooperation in the region.


Abner Al Berda

Abner Al Berda (Panama)

Abner Al Berda is an anthropologist with a degree in Anthropology in the Sigma Lambda chapter of honor defending the research on the evaluation of the prehispanic archaeology of Western Panama and holds a diploma on Conservation and Restoration of Archaeological Artefacts from Underwater Contexts of the University of Panama (UP). He is currently doing a Master in Nautical and Underwater Archaeology of the International School of Doctorate in Sea Studies (EIDEMAR) and the University of Cadiz (UCA) in Spain. 

He is coordinator and cultural manager of the Panamanian Anthropology Group.


Kalin Dimitrov

Kalin Dimitrov (Bulgaria)

Kalin Dimitrov is an archaeologist with scientific interest in the development of ancient societies, settlement patterns, early exchanges and sea faring along the Western Black sea coast. Holding a PhD, he is since 2016 the director of the Centre of Underwaterarchaeology of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria in Sozopol.

Kalin Dimitrov was director of numerous underwater and terrestrial archaeological projects in Bulgaria among which are the international project “Maritime Archeology Project (M.A.P.) Black Sea” and the excavation of the sea pile dwelling sites of Ropotamo and Sozopol. Since 2010, he is a researcher at the National Archaeological Institute with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Previous Members

Previous members of the Advisory Body:

  • Annalisa Zarattini (Italy)
  • Carmen García Rivera (Spain)
  • Constantin Chera (Romania)
  • Francisco Alves (Portugal)
  • Hossein Tofighian (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Hugo Eliecer Bonilla Mendoza (Panama)
  • Kalin Stoynev Porozhnov (Bulgaria)
  • Milton Eric Branford (Saint Lucia)
  • Ms Ouafa Ben Slimane (Tunisia)
  • Pilar Luna Erreguerena (Mexico)
  • Serhiy Oleksandrovych Voronov (Ukraine)
  • Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Jasen Mesic (Croatia)
  • Ovidio Juan Ortega Pereyra (Cuba)
  • Augustus Babajide Ajibola (Nigeria)
  • Xavier Nieto Prieto (Spain)
  • Vladas Zulkus (Lithuania)
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