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 is a Doctor in Archeology and Sciences of the Antiquity (2009) and specialist 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 a member of the scientific team of 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 Upper School of Fine Arts in Algiers and at the National Museum of Antiquities in Algiers (1991- 1992). He is the author of numerous publications in different magazines in relation to epigraphic studies and the society of the Roman Africa in the antiquity. 

Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin

Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin (Nigeria)

Emmanuel Adeniyi Odekanyin is an Underwater Heritage Specialist / 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 assisting with the effective implementation of all UNESCO Cultural Conventions ratified by Nigeria.  Within that context, Mr. Odekanyin assists in packaging diverse activities at the national level aimed at strengthening the effective implementation of UNESCO Cultural Conventions with special emphasis on the UNESCO 2001, 2003, 2005, 1972 and 1970 Conventions. He represents Nigeria at the General Conferences of UNESCO; UNESCO’s Conventions Statutory Meetings and had participated in different International trainings organized by UNESCO on Underwater Cultural Heritage targeting Africa; Conservation and Heritage Sites Management, UNESCO 2005 Convention, among others. He present papers on diverse prospects of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Nigeria at different international Conferences. 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 which is an ongoing underwater archaeology research in Albania. This Project is funded and supported by RPM Nautical Foundation 501© and Institute of Nautical Archaeology. 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 like UNESCO, World Bank, Ramsar Convention, Butrint Foundation, Oak Foundation, Mifflin Trust, and other organizations to protect and preserve this unique historical site. His efforts were rewarded in 2000 when the Albanian Government along with UNESCO declared the park a protected World Heritage Site. He has been elected as member of Advisory body in April 2015.


Dolores Elkin

Dolores Elkin (Argentina)

Dolores Elkin is an Argentinean archaeologist and a professional scientific diver who holds 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 the country - based in the National Institute of Anthropology- involving mostly 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, contributing to the development of the speciality both at graduate and postgraduate levels. During the 3rd meeting of 19 April 2012 she was elected Chairperson of the Advisory Body.

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, which is responsible for the coordination and management of UCH resources in South Africa, including their identification, regulation, and promotion. She obtained her Masters 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 extensive experience in Archaeology and Heritage Resources Management and has participated in a wide variety of archaeological excavations and heritage impact assessments within South Africa. She has worked with various institutions as a lecturer, consultant, and archaeological collections assistant. Lesa’s focus areas include heritage policy and regulation, heritage promotion and awareness, Geographic Information System, and capacity building in the field of Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage. She was elected to the STAB at the 7th MSP in June 2019.



Emad Khalil

Emad Khalil (Egypt)

Emad KHALIL is a 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 (CMAUCH), and an Academic Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton, UK. He has obtained his PhD in Maritime Archaeology from the University of Southampton in 2005. His research focused on Maritime Trade in Roman Egypt.  

Emad Khalil has been involved in underwater archaeology in Egypt since the early nineties. Since then, he contributed to several 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. Emad Khalil is the former president of the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH), and he is Egypt’s representative in the UNESCO Unitwin Network for Underwater Archaeology. He is also the President of the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Egyptian Diving Federation (EDLF) and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS).

Michel L'Hour

Michel L'Hour (France)

General curator for underwater archaeology, 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 organisations such as UNESCO, ICOM and Interpol and is the author of numerous articles and books on the subject. He has curated major exhibitions such as the 'Sea for Memory' from 2005 to 2009, and 'The Mystery of Lapérouse', in the National Maritime Museum in 2008. He was the President of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body of the UNESCO 2001 Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2014-2015. During the 6th meeting of 30 April 2015 he was elected Rapporteur of the Advisory Body.


María Elena Barba Meinecke

María Helena Barba Meinecke (Mexico)

Helena Barba was born in México City in 1970. She graduated with a degree in Mexican Archeology from the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico, and is a professional scientific diver with CEMAS. She was Chief of the Project Department in National Coordination of Archaeology in The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) from 1994 to 2001. She participated as chief in the field in several archaeological projects in the State of Campeche. At present she is the head of Underwater Archaeology in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Underwater Archeology Vicedirectorate, INAH, since 2003.

Barba has participated in national and international academic forums on Underwater Archaeology. She is also the author of scientific and popular articles in national and international publications, and has been the curator of many exhibitions related to Underwater Archaeology.

She is an Associate Member of the ACUA Board from the Historic Archaeology Society of the Mexican Association of Anthropologists and a representative of Mexico in the Meeting of States Parties to the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. She has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee since May 2015.

Azzedine Karra

Azzedine Karra (Morocco)

Azzedine Karra is a diver and a Doctor 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, and before that, in the region of Doukkala Abda (2007-2011) and in the region of Fes Boulmane (2011-2014)

He has worked as Director of a study center and an 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) and has long experience in the areas of geomorphology, littoral environment, oceanography, coastal erosion and sedimentation, natural hazards, floods and ecosystem vulnerability.

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 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 the 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 2013, she is also member of the Doctoral College of Conservation of Architectural Heritage at the Polytechnic University of Milan, and, since 2015, she is Professor of Classical Archaeology at SAF - Advanced Training School on Conservation in Rome; from 2018, she teaches Classical Archaeology also at the Matera ISCR SAF.

Since 2001, as MiBAC-ISCR Officer, she focused her research activities on the in situ restoration of underwater cultural heritage as a researcher in the Restoring Underwater Project (from 2001 to 2010 the project was directed by Dr. Roberto Petriaggi) and later on as coordinator (from 2011 until now). The Project is aimed to experimenting innovative tools, instruments, materials and methodologies for the in situ conservation and restoration of submerged archaeological sites such as Baiae (Neaples), Palaia Epidavros (Greece) and several other important underwater Cultural Heritage Sites in Italy and abroad.

Author of several scientific papers, from 2016 she is also ISCR head of the following European Projects: INTERREG MED 2014-2020: BlueMED; H2020: i-MareCulture; PON CULTURA: Musas; EASME: Magna; EASME UCRCA, H2020 Sibilla; H2020-MSCA: RISE-2019 Tectonic and she is ICA head  of the project EASME DiveSafe.

Andrej Gaspari

Andrej Gaspari (Slovenia)

Andrej Gaspari, b. 1973 in Ljubljana, is an associate professor for the Roman Archaeology and currently acts as the head of the Department of Archaeology at University of Ljubljana. As experienced archaeologist-diver and the founding member of the expert Underwater archaeology workgroup at the Institute for the protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (2002–2007) he intensively engages in the integrated research of sites in the Adriatic Sea and internal waters, collaborate in designing of the management schemes for the protection and promotion of underwater cultural heritage in the framework of maritime spatial planning and foster the international cooperation in the region. His primary fields of scientific interest include ancient Mediterranean navigation and shipbuilding traditions, the archaeology of rivers, and Late Prehistoric votive practices and cult sites in the water environment. His bibliography counts over 180 publications and public lectures.

From 2007 he is a member of International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage at ICOMOS and in the 2009–2013 he served as a member of the Advisory body of 2001 Convention. His tasks during employment at the Ministry of Culture, Directorate for Cultural Heritage (2010–2014), included the assessment of challenges and subsequent amendments of the Cultural Heritage protection act and subsidiary rules in the field of preventive archaeology, clandestine excavations and illegal removal of portable antiquities and the development of practical measures for the protection of archaeological resources. In 2019 the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed him for the second term as a member National Council for culture.

Previous Members

Previous members of the Advisory Body: 

  • Andrej Gaspari (Slovenia)
  • 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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