who we are

The NLA team comprises a diverse skill set with a breadth of experience from in and beyond the Blue Economy.  The founding directors Nick, Andy and Jonathan identified the skills, experience and behaviour that they knew would deliver the best solutions.  We come from different sectors, disciplines and geographies but a few things bind us.

  • We have a shared passion for sustaining the seas and oceans.
  • We embrace collaborative challenge.
  • We know investing time to understand user needs is vital.
  • We are  knowledge led.
  • We are innovative about how we apply that knowledge.

Scientists, operators, mariners, navigators, engineers, lawyers, accountants, designers, hydrographers, researchers, writers – all experts in their fields, all excited about what we do and who we do it for.

On a project by project basis we bring the right people together at every stage to ensure the greatest value is delivered.


Jonathan is a creative problem solver and leader of organisational transformation. Andy, Nick and Jonathan founded the Blue Economy solutions company – NLA International Ltd. Driven by a shared passion for the natural world and by a recognition that sustainable environments enable cultural and economic development NLA International has become an established brand.

With a strong foundation in customer-focussed organisational design, transformation and performance Jonathan has a proven track recored of delivering measurable benefits, business growth and positive sustainable impacts. Drawing on his cross sector senior leadership experience Jonathan is an advocate of ‘evolution at pace’. He uses engagement and data to understand complex scenarios and to develop and implement solutions and services across marine and maritime domains.


A master mariner and a committed proponent of the maritime users’ perspective, Rear Admiral Nick Lambert concluded a long naval operational career as the UK National Hydrographer in December 2012. Globally connected, Nick is a key thought leader on Blue Economy potential and tech innovation in associated domains.

He advises on a wide range of marine and maritime issues, including: the importance of spatial data infrastructures and hydrography for maritime economies; the evolution of eNavigation and GNSS vulnerability; near or real time situational awareness (especially from space based assets and applications), and maritime training and education.


A journalist, researcher and expert fundraiser, Andy is a storyteller who helps organisations to articulate their needs and aspirations so they can set about meeting them. He has a particular penchant for fundraising and has raised several million pounds for socially responsible projects and organisations.

Andy also leads innovative research projects exploring the emerging potential of digital and data tools for social impact. He applies rigorous foresight research to immediate organisational challenges to inspire teams to develop solutions fit for the future.


Dr. Mercedes Rosello is an international law and policy expert with a specialism in fisheries management, the control of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and broader aspects of marine environment protection. Mercedes was awarded a PhD in public international law by the University of Hull in April 2019 – her doctoral thesis evaluated the effectiveness, legitimacy and legality of the IUU fishing regulatory paradigm in the context of high seas fisheries, and formulated a procedural accountability framework to ensure its reform and enhance the effectiveness of international fisheries law.

Mercedes has delivered numerous presentations on diverse marine fisheries regulation topics, and has authored several book chapters and academic papers in leading law and policy journals. She is registered as a non-practising solicitor with the Law Society of England and Wales, and has a background as a researcher and project manager for public and private entities, as well as non-governmental organisations. She is frequently invited as a guest lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, where she has imparted several seminars and tutorials in international fisheries law, and in European Union and international environmental law.


In a naval career spanning thirty six years, Lee Hardy was an acknowledged and highly regarded maritime warfare specialist. Qualified as a watch keeper, to navigate out of sight of land and ultimately to command, his experience was gained in operational frontline and staff appointments at sea and further exploited ashore. In the training environment he led the training and qualification of bridge watch keeping officers, and authored the initial specification for Royal Navy compliance with STCW.

Subsequently he managed the development of capability requirements and procurement, ran specialist intelligence both in the UK and overseas, and exercised Command. He also led a UK Overseas Territory on behalf of the British Government. Upon retiring from the military in 2015 he was contracted by the Overseas Territories Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the Maritime Adviser which saw him define, source and deliver to the British Indian Ocean Territory an ocean going patrol vessel. He now advises widely on enforcement and surveillance matters in the maritime domain and is committed to countering the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on the high seas.

Al Wilson

An experienced senior executive officer and master mariner, Captain Al Wilson completed a 27-year career in the Royal Navy in February 2021. He has commanded four warships, contributing to peacekeeping and maritime operations worldwide, as well as employment in a broad range of senior management roles in national and NATO strategic headquarters. A specialist in water column acoustics and underwater operations, he has significant experience in the maritime domain, particularly in maritime situational awareness and risk, the integration of complex deployable systems, the development of emergent and disruptive technology, and the identification introduction of innovative capabilities. More broadly, he has overseen strategic policy and capability development, and is experienced in financial oversight and governance and NATO transformation.


A professional naval officer, master mariner and Category A hydrographer, Captain Gary Hesling concluded a successful 33-year career in the Royal Navy in the summer of 2019. He commanded the Royal Navy’s hydrographic ships in his final role as Hydrographer of the Navy, was head of branch for some 450 environmental and geospatial specialists and was a non-executive director on the UK Hydrographic Office Board.

Gary vigorously promotes the utility of advanced sensors, autonomous technologies and automated information systems to collect, collate, fuse, analyse and display marine and maritime data in game changing formats and services. He is also a passionate advocate of the natural marine environment, understanding that modern, accurate datasets underpin every facet of maritime operations to enhance environmental sustainability, safety, marine resource management, energy, tourism and trade across the burgeoning international blue economy. Gary is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the National Oceanography Centre and is qualified as an APAEWE Expert Witness.


Ellie is in her final year studying for a degree in Zoology at the University of Exeter. A keen marine conservationist, Ellie’s interests lie within marine and coastal sustainability, particularly in striking the balance between environmental and social sustainability solutions.

She is a passionate advocate for natural capital and valuing the oceans and its assets, particularly in the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science and following on from the Dasgupta Review


Alex is a marine ecologist who is interested in how biodiversity is distributed in the ocean, especially in the deep sea and on tropical coral reefs. He is also interested in human impacts on the ocean and how to manage human activities to mitigate or reduce degradation of marine ecosystems. His work has taken him to the Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans and to the Caribbean investigating coral reef ecosystems, seamounts and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Alex has worked with governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations in publicising human impacts, especially those from deep-sea fishing and climate change, and on the development of policy solutions to such problems.

He is Scientific Director of REV Ocean a foundation aimed at finding solutions to problems affecting the ocean. Alex is also a Visiting Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.


A passionate environmentalist with an interest in nature-based solutions, Belinda has worked in the not-for-profit sphere for over 20 years, serving as Head of Impact for Nekton Foundation, CFO for Earthwatch Europe and CFO for the Global Canopy Programme. She is a chartered accountant and avid researcher with an adaptable skillset including partnership, systems and programme development.

Having co-created and led the capacity development and ocean governance programmes for Nekton’s research mission to the Indian Ocean, Belinda’s interests lie in convening and developing holistic solutions towards achieving SDG 14, Life Below Water, and supporting equitable, sustainable blue economy initiatives.


Carl is a gifted designer, artist and creative brand expert, with the ability to capture an organisation’s ‘brand truth’ in visual form. With a career spanning more than 25 years, he has developed powerful brands for large and small companies, including Adidas, Virgin, Lockheed Martin, Esso, Crewsaver, Powergen and The University of Surrey.

He has also led design projects for blue chip ad agencies like McCanns, Saatchis, Publicis, CDP and more. Carl studied design and illustration at St Martin’s School of Art in London.


With over 30 years’ experience in business administration and management, Shah has worked across a broad range of sectors from the steel industry and coaching to healthcare and the blue economy, covering diverse roles including purchasing and shipping, IT, training, HR and finance. As Business Manager for NLAI, Shah uses her diverse experience to support the team in driving the business forwards.


With a background in Maritime Studies and serving as a Naval Officer, Mustapha has over 40 years of experience in the maritime world. He has built an impressive track record over the years – from Sea Captain, Shipping Management Expert, to serving as the advisor to the Minister of Equipment and Transportation of Morocco.

Mustapha’s passion for the maritime world began at a very early age, and he continues to be fully invested in promoting sustainability within the maritime sector. He is the founder of ABEC – Africa’s Blue Economy Consortium which promotes sustainable development of the Blue Economy sectors in African countries. He is also the founder and CEO of InCoRe, an international Consulting & Relations firm.


Dickon is a visiting Professor of Practice at Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Science. He has led the delivery of marine policy and management solutions and institutional change for national and regional governmental bodies in the UK and overseas across all areas of the Blue Economy such as marine biodiversity conservation and Marine Protected Areas, offshore wind, maritime transport, oil and gas, marine minerals, fisheries, marine spatial planning and marine infrastructure licensing. This has included advising government ministers and senior officials in the UK and overseas on the Blue Economy, marine policy, ocean governance, marine science and the institutional barriers to delivery in a complex policy environment.

Kevin Fleming

Graduating in physics at Imperial College London, Kevin then joined the Royal Navy as a maritime aviator. He operated helicopters from warships deployed in many of the world’s seas and oceans and has extensive experience as a flying instructor. In the UK Ministry of Defence, he audited Defence capabilities and advised the Defence Chiefs on strategic and operational lessons from UK military operations. In the UK Defence Academy, he developed Naval and Military officers’ skills in leadership, contextual analysis, critical thinking, and decision making. To end over 3 decades of Service, Kevin was UK Defence Attaché to Brazil. His excellent diplomatic and linguistic skills, saw him successfully advance the UK-Brazil Defence relationship in this uniquely challenging and beautiful country. Throughout his career he led people in many challenging contexts and at many different levels.

Kevin is a Maritime Situational Awareness & International Engagement expert. Passionate about safeguarding the seas and oceans he engages worldwide, concentrating on the development of Blue Economies. He focuses on delivering the benefits of fused any-source data, to better understand the marine spaces, allowing coherent and sustainable use to deliver maximum socio-economic benefit. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow of King’s College London, in both the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies and the King’s Brazil Institute.

Lauren McEvatt

Lauren is an experienced government affairs professional, with a strong background in both public and private sector communications. She advises governments on matters relating to public policy development, government and diplomatic affairs, and communications. Lauren is a regular commentator on UK national and regional media on matters relating to foreign policy and devolution.

Lauren has a particular interest in Large Ocean Nations (sometimes referred to as small island developing states). Her strong background in economic development and blue economy public policy has been successfully applied in the Caribbean and East African regions. She has also worked with the government of a British Overseas Territory, as well as multiple blue-chip and multinational corporations.

Lauren has been a consultant to the Kenyan Government on a nation-brand campaign, where she provided public sector management consultancy to relevant government agencies, to undertake informal diplomatic engagement with the diplomatic community in Nairobi on matters relating to travel advice and security concerns, and to provide general strategic advice on government affairs and communications activity.

Lauren was a Special Adviser to the UK Government in the coalition administration, in the Wales Office, where she was also a member of the departmental strategy board. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Developing Markets Associates and an Associate at NLAI.


For over two decades Chris has worked on developing and bringing to market software and digital solutions for maritime industries. He has a broad knowledge of different maritime segments having worked in the leisure, workboat, fishing, cruise, shipping and military sectors.
Throughout his career, he has gained experience in software development, user interface design, product management, marketing, business development, product management and bringing new innovative technology products to market.
Chris is passionate about the sea and the use of new technologies to afford maritime businesses greater opportunities to grow, offer stronger value propositions and become more efficient.


An experienced commercial lawyer with over 20 years’ experience at international Magic Circle firms and major global financial institutions, such as UBS, Barclays and HSBC, Victoria has a track record of advising international projects on commercial frameworks, sustainable investment initiatives, corporate governance as well as managing legal and regulatory risk. A keen sailor with private involvement in marine wildlife conservation projects, she combines her legal expertise with a passion for driving change to promote ethical and sustainable commercial practices in the marine environment.


With a Geospatial Intelligence and GIS Solutions background of nearly 30 years Paul’s technical and business experience has taken him around the UK and Internationally (including. Arab Nations, Asia and Europe). Paul provides advice to governments and businesses enabling them to leverage geospatial technologies and solutions (e.g. fields of earth observation, remote sensing, GIS, mapping and geospatial intelligence) for strategic and operational impact.

Paul applies these skills and experience in the Blue Economy through Hydrographic Survey and Data Production, Maritime Spatial Data Infrastructure and Maritime Situational Awareness and Intelligence for Maritime Security, Counter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF), Fleet and Port Infrastructure and Operations, Maritime Pollution and Marine Environmental Protection.


Former Royal Engineer and Army diver, with a degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography, David has created and implemented successful transformation programmes across a range of UK and international industries from FMCG to Aerospace & Defence. By identifying critical business requirements and transforming these into tangible business goals David has motivated teams to significantly improve customer satisfaction and commercial return.

A proven innovator and Continuous Improvement champion, David has mapped and transformed business processes, exploiting investments in IT and technology transfer to increase company productivity, resilience and profit.

After completing an MBA at Imperial College David led multiple business investment and growth programmes for the supply of goods and services by listed and SME organisations in Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Alarmed by the damage caused to marine ecosystems by extreme weather events and aggressive fishing, David has recently launched initiatives to enable coastal communities to increase the diversity and density of marine life in their local marine environment


After 11 years’ service in the British Army, including operations in Afghanistan and Libya, Jimmy undertook a MSc in Innovation and Technology Management, and gained project management qualifications in APMP, MSP and PRINCE2. Two years followed at the Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK Government technology and innovation centre, leading activities within the smart cities and intelligent transport domains. More recently he worked at the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, part of the University of Strathclyde, on a range of projects including securing funding from the European Space Agency for Aquasens, a smart connected aquaculture project.

A proven leader, Jimmy Slaughter has operated in a variety of demanding international locations and is able to make fast, effective decisions in high pressure situations. Having managed numerous projects of varying sizes, Jimmy has extensive experience in fostering national and international relationships across government, industry and academia. He endorses a user-centered approach to project management and has developed satellite application solutions across multiple sectors, notably in marine and maritime, becoming a passionate advocate of the socio-economic benefits of the Blue Economy and the importance of sustaining the natural marine environment.


With a technical background in marine and maritime science and management, Anthony has worked on the boundary between science and policy, both as an academic and a practitioner. This has involved a considerable focus on developing partnerships, networks and engagement within the blue economy sector. He has considerable experience of marine planning and policy development and is Chair of the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership (CMPP) which has delegated functions to develop and deliver a statutory Marine Plan for the Clyde Region, Scotland.

Anthony has worked on, developed and led numerous large complex multi-partner projects including a World Bank funded project on marine planning in the Philippines; a British Council funded project on climate change adaptation for small islands in the Azores; and the EU Interreg funded ‘Port Energy and Carbon Savings’ (PECS) project. He has also led on marine plastics related projects and carried out project, programme and policy evaluation for a range of stakeholders including into the effectiveness of the Wadden Sea Particularly Sensitive Sea Area designation on behalf of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat.

Anthony is a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton.


During his career Richard has developed skills in programme and projects management, general management, operational management, and business development. His skills typically lie in identifying and drawing together key strategic objectives, establishing the programme to achieve them, and setting up and leading diverse teams to deliver organisational transformation and change. His collaborative style ensures that everyone in his team understands what needs to be done, by when, and by whom. He has a clear focus on results and the delivery of the three cardinal elements of all programmes – time, cost, and quality.

He has worked in the defence industry as a service provider, the public sector as a consultant and commercial partner, and latterly delivering a range of projects in the maritime sector. He works internationally and has delivered projects as far afield as Australia.


An experienced mariner, aviator, risk analyst and team leader, Commander Keith Tatman served 35 years in the Royal Navy as a seaman, and as an Observer in helicopters and fast jets. He then worked in industry as a principal risk consultant for 2 years before joining the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to become the head of navigation safety. He was the Chairman of the UK Safety of Navigation Committee and the UK navigation representative to the IMO. This remit included radio, radar, UK civil hydrography, port marine safety, maritime safety information, renewable energy and other offshore consents including marine protected areas, vessel traffic services, ship design approvals and maritime surveillance. He qualified as an ISM auditor. Since retiring he has been part of a range of projects including crowd sourcing information from ships, the Future Navigation study, Hydrographic Course recognition, MarRINav Navigation Resilience proposal, and the EU INTERREG Key Emerging Technologies (maritime) study.

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