about us

We are a community of scientists, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers who are dedicated to exploring the ocean.

We’ve fallen in love with the kelp forests off the South West tip of Africa. We’ve formed deep relationships with the underwater creatures and have made biological discoveries that are changing the way we understand these undersea forests. This has led to a groundbreaking sequence in the BBC’s Blue Planet II, an outdoor photography exhibition seen by an estimated 1 million people, and the discovery of 8 new species of shrimp.

We established the Sea-Change Trust, a nonprofit public benefit organisation, which includes Craig Foster, Ross Frylinck and Carina Rubin-Frankal. Our projects are guided and supported by some of the most distinguished professionals in the world.
To name a few : Prof. Charles Griffiths, Craig’s mentor whom he calls ‘master marine tracker; Dr. Chris Henshilwood a global authority on human origins;  Dr. Jennifer Mather, renowned cephalopod molluscs behaviour expert; and resolute supporter Elizabeth Parker, Mapula Trust.

The Sea-Change Project involves a feature documentary, a book, a series of exhibitions, field courses and an outreach campaign.

Our mission is to deepen our connection with nature through science, storytelling and authentic experience.

We hope this connection will inspire people to shift their behaviour and live in a way that supports a healthy planet. Along the way we are discovering our own deep connection to the wild.

‘The first step isn’t to discover a whale, but to reestablish bonds with the tiniest creatures.’
our team
craig
CRAIG FOSTER
Co-Founder / Naturalist

Craig Foster is a founder of Sea-Change Trust and one of the world’s leading natural history filmmakers. He has dedicated himself to learning the secrets of the Golden Forest – the inshore kelp habitat at the South West tip of Africa, his underwater home. He is currently working on the Sea-Change film (filming and editing) and co-writing the book, at the same time honouring his pact to dive 365 times a year. Through this regular intensive immersion, he has uncovered a plethora of new animal behaviors and 8 new species of shrimp, one of which has been named after him: Heteromysis Fosteri. He has founded the Sea-Change project to share his love of nature with others.

hortizontal
Ross Frylinck
Co-Founder / Storyteller

Ross is a founding director of the Sea-Change Trust. He is a media and events entrepreneur, curator and journalist. Together with Craig, he is writing a book on their transformative experiences in the underwater realm on the Cape Peninsula. The book is due for publication in 2018. He is a co-founder of the Wavescape Festival which has been running for 14 years as the leading ocean culture and conservation event in South Africa.
He is the Chairman of Autonomy Paris - The world's first public focused event to present new urban mobility solutions to policy makers, press and public, in partnership with the City of Paris. Ross is a published journalist and author of children’s books.

carina
Carina Rubin-Frankal
Trustee / Executive Producer

Carina works with the Sea-Change Trust to implement its' goals and objectives and develop new content. She is hooked on the transformative power of water. She began her career over twenty five years ago in New York as a film producer where she helped launch the Cartoon Network’s morning segment and the Classic Sports Network. She has gone on to produce short films, music videos and commercials, but her real love is for documentaries. She worked with the Foster Brothers on the award-winning feature documentary, Cosmic Africa and stayed on to produce a few more films with them. 
A few years ago she was called to the sea. Inspired by Craig Foster's underwater photography, and his personal transformation in the water, she transcended her fears and pushed quite far beyond her comfort level. She continues to swim as often as she can, the cold water leaves her with a sense of absolute perfection.
“Going into the water you leave everything behind, except your true self.”

pippa
Philippa Ehrlich ‘Pippa’
Environmental Storyteller

Pippa spent much of her childhood in Johannesburg, dreaming of nature. Some of her earliest memories are of wading into the sea at Boulders Beach in Simonstown where she learned to swim. As an adult, Pippa set out to explore nature and our relationship with it as humans. Her role as conservation journalist for Save Our Seas Foundation brought her back to the shores of False Bay where she met Ross and Craig and experienced her first taste of Sea-Change magic. Her growing love for the Golden Forest draws her into these cool waters on an almost daily basis where she goes in search of stories that deepen her connection to this incredible wilderness and its weird and wonderful inhabitants. Pippa is currently working on on the Sea-Change film with Craig, and spearheading the Sea-Change Experiences field courses with Lisa.

lisa
Lisa Beasley
Sea-Change Experience Producer / Dive Master

Lisa started scuba diving at 11 years old and fell in love with the underwater world instantly. She became obsessed early on with the very tiny and colourful creatures – especially nudibranchs. Her adventuring nature has taken her all over the world, diving and working as a helicopter pilot, but it was last year, when she met the cold water amphibious Sea-Change Tribe that she found where she truly belongs. She has recently been working alongside The City of Cape Town to find healthier cleaning protocols to preserve the enormous diversity in the tidal pools around Cape Town. Lisa is running the Sea-Change Experience courses, and the Sea-Change Kids’ Outreach Program which is designed to help bring the Sea-Change philosophy and experience to young people who otherwise would not have access to this incredible ecosystem.

matthew
Dr. Matthew Zylstra
Ecologist

Matthew is an ecologist, educator and enabler working collaboratively with Sea-Change and other organisations through the EarthCollective network.
He is a university field lecturer for Wildlands Studies and facilitates and advises on social-ecological change processes across diverse scales: from individuals to organisations and communities. Matthew completed his PhD through Stellenbosch
University’s transdiscplinary doctoral program in sustainability and explored how meaningful nature experience deepens our connectedness and inspires learning and leadership for self and society.

swati
Swati Thiyagarajan
Environmental Journalist

Swati is one of India's best known environment journalists.
She is the environment editor of NDTV and the content editor of their special programs. Her show Born Wild, is the longest running wildlife conservation television show in India, of which she is the presenter, writer and researcher. She was the first Indian journalist to be invited to be on the jury of the Wildscreen Award or the green oscars as they are known.
She has been awarded the Ramnath Goenka Award, The Sanctuary Asia Wind Under the Wings Award and the Carl Zeiss Award for her work reporting on tiger conservation. Her solo outing as a filmmaker led to her making The Animal Communicator with her husband, which has had over 6 million views on YouTube. Swati spends her time between India and South Africa and has just authored a book Born Wild: Journeys into the heart of India and Africa. She is heading up the Sea-Change Project Outreach campaign. Her main interest is in exploring shared spaces between humans and animals and believes that greater co-existence in the coming years will be the only way to save the wild.

fanine
Faine Pearl Loubser
Documentarian

Faine is a young documentary filmmaker with a deep passion for the ocean. Her love for nature was fostered by her parents through long camping trips in the Namib desert and through many ocean-related adventures. With an incredible  desire to capture the feeling of being in the ocean, it was the gift of a GoPro that enabled her to share her vision. Camera in hand, Faine would make solo trips into the sea along the Cape Peninsula seeking to capture her underwater world. This mostly included diving without a wetsuit sometimes in temperatures as low as 9 degrees Celsius. It was a natural progression that Craig Foster, a close family friend, would nurture and mentor Faine’s passion for the sea and unlock a need to explore more, learn more and open up to the incredible mystery of nature. “I lost my heart in the sea, only to find my soul.” Faine is an integral part of the Sea-Change tribe, with her talents extending into every sphere of the project. Follow her antics on instagram.

background
It is these ideas that inspire our work:
human (1)

Human origins/
original design

Cold (2)

Cold water
adaption &
human physiology

kelp (1)

Kelp forest
ecology

tracking (1)

Tracking/
Deep nature
connection

The sea has always been linked to our evolution and our changing consciousness. The origins of all life on earth began in the ocean. This means that our DNA evolved from sea-creatures and our great, great ancestors were some special species of fish. Archaeologists believe that the modern human mind may have evolved at the sea. It is thought that the relationship we had with the ocean helped fuel the brain.

 

Also, interestingly enough rock art in the Kalahari, by people who had never encountered the sea, has images of fish and sea-life, indicating that shamans encountered underwater images during trances and altered states, suggesting water has great symbolic relevance and power in our collective unconscious.
Perhaps reconnecting with the ocean can be a conduit for a change in human consciousness once again.
Perhaps it can bring about a change in our attitude to nature and inspire us to respect the waters that supports our lives.