Meet the Team

Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips came to Koh Tao in the beginning of 2016 to try diving and immediately fell in love with the sport. He went zero to hero: straight from his Open Water Course through to completing his Instructor certification here with Roctopus, and has since devoted his time to building his experience teaching specialty courses, Divemaster training and Instructor Training

His interest in diving evolved from wanting to get inside shipwrecks as soon as he could, and is now one of the most passionate wreck instructors on Koh tao. Now he is ever-expanding his knowledge and expertise in technical diving and will soon be completing his Instructor rating in these areas as well!

Joe was working in the sales industry for years before he finally decided to pack his bags and leave London (and the rain) behind to live out his new career on beautiful Koh Tao.

Stephen Read

Stephen Read moved to Koh Tao in November of 1999, after training to become a dive professional in Australia. Since then, He has:

  • Certified over 1,000 divers, from Open Water to Instructor levels within PADI  as a Certified Master Instructor and EFR Instructor Trainer.
  • Certified over 400 in D.A.N. (Diver’s Alert Network) courses of all levels.
  • Gained 6,880 SSI Experience Points and recognized by SSI as a Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor, their highest instructor rating.
  • Become a RAID Instructor Trainer

Not only is Stephen a highly experienced instructor, he is also our resident dive medicine and dive physiology expert. He is a certified Respond Right Instructor Trainer, React Right Instructor Trainer, Diver Medical Technician, and Assistant Life Support Technician at DDRC (Diving Disease Research Centre). He has also spent time working in Recompression Chambers.

Outside teaching Stephen loves to go sidemount diving and technical diving and is working toward becoming an instructor within these areas. The learning never stops.

Stephen Read moved to Koh Tao in November of 1999, after training to become a dive professional in Australia. Since then, He has:

  • Certified over 1,000 divers, from Open Water to Instructor levels within PADI  as a Certified Master Instructor and EFR Instructor Trainer.
  • Certified over 400 in D.A.N. (Diver’s Alert Network) courses of all levels.
  • Gained 6,880 SSI Experience Points and recognized by SSI as a Platinum Pro 5000 Instructor, their highest instructor rating.
  • Become a RAID Instructor Trainer

Not only is Stephen a highly experienced instructor, he is also our resident dive medicine and dive physiology expert. He is a certified Respond Right Instructor Trainer, React Right Instructor Trainer, Diver Medical Technician, and Assistant Life Support Technician at DDRC (Diving Disease Research Centre). He has also spent time working in Recompression Chambers.

Outside teaching Stephen loves to go sidemount diving and technical diving and is working toward becoming an instructor within these areas. The learning never stops.

Piers – ecoTrust Manager and Marine Biologist

Piers is the ecoTrust Manager and runs our Marine Ecology and Conservation Programme. He first qualified as a professional diver in 2015 before completing his instructor qualifications in Indonesia. Following this, Piers returned to the UK to study and graduate from the University of Plymouth with an Honours degree in Marine Biology. During this time his main area of research was marine animal behaviour, specialising in how marine animals make decisions during contests. This then led him to write a research paper on fighting behaviours and decision making in sea anemones! He has a passion for understanding the ecology and diverse interactions between species we see while diving and loves to educate people on how certain organisms react, why they behaving in such a way, and why they as a species are so important for our reefs. Piers and the eco-team are currently involved in several underwater projects that focus on monitoring and managing the reefs around Koh Tao. Piers is a team player and a father figure to his team of eco-interns and eco-divemasters. If he’s not out on the boat conducting scientific surveys he’s giving academic presentations on fish & coral species and if he’s not doing that then he’s chatting about conservation at our beach bar. Young, passionate and enthused to help educate and impact our seas, Piers will take you under his wing and make you an eco-warrior with the skills and information to make a difference.

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