Krista Shoe, Founder
Krista spent many years in the corporate world doing Program Management and Process Improvement. She spent the majority of her vacation time traveling to remote places to go scuba diving. In 2017, she decided to flip the script, quit corporate, and move near the ocean to Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Upon her arrival, she had a chance introduction to a man who was starting a coral restoration project in the area. The two teamed up to build artificial reefs and grow coral. Through this project, her passion for the ocean and knowledge of how to help it has grown by leaps and bounds.
Over the last several years she has built six artificial reefs (in collaboration with Caribbean Coral Restoration) all over Bocas, grown coral on PVC trees and in land tanks, and planted coral to build fully functioning reefs.
Robin Perreault, Construction & Training
Robin’s devotion to the environment was fostered at sea. She learned to scuba dive in Maine and spent much of her adult life sailing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She instilled a similar passion in her family and even inspired her daughter to pursue a degree in marine biology.
Robin moved to Bocas in 2016 and quickly joined Caribbean Coral Restoration, where she developed a knack for building artificial reef structures. Known locally for her creative, lifelike designs, she joined Mother of Corals to share her craft. Through Mother of Corals, Robin shares her knowledge and training with local communities so they can build their own sustainable reef structures.
Dr. Jarrod Scott, Ecosystem Diversity
Jarrod is a microbiologist and tropical ecologist based in Bocas del Toro, Panamá. Jarrod got his start in biology researching the symbiosis between leaf-cutter ants and fungi. After many years of tromping around the lowland forests of Central America, he left the tropics to study deep-sea hydrothermal vents and submarine volcanoes.
Inspired by a newfound adoration for marine systems, Jarrod returned to Panama where he is currently trying to understand how the contrasting environments of the Eastern Pacific and Western Atlantic influence marine biodiversity and host-microbe associations. Jarrod takes a holistic, ecosystem-level, approach to his work, and his deep understanding of marine ecosystems is crucial to the success of our projects.
Ximena Boza, Water Quality
Ximena Boza is a Panamanian marine biologist with a masters degree in oceanography. She was born and raised in Panama City but decided to move to a small, beautiful Caribbean island in Bocas del Toro a few years ago. She currently works at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as a Research Technician. She is excited to apply her ocean water-quality skills to help restore corals; not only in her home country of Panama but also across the globe.
Board of Directors
Sacha Belter, Secretary
Sacha developed a love of the ocean at an early age, despite being born and raised in Colorado. In her career she has spent time working in sustainability, tourism, and scuba education.
Sacha is passionate about marine conservation and education. In her spare time Sacha loves exploring the outdoors and having adventures with her friends and family, she’s been to over 40 countries and counting. Sacha is thrilled to be able to offer her skills as Secretary of the Board of Mother of Corals.
Amy Christopher, Director
Amy’s fascination with the underwater world began at an early age, snorkeling with her family on a variety of adventures during their overseas assignments. Her experience living in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Singapore forged her love of travel and guided her towards her current career as a dive travel specialist with Ocean First in Boulder, Colorado.
Ecotourism with a focus on marine conservation has always been paramount when building adventures for avid divers and snorkelers. Amy’s travel experience spans almost 20 years and has taken her to all 7 continents. In her spare time Amy is an avid cyclist, hiker, and newly certified yoga instructor. She is honored to be a part of the team at Mother of Corals.
Jessica Howard, Treasurer
Jessica Howard has lived in Colorado for 25 year and was introduced to scuba diving in 2004, despite living in a landlocked state. She was immediately enamored and consequently fell in love with the ocean.
Her extensive 18 year career in the Mortgage industry and degree in Finance, as well as her love for the ocean, made her the perfect fit for the role of Treasurer on the Mother of Corals Board of Directors.
Chad also took many of the incredible underwater photos on our site!
Chad H. Koll, Director
Chad was born into an agricultural family in a landlocked state. Despite these obstacles, he discovered the ocean as a teenager and quickly fell in love. After a brief stint in college, he joined the U.S. Navy as a submarine nuclear mechanic and diver. After completing his enlistment, Chad returned to Colorado to complete his degree, where he worked as a scuba instructor and marketing director for a local dive center.
In 2015, Chad completed a masters degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and began working for Scuba Schools International as their International Product Manager. This career has allowed him to work with an international team of industry experts to develop cutting-edge digital training materials for programs from recreational freediving to professional technical instructor training.
Cathy Christopher, Marine Sciences
Cathy’s love of the water began on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Her curiosity for the marine environment started early on during visits with family in South Florida over Spring Breaks. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Bowling Green State University; it was the only university with a marine lab in the state of Ohio!
Cathy then moved to Florida, just a few blocks from the sea, and attended Florida Atlantic University where she received her master’s degree studying phenotypic plasticity of fiddler crabs. The invertebrates have always been her favorite—so incredibly dynamic and diverse! Cathy became a certified diver and very quickly learned that diving at night was the best time to observe these amazing creatures. Attracted by the opportunity to create engaging marine science curricula, she moved to Boulder in 2015 to begin working at Ocean First Education where she is now the COO. Cathy is excited to be a part of such a forward-thinking and impactful project and can’t wait to see what the future unfolds.