OUR TEAM

Mikko Paasi

“Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt people doing it”.

Mikko is a passionate technical diver and explorer, always ready to explore and document the undiscovered underwater realm. Mikko started his professional dive career at the Ojamo mine back in 1998. Soon after, he moved to Thailand where he has been running Koh Tao Divers together with Krista ever since. Mikko found his true passion in technical diving, and as a result Koh Tao Tec Divers was born.

Mikko is an experienced technical diving instructor and teaches SSI, PADI, and TDI technical diving courses in backmount and sidemount configurations. He is a Kiss Sidewinder, Revo, and Xccr certified diver, and a SF2 eCCR rebreather instructor trainer and can train students all the way to hypoxic trimix 100m.

 

Over the past decade, he has focused on documenting the underwater world through his camera. Mikko has been the camera man in numerous documentaries and films, latest being the Untold Arctic Wars, and has also featured on the other side of the lens in the “Sukeltaja” ("Diver") documentary and "The Cave" movie. Mikko has also published a book “Sukellus valoon - Mikko Paasi and the incredible rescue operation”.

 

His expeditions have taken him to previously unexplored wrecks such as the Burma Maru and Trusty Star, HMS Gentien, and deep into the cave systems of Mexico, Sardinia, Norway and many others.

 

Putting his skills to good use, Mikko is a member of the Suratthani Rescue in Thailand. He is known from the Thai cave rescue operation which successfully brought a football team of 13 boys out of the Tham Luang cave in 2018. He is also a Member International of The Explorers Club NY, and was granted a 1st class knight grand cross from the King of Thailand, and a life saving medal from the President of Finland.

 

Given that Mikko is the one to keep the team spirits up and to put a smile on everyone’s face, and has a wealth of dive leadership and project management experience, it is only natural that Mikko is in charge of the diving side of most of our projects. He is the other founder of Bottomline Projects.

Pauliina Ahti

Destined by her surname which is equal to “Poseidon” in Finnish, Pauliina, too, followed her passion for the underwater world and left Finland decades ago to become a diver and a marine biologist.

Pauliina is a Marine Biologist who can find her way around a molecular lab and mathematical modelling and probably other things too. She got her combined B.Sc and M.Sci. degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Glasgow. During her degree she worked at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology studying the phylogeography of Indo-Pacific reef fishes, and tested the use of diver operated stereo-video cameras to study fish habitats around Scotland.

 

She has since worked with different marine systems from Christmas Island and Madagascar to the Baltic Sea and everywhere in between. Pauliina's main interests revolve around fishes and evolution, but thanks to her curiosity, she gets excited over various questions. As a little random twist, for instance, she also studies Psychology and Neuroscience and is working on a research project focusing on the effects of gas narcosis on the cognitive functions of divers!  

Pauliina is currently wrapping up her PhD, studying the ecology and evolution of aquatic ecosystems, basically trying to find out how the fishes are doing when things around them change. She also developed and is in charge of the University of Jyväskylä Scientific Diving Programme, teaching scientific diving in the murky waters of Central Finland.

She has taught over a 1000 dive students from beginner to pro, is an AESD and AAUS Scientific Diver, an experienced recreational and technical diver in open and closed circuit, and dives Inspiration and SF2 eCCR rebreathers up to extended range trimix. Always ready to take the plunge, no matter whether in the tropics or under ice. 

With so many fishy stories, Pauliina looks after the marine biological and scientific side of Bottomline Projects and juggles a million fishes all at once. She is the other founding member of Bottomline Projects.

Jeffrey Glenn

Australian made, Jeff Glenn has been actively involved in the dive industry for over 2 decades. He is an accomplished technical diver with the highest Instructor ratings achieved with multiple agencies including PADI, TDI, IANTD, and RAID.
 

While based on Koh Tao, Jeff led the Instructor Development team at Ban’s Diving Resort, the sole dive resort globally that has reached over 300,000 diver certifications. During this successful period, Jeff also owned and operated their technical division named Bans Technical Diving, conducting hundreds of PADI, TDI and RAID Instructor programs as well as countless Technical, CCR and Full Cave diver level courses.


Realising his real passion was in technical diving, Jeff has focused the last decade solely on Bans Technical and gaining invaluable experience through his global adventures visiting the technical diving hotspots around the planet.


Some of Jeff’s recent experiences include


• Deep support diver for Will Goodman’s record 300m dive in Lombok, Indo 2015. Training
for a month with dives including several 200m plunges in preparation for Will’s big dive.

 

• Exploration to sub 150m+ in the sink holes in Southern Thailand
 

• Exploration of virgin cave systems in South Sulawesi. Resulting in several kilometres of
new line placed with in the cave systems with plans to return to explore the systems further

 

• Conducting Technical Instructor training, CCR course, Full Cave training and exploration in
various countries including Mexico, Italy, Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and Malta.

Jeff brings a wealth of experience and a well-rounded technical diving ability to Bottomline Projects and is honoured to be part of this extraordinary team of explorers.

Krista Paasi

Krista is the glue that keeps the show together. 

Originally from Finland, she made an excellent decision to escape the cold and embrace the heat a long time ago. She has spent half of her life in Thailand, gaining a strong, solid background in dive industry management and leadership. Together with Mikko, she has been running the successful dive centre of Koh Tao Divers in Thailand for nearly two decades. More recently, they expanded their adventure and business also to the crystal-clear waters of the Europe’s wreck capital Malta.

 

Being the one with all the important management, accounting, and social media skills, she is in charge of the big picture.

She’s also not afraid to roll her sleeves up. Her diverse skillset allows her to work in a wide variety of roles. Quite literally so, as she can shoot still and video image underwater, on land, and in the air! With that also comes stellar video editing skills and graphic designer skills – just the whole package.

While also a Divemaster, throughout her career Krista has focussed on the marketing and accounting side of the business. When a website needs building, new business needs to be done, or marketing project launched, Krista can be trusted. And if there is ever something she doesn’t know, she will find out. 

With her experience and skillset, friendly approach and quick wits, and ability to make things happen, Krista is the corner stone at Bottomline Projects and guaranteed to make everything move forward smoothly.

Natasha Walker-Milne

Tash is a true world citizen. Rumour has it she is both Scottish and American, but no one has been able to keep count on the number of countries she has lived in. 

Another one of our multi-talents, after attending college to study photography, she worked in the photographic industry for years before undertaking a wildlife documentary film making course in South Africa. This led to her working in London in a wildlife film archive as a footage researcher.

Always striving to learn more, she then achieved a combined bachelors and masters degree in Marine & Freshwater Biology, during which she worked at the Cascadia Research Collective in Washington State to study the seasonal cookiecutter shark bite prevalence on short finned pilot whales in Hawaii. Tasha is currently finishing her PhD studying juvenile fish habitat interactions in Scotland.

Being a passionate diver and a conservation scientist, she has worked on various projects around the globe. She has also been a teacher on the University of Glasgow Tropical Marine Biology course in Egypt focussing on underwater research methods and is a certified Divemaster.

A true scientist always has various side projects, and so does Tash. She’s involved in studying the reef fish biodiversity in Thailand and is busy planning ways to get everyone involved in reef research. Making sure research fully involves local communities is her priority.

Tash is a bit of a coding wizard, and an endless source of inspiration, new ideas, and fish knowledge. She is not afraid to throw in the craziest of ideas, which is great because that’s how the best ideas are born.

Dr. Richard Coleman

Richard received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii where he focused on understanding the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that influence the spatial distribution of marine fishes. Using a combination of molecular techniques and field surveys, his research program aims to address the underlying mechanisms behind the dispersal patterns, species distribution, and speciation in marine fishes focusing on three major areas: 1) Evaluating how natural history, environmental factors, and life history strategies determine the spatial scales of populations; 2) discovering the mechanism facilitating novel biodiversity; 3) assessing the role of ecological characteristics and biological traits on species distribution.

 

The themes of his research have occurred across a variety of geographic spatial scales (i.e., across ocean basins, archipelago, and islands) and across the vertical distribution of coral reef habitat. His research has brought him to many areas of the world including Papua New Guinea, the islands of Papāhanaumokuākea, Saudi Arabia, Kiribati, and Howland Island, among many other locations. As a technically trained closed-circuit rebreather diver his research has characterized species distributions across a depth gradient down to 130 meters.

 

Richard is currently a Research Associate at the University of Central Florida in the Genomics and Bioinformatics Cluster where his research currently focuses on identifying the distribution patterns of coral reef fishes in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

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