People

Dave Melkman
Director

Dave is hands on with our projects from start to finish - he has decades of experience in delivering digital projects. His attention to detail and ability to see a site from a users point of view make our sites easy to use, and great to look at.

He leads our technical and personal development, making sure the team are always learning, which keeps us happy and progressive. He loves reviewing the tools and systems we use to eke out every last drop of efficiency.

Dave's misspent youth means that he rules the Manta Ray pool table and dartboard - shame he can't gloat as much when he's cheering on Spurs at White Hart Lane.

Steve Lacey
Director

Steve has a background in infectious diseases with an MSc from LSHTM and over 10 years working at the Wellcome Trust developing health education training materials on a wide range of global health issues. The Wellcome Trust is also where Steve had the pleasure of meeting Manta Ray’s other co-founder Dave where they concocted their plan in 2007 to start Manta Ray Media with the aim of making beautiful websites for the global health and development sector.

Steve puts his knowledge to good use to structure the content for our global health clients and is hands on with digital strategy, design, and user experience.

Steve loves a new street art find, any inspiration is welcome when he’s guiding the next design project.

When not rolling back the years on the 5-a-side pitch, he can be found coaching his kids mini soccer team on the finer points of the offside rule or dreaming about when he might get the chance to dive again in the undersea realm.

Russ Urwin
Head Developer

Russ is a keen proponent of open source technologies, particularly those based around Linux, PHP and MYSQL. He makes sure that the back‐end of our bespoke websites, databases, content management systems and e‐commerce systems are built to the highest possible standards.

Russ blows the Manta Ray cycling pretenders out of the water - not only has he built his own bamboo bike, he’s made it all the way to Oman through leg power alone.

Adam Brichto
Head of film

Adam is a people-person who gets his buzz from collaborating with clients to help them communicate in fun and innovative ways. And the key thing he ensures is that good storytelling is at the heart of every project.

After helping to nurture Brickwall Films from a small production company to a fully integrated digital agency, he joined his old friends Dave and Steve in 2013 for a new challenge.

Since then, Manta Ray have built a reputation for creating brilliant films and animations within reasonable budgets – for the likes of the World Health Organization, World Bank and Department for International Development. We’ve also broadened our clients to include non-global health organisations such as Dial A Flight, BKL and The Learning Clinic.

Away from the office, Adam has a keen interest in blabbering on about documentaries over a drink and a pie, and winding up Dave with his love of Arsenal.

Angie Vanhegan
Project Manager

Angie has been project managing digital teams for yonks, delivering websites and intranets for the Wellcome Trust, London Metropolitan University and the Royal Bank of Scotland. She thrives on bringing order to chaos and navigating complex projects with creative team organisation, agile methodology and post it notes. Lots of post it notes.

Last year Angie headed to Mexico where she now lives on a tropical island with her boyfriend and her dog, making plans to build a house and sharing annoying photos of palm-fringed beaches on Instagram. Her mission to develop the perfect online project board is ongoing. Post it notes and all.

Nadia Hussain
Developer

Nadia is a web designer with significant multimedia and Drupal experience including over six years of developing accessible W3C compliant websites.

She has an exhaustive knowledge of all things Tolkien related, and isn’t shy about getting into heated debates about whether Mulan is better than Lilo and Stitch.

Arseni Melder
Developer

Arseni guides Manta Ray on open‐source technologies, web standards and best practices. He moved on to Drupal development five years ago, but we embrace new technologies to sate his need to keep things interesting and challenging. Arseni has a hand in any project that involves mapping or visualisations.

In his spare time he consumes movies, spins records or keeps an eye on latest discoveries in astrophysics.

Pipe Salom
Developer

After studying in Spain, Pipe freelanced for design studios before moving to London to focus his career on web development. Pipe has been working with Drupal since 2013, and he's as comfortable with back-end development as front-end. He also moonlights as the office handyman; he can fix anything with a dab of Sugru.

When not wading through code, Pipe is the unofficial Manta Ray swimming coach, channelling his disciplinarian waterpolo coach from his youth back in Colombia. Not unusually, Pipe's lifestyle has changed somewhat since his firstborn came into his life - his sideline of creating custom prints that celebrate family life is flourishing, and helps him express his creative side. Bravo Pipe!

Matty Sayer
Support Manager

Our point of contact for support issues, Matty makes sure our clients are happy way after launch. He is also responsible for training anyone managing the websites we create, but rejects claims that he affects a soothing Norfolk FM voice when holding training sessions.

Matty is another member of the Manta Ray climbing gang, he rewards his efforts by gorging at the food markets of East London. He spends way too much money on upgrades to his bike.

Nelle Cutler
Developer

We first used Nelle’s talents in English and creative writing to help us with our content work, but she’s proved a dab hand at back end Drupal development and has become invaluable to Manta Ray.

Nelle makes her own clothes, and dreams of having a successful YouTube channel to share her Fallout 4 gameplay and detailed zombie apocalypse plans.

Dilwar Hussain
Developer

Dilwar is new to Drupal but has taken to it with his usual assured nature to become a key part of our development team; we couldn’t be without his quietly-ticking-along attitude to the development stage of our projects.

Dilwar gets inundated with requests for fashion advice from the other gents at Manta Ray, he always responds with patience and understanding. Rumour has it that Dilwar is a Chelsea supporter but his interest seems to fluctuate in proportion to their on-field success, so he seems to favour NBA these days.

Cat Johnson
Designer

Cat’s a recent addition and has quickly proven herself to be invaluable to the Manta Ray team – impressive since she’s fresh out of Northumbria University! Cat puts great effort into seeking design inspiration and reading up on UX, which all helps toward the part our clients get excited about – pulling the curtain back to show them how great their site is going to look!

Cat tore through the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones books before they hit the screens, and you can count on her to have baked something delicious if there’s a birthday in the office – the garlic mayo brownie incident aside.

Paloma Redoli
Office Manager

Paloma's passion for things like colour coded to-do lists keeps Manta Ray operations ticking over smoothly. Her childhood ambitions of being a baker (and National Geographic researcher) were parked when she began her studies - her MBA in business Administration and Management make her invaluable to Manta Ray!

Paloma is convinced that she's clumsy - strange given that she's a Bonsai gardener who makes a mean Nori roll! Other (questionable) talents outside of her working life is that she only needs to listen to 5 seconds of any Disney song to know which film it's from.

Ryan Nazareth
Data scientist

Ryan has joined us while on his MSc in Data Science at City University - his skills in generating insights, data visualisations and analysis are providing invaluable to our data projects. He prefers coding in Python, R (sorry Matlab!), Spark, Tableau and is looking to learn more about javascript libraries in D3 and backend frameworks. 

Ryan is keen enough on Baseball to have travelled to America specifically for a Blue Jays game, he's also hooked on fantasy sports and boning up on Artificial Intelligence. He's hoping to drag the rest of the Manta Ray team out for some indoor cricket and paintball (not at the same time) while he's here!

Dave Ellwood
Design Consultant

Dave is the creative spark for our UI design, and specialises in brand & identity, data visualisation techniques and design guidance with clients such as BBC, QVC, BT, Tesco, British Land and Muller. He’s been producing compelling UX & UI solutions with the knowledge and experience of 15 years in visual communication.

His self-designed hi-vis accessories make him hard to miss when he is tearing around London on his Brompton.

Gat Powell
Lead Animator

Gat is a graduate of the prestigious National Film and Television School in London. Having worked on a wide variety of projects from children’s television to hard hitting documentaries, and tackling a wide range of styles and content, his adaptability made him an obvious fit with the Manta Ray team. Since joining as lead animator in 2014, he has brought his unique creative vision to tell client’s stories with both beautiful character-led stories and crisp & engaging infographics.

Away from the office he devotes his spare time to his passion for film - always with a creative project on the go - and his passion for dressing up as disturbing film characters. Trust us, you don’t want to see the photos!

Meghna Gupta
Filmmaker

Meghna has a strong variety of film experience, having worked across several different formats - from educational and corporate to fiction and music video. This diversity means that she brings fresh approaches to storytelling for Manta Ray’s clients, sparking life and fun into even complex topics. She focuses on making films that are accessible and beautifully crafted in equal measure.

Away from work, she’s got a soft spot for things that happen in pubs - such as roasts, chats and quizzes (where her unnecessary knowledge of Disney might actually be appropriate).

Julie N Reza
Writer and Editor

Julie is a science communicator who takes pride in making complex science understandable. She has over 15 years of experience from working at the Wellcome Trust in London and the World Health Organization in Geneva. Originally a research scientist, her passion is for biomedical sciences and anything that helps the developing world.

Julie claims to be our designated cake decorator and is a dab hand at carving strange creatures from melons – though she is yet to carve a mosquito or schistosome. She also wears a sari faster than anyone else in the office.

Some of our clients

Some of our clients

What we do

WEB
We know the web. We work closely with our clients to scope, design and build websites that are engaging, appropriate for the audience and, of course, easy to use and manage.
MOBILE
Responsive web design is becoming a modern day standard. We make sure your site will adapt to display on the hundreds of different devices by dynamically adjusting the display of your content according to screen size.
SCIENTIFIC CONTENT
We love creating content. For words that work, no matter who your audience or what your message, we can help. Our writing team create concise and engaging materials for all kinds of audiences.
FILM
Tell us your key messages and we'll convert them into inspiring films that captivate your audience.
DATA
We distil your data, information and knowledge into interesting and useful visualisations.
eLEARNING
We’re experts in eLearning, working on programmes that promote and support the individual’s personal, professional and career development. We help people reach their full potential – wherever they are in the world.
DEVELOPMENT
Our experienced development team bring your site to life in Drupal, a world leading open source content management system. Ruby on Rails, PhP, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, MySQL and much more - we know it all.
USER EXPERIENCE
We often create bespoke websites and systems so we focus on usability to ensure what we deliver is intuitive, user-friendly and effective.
DESIGN
There’s no one else quite like you. We can help create a brand, logo and design that capture the essence of who you are and what you do.
STRATEGY
Make sure your website lives up to its potential by having a flexible and fluid strategy to mirror the unpredictability and fast moving nature of the web.