Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, and St. Kitts
Mykl has worked on environmental conservation projects in the Caribbean for the last eight years and is now based on the island of Antigua as an independent consultant. She works primarily in the areas of wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism, and project management, and is an active volunteer with local NGOs and community organizations. She holds a master’s degree in coastal management from York University, Toronto.
A life-long visitor to the Bahamas, Lindsey moved there full time in 2004 with her Bahamian husband, Matthew. Soon after, she began work as Executive Director of Friends of the Environment, a small environmental nonprofit based in Abaco, in the northern Bahamas. During her time there, FRIENDS renovated an old church into an education center, started a school-based education program and worked to create two new national parks. She left a few years later when their son was born. In her more than ten years working in the nonprofit sector, Lindsey has also worked for a community foundation and as a nonprofit consultant. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs. She and her husband also have an environmental documentary company, Loggerhead Productions.
Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama
Born in Guatemala, raised in El Salvador, and now residing for over 23 years in Honduras, Ian considers himself truly a Central American. Along with his wife, Jenny Myton (also pictured), he’s been active in marine conservation and has resided on the island of Roatán for the past 13 years. He holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering and is also the Country Coordinator for the Healthy Reefs Initiative. When not plotting how to save coral reefs in the Mesoamerican Reef, he can be found photographing his favorite dive site, Cordelia Banks, where he finds inspiration among fields of endangered coral species.
Claudio Delgado earned his bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the Universidad Austral de Chile and studied the Integrated Management of Coastal Zones at Guadalajara University in Mexico. Since 1998, he has led various projects concerning the conservation biology of coastal zones. From 1999 to 2003, Claudio was coordinator of the Biodiversity Program for Comité Nacional Pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora’s Valdivia regional office, leading private land conservation initiatives and implementing the first private protected coastal area in the region. In 2003, he founded Conservación Marina, a Chilean NGO (nonprofit organization) promoting the protection and sustainable use of marine biodiversity along the Chilean coast. As the organization’s director, Claudio has led conservation projects related to marine mammal research, conservation of migratory shorebirds on Chiloé Island, and planning for the sustainable use and conservation for Mocha Island. He has lead nine conservation planning processes and has also trained many professionals and conservation practitioners from private and governmental agencies in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Cuba. Claudio’s areas of expertise include biodiversity conservation, ecological surveying, strategic planning, and marine protected areas. He lives in Valdivia with his two children and wife. Besides being a committed conservationist, Claudio loves hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking.
Ximena, born and raised in Colombia, is a marine scientist with broad experience in fisheries research and a strong background in ocean management in Latin American countries. Among other projects, she has developed population genetic studies in marine top predators and evaluated how regional fisheries management policy in the Caribbean affects sustainable development in coastal communities. She is the associate director of Ocean Doctor’s Cuba Conservancy Program, working to develop successful scientific collaboration between Cuba and the United States. She also works on local community projects, including Seacology’s first project in Cuba. Ximena holds a Masters in Environmental Studies and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and a Bachelor of Science in Biology – Marine Sciences, from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She is a certified scuba instructor and an experienced diving instructor and marine ecology educator.
As a native of the Caribbean, Leida has always been attracted by colors and sound: The colors and sounds of nature; the colors and sounds of people; the chatter of tropical birds and frogs; the song of humpback whales; and the beat of Salsa and Son. Leida loves nature and people, so you can say she is a nature lover and a people person.
That is why she works in the sustainable management of natural resources in unison with local people to facilitate their engagement with their natural environment and improving their livelihoods. Leida has an MSc in Landscape & Environmental Planning from Germany and over twenty-five years’ professional experience in the intergovernmental and not-for-profit sectors working on sustainable and social development issues. She also delivers hands-on consulting in land-use planning, civil society strengthening, sustainable livelihoods, gender equity, respect for cultural and ethnic diversity, empowerment and skills training for grassroots groups, and international development and conservation. Most recently her focus has been on biodiversity conservation, coastal and marine management and climate change mitigation.
With almost 20 years as an activist, advocating for child rights, rural community development and environmental protection, Tyrone has had extensive experience working in Grenada and regionally. He first worked with the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association for 10 years, and subsequently worked as Coordinator of the Inter-Agency Group of Development Organizations and the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child, umbrella agencies whose members grappled with a host of social issues, primary among them poverty alleviation, education and training, domestic violence and social/legal assistance. He trained extensively in relevant regional and international projects, with internships in the US, UK, Canada and Europe, and also served on various youth expert panels within UN-specialized agencies and in the international Planned Parenthood and adolescent health field. He served as the Manager of Rare Enterprises, Grenada from 2005 to 2008, during which time he successfully set up community-based ecotourism enterprises that link Grenada’s tourism industry to its natural environment, and contribute directly to conservation projects. Tyrone is also the Secretary/Executive Officer of Grenada Fund for Conservation, Inc. Tyrone is married, with three children, and enjoys reading and creative writing.
Krishna is an attorney at law and a natural scientist with a post-graduate degree in marine management. He spent eight years working for the Government of Jamaica as their technical adviser on coastal issues and during that time led numerous inter-disciplinary teams responsible for natural resource management and regulating physical development. Krishna has spent a number of years working as an environmental consultant where he used his experience to help formulate policy and to contribute to management plans while he studied law. After a short stint in London, where he worked in sustainable development for an inner London borough, he is now back in Jamaica, where he is working as a litigator for a major law firm in downtown Kingston. Krishna enjoys photography, scuba diving, playing squash, and camping out with friends.
Enrique is an expert on South American camelids and other wildlife who has traveled widely in Peru, working with rural communities and learning their traditional knowledge. Working in the field for 15 years, he has done work in the mountains, rainforest, and coastal hills, searching for guanacos (Lama guanicoe), and leading the rural development program of OIKOS, a nonprofit conservation organization in Peru. Enrique graduated from the Veterinary School of San Marcos National University in Peru and now leads postgraduate short-term courses there in wildlife conservation and biodiversity management. He also teaches about indigenous ancestral knowledge, adaptation to climate change, and sustainable conservation for rural communities.
Marisol Rueda Flores was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos and moved to La Paz, B.C.S. in 2005 to do her Masters in Science on Marine Resources Management with blue whales. Since then she has been working in environmental education and conservation programs in La Paz, B.C.S., Costa Rica, and the Galápagos Islands with cetaceans, marine invertebrates, sea turtles, and tortoises, among others. In 2010, she moved to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, and became Mexico’s Coordinator for the Healthy Reefs Initiative, focusing on the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef. Whenever she has free time, you can find her exploring the bottom of the ocean—her passions are scuba diving and traveling around the world to get to know new places and cultures.
Cecilia’s approach to conservation has been shaped by professional and academic experiences that have exposed her to a wide range of environmental challenges. Working in an NGO, Vida Silvestre Uruguay, has given her a broad knowledge of national and local needs. She worked at the local level with communities near the Río Uruguay promoting monitoring actions with fishermen and with communities near the Atlantic Ocean in an environmental education program. At the national level, she was part of the team that was in charge of realizing the goals and the spatial design of the National System of Protected Areas for 2015-2020. Currently, she is working with the private sector to promote actions that conserve biodiversity.
Cecilia has a bachelor’s degree in biological science, with a specialization in ecology, from the Universidad de la República in Uruguay and a diploma in Management and Conservation of Natural Resources (Ducks Unlimited Mexico, with the endorsement of the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mexico). She is working toward a master’s in agricultural science with a social science focus at the Universidad de la República.
Leela Padmini Batuwitage is a Charted Civil Engineer with a Ph.D (The Netherlands) and three master’s degrees: Master of Engineering (Sri Lanka), Master of Science (Ireland), Master of Public Administration (Harvard University, USA). She has been actively involved in sustainable development issues over the last 23 years at local and global levels. She was the Additional Secretary (Environment & Policy) of the Ministry of Environment, Sri Lanka when she retired in 2011. After retirement, she continued her professional career as a consultant in the field of sustainable development. She believes that learned societies should sustain efforts towards complete synchronization to see a healthy planet with smiling people everywhere in the world.
Vineeta has a Ph.D in cultural geography and has done research on traditional lifestyles of indigenous people in remote areas. She was awarded fellowships from the East-West Centre in Hawaii, the Australian Federation of University Women, and the Norwegian Research Council. Her quest to understand traditional, sustainable use of ecological resources led her to live among Trans-Himalayan nomads, Lakshadweep Islanders, and the Sámi reindeer herders in the Arctic. She is the author of the book, Living on the Move, the Bhotiyas of the Kumaon Himalayas.
She is a founder and trustee of the Centre for Action Research on Environment, Science and Society (CARESS), which tries to help stem the rapid loss of cultural and natural biodiversity and focuses on the revival of traditional values among island and mountain people. She coauthored The Children’s Perception of the Environment: a teachers toolkit for coastal and marine areas in Asia, published in 2009 by IUCN. Vineeta has been at the heart of coral reef affairs involving island communities in South Asia since 1997. She is the Regional Coordinator for the Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon) South Asia and the lead author of the SocMon SA guidelines.
Erik has been working in Madagascar every year since 2000, where he has been studying the behavioral biology and conservation of one of the most critically endangered primates in Madagascar, the silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus). He earned his Ph.D from Cornell University and his master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in anthropology. His conservation program at Marojejy National Park, part of a newly inaugurated World Heritage Site, works in collaboration with several local communities in activities such as research training, biodiversity monitoring, and conservation education in local schools. The Madagascar Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (MICET) has facilitated his work at Marojejy National Park, Makira Natural Park, and Ialatsara Private Reserve for many years. Erik began working with Seacology as its Madagascar field representative in 2009.
Tuaine Tura is a conservation advocate from Mangaia. In 1999 she and her husband founded the Mangaia Tanga’eo Environmental Rangers, an award-winning NGO promoting environmental awareness and education among Cook Island children. Formerly trained as a nurse, Tuara manages her family’s bakery while continuing to work with local environmental groups as an advisor and mentor to support conservation issues.
Pettine Simpson was born and raised on a copra plantation where she still lives, just outside the small township of Savusavu on Vanua Levu Island, bordering the ocean. She has a passion for both the land and the sea and is an ardent protector of both. She is an entrepreneur and administrator with experience in both government and the private sector. She is the only woman ever elected to the Savusavu town council, where she led initiatives to improve land use and protect the environment.
Simon has degrees in marine biology and fisheries from Edinburgh and Louisiana State Universities and has worked in this field since 1990. He moved to Micronesia in 1997 and has traveled extensively in the region supporting conservation and aquaculture projects. From 2002-2006 he was the marine program advisor for the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, a leading grassroots NGO. Currently, he is director of the Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei, an NGO dedicated to developing sustainable aquaculture in rural communities in Micronesia. Through this work he is able to travel through the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau interacting with conservation groups, which has been an ideal way to work with communities on conservation projects. Simon has been the Seacology representative for Micronesia since 2004.
Papua New Guinea
Sam Moko is from Kui Village in the Huon Gulf District, Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and is currently Greenpeace’s forest campaigner in PNG. He joined Greenpeace after working as a conservation and community development officer with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and as a community and health educator with the Foundation for People and Community Development Inc. (FPCD). Sam originally trained in Theatre Arts at the University of PNG. He started out working in community theatre projects for FPCD – using storytelling and theatre to educate people about health issues like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. He has also worked as a logistician ensuring health supplies were delivered to remote communities in Bougainville for the Australian Foundation for Asia & Pacific People. As a community development worker with WWF, Sam ran workshops with landowners on sustainable management of their forest and alternatives to selling logging concessions such as butterfly and vanilla farming. Sam began helping out with Seacology’s Bosavi project in 2003 on a volunteer basis. In 2008, Sam was named as Seacology’s field representative in PNG.
Since March 2007, Sione has been the Executive Director of the Tonga Community Development Trust, a nonprofit organization working with disadvantaged communities to foster self-reliance. Tonga Trust is implementing a number of community-based projects, ranging from health, water, and sanitation to disaster preparedness, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, good governance, democracy, and voter education. Before joining Tonga Trust, Sione was a National Project Coordinator in Tonga’s Department of Environment for two consecutive regional projects. First, the Ha’apai Conservation Area Project under the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Program (SPBCP) from 1995-2001. Second, the Nukuhetulu Waste Reduction Pilot Project under the Strategic Program for the International Waters of the South Pacific (IWP) from 2002 to 2007. Both programs (SPBCP and IWP) used a community-based participatory approach to conservation and were funded by GEF, implemented by UNDP and executed by SPREP. In 1994 Sione obtained a Master of Arts in sociology from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Iona has been traveling to Indonesia for more than 16 years, and took up residence on the island of Bali in 2009. Since then Iona has been working as a mangrove restoration ecologist on projects in Sulawesi Island and Aceh, and continues to live happily in Bali with her son. Iona holds a degree in environmental science and development studies from Victoria University of Wellington.
An environmental activist, journalist, and farmer, Irman lives in his home village of Mandalamekar where his conservation efforts earned him the 2011 Seacology Prize. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from Sam Ratulangi University, in North Sulawesi, and worked for Conservation International in the Raja Ampat Islands as a campaigner and educator. Today he helps rural communities like Mandalamekar create resource management and cost-sharing plans to protect their natural resources. He also serves as Chairman of the Indonesian Community Radio Network.
Chris grew up in a small coastal town in Australia and has loved the ocean all his life. He received a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies and Cultural Change from the University of Macquar in Sydney and worked in sustainability and community engagement around Australia. Later he began collaborating on research projects with local NGOs in Malaysia. Since then, his passion for the region, its environment, and its cultural diversity has led him to a range of projects focusing on sustainability, renewable energy, and cultural development. He has also been passionately involved in climate change activism, and was named by the Guardian as “one of the top young campaigners to watch” before the 2016 Paris Climate Conference.
Ferdie worked in the Philippine Senate from 1998 to 2004, assisting Technical Working Groups on the Senate Committee on the Environment, and saw the passage of landmark laws, such as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. A scuba instructor since 1990, Ferdie teaches SCUBA every now and then, while managing the family farm in Tanay, Rizal Province. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and attended the College of Law at the University of the Philippines for a few years. Ferdie also keeps a blog which, among other things, discusses his visits to Seacology projects.