Speakers

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Astrid Andersson

How do a flock of critically endangered cockatoos from Indonesia, end up living in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district? How do they survive? This introduced population of city cockatoos has been the focus of my PhD and Postdoc research.

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Archana Anand

Archana Anand is an environmental microbiologist. She primarily works on the interface between environmental engineering and coastal marine microbiology. Archana is intrigued by aquatic microbes that drive several vital processes in the land and ocean. Applications of her work have ranged from development and application of marine monitoring methods using stable isotope analysis, characterizing the impact of wastewater-derived nutrients on coastal ecosystems in megacities, and educating adults and children on the 'hidden life of the sea'. 

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Yara Barros

I am a biologist, my PhD is in Zoology I worked with conservation of endangered species all my life. At the moment I am the Coordinator of the Jaguars of Iguaçu Project, working for the conservation of the jaguars in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. I am also associate of the Instituto Pró Carnívoros and a member of the Conservation Planning Specialist Group 9CPSG/IUCN). I will present the work we do to promote the jaguars' conservation, including the coexistence with human populations.

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Samson Beah​

 

As African People & Wildlife’s Beekeeping Program Officer, Samson Beah spends most of his time in the bush overseeing the installation, maintenance, and harvest of over 700 beehives across three villages. Originally from a family of beekeepers on the Maasai Steppe, Samson has been caring for beehives for 15 years. He graduated in 2013 with an advanced certificate in beekeeping and honey production from Baraka Agricultural College. Samson brings a wealth of knowledge to the team, from apiary and hive management to final product quality control and marketing. He believes that environmentally friendly beekeeping can be a reliable source of income, thus protecting the environment while creating sustainable communities. He explains, “In training communities in modern beekeeping techniques, we can enjoy the sweet taste of Maasai wildflower honey while preserving the rangeland for both livestock and wildlife.”

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Emma Bean

 

Kia ora! I'm Emma Bean, Kiwi Hatchery Manager at the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua, New Zealand. I have worked at the hatchery for over 14 years and in that time, I have seen the 500th kiwi chick, the 1000th, the 1500th and most recently the 2000th chick hatch. I am originally British, but like to think of myself as an ‘honorary kiwi’ - having become a NZ Citizen!

 

The National Kiwi Hatchery is New Zealand’s largest Kiwi Hatchery, hatching over 100 kiwi chicks per year - representing ~75% of all kiwi species hatched in kiwi facilities nationwide. We have successfully hatched over 2100 kiwi chicks since 1995, with an average hatch success rate of over 95%.

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Iris Berger

Conservation scientist and National Geographic Explorer Iris Berger will share stories from her current PhD field research in India, where she investigates how to achieve food security with the least cost to biodiversity conservation. Iris' research interests lie in identifying how we can optimally manage landscapes to benefit both biodiversity and livelihoods and quantifying the changing state of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Iris has conducted expeditions across the tropics to address these questions, from the Amazon to East African rainforests and savannahs to now Indian forests and farmland.

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Pablo Borboroglu

We cannot imagine a world without penguins. They reflect how wonderful and fragile our planet is. Penguins are a species group particularly impacted by the alteration in their habitats and therefore are excellent indicators of the oceanic and coastal ecosystem they inhabit. The oceans are in trouble and so are penguins: half of the 18 species of penguins are listed as threatened by IUCN. Pablo is a marine biologist and penguin conservationist and has dedicated 33 of his life to study an protect them. His presentation will immerse us into the mysterious and magnetic world of penguins. He will share updates of the main conservation issues penguins are facing and how the Global Penguin Society’s global and local efforts are helping penguins cope with their main threats.

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Cayte Bosler

We cannot imagine a world without penguins. They reflect how wonderful and fragile our planet is. Penguins are a species group particularly impacted by the alteration in their habitats and therefore are excellent indicators of the oceanic and coastal ecosystem they inhabit. The oceans are in trouble and so are penguins: half of the 18 species of penguins are listed as threatened by IUCN. Pablo is a marine biologist and penguin conservationist and has dedicated 33 of his life to study an protect them. His presentation will immerse us into the mysterious and magnetic world of penguins. He will share updates of the main conservation issues penguins are facing and how the Global Penguin Society’s global and local efforts are helping penguins cope with their main threats.

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Andrés Sáenz Bräutigam 

A close look at the not so slow wonder of nature that is the two-fingered sloth, with fun facts about its biology, natural history, and its place in our world as well as how this new and changing world is affecting them as a species, the dangers of electrocution and inbreeding in a medical setting and what organizations like ours have been doing to put them back out into the world!

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Callie Broaddus

 

Callie is the founder and executive director of Reserva: The Youth Land Trust, a group working to conserve wild places entirely through the lens of youth empowerment. She'll be speaking about encountering and counteracting gold mining exploration in the Andean Chocó cloud forest through youth-led conservation.

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Oliver Broadhead

 

I lead the development of Eden's international projects, which cover a range of topics (water, planetary boundaries, ecosystem services etc.) that are all closely tied to biodiversity. Our projects are among the largest visitor destinations focused specifically on environmental education and engagement. I'd love to briefly outline our current approach and the direction we're heading in and to get some feedback from practitioners, hopefully leading to future collaboration.

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Emma Camp

Dr Emma Camp is a marine biologist and the Deputy Team Leader of the Future Reefs team at the University of Technology Sydney. Emma is a United Nations Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, a National Geographic Explorer, a 2019 Rolex Associate Laureate, a 2020 Time Magazine Next Generation Leader, UNESCO- L'Oréal Australian Women in Science Fellow and was recently named the winner of the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher. Emma researches and advocates for the world’s marine life under threat from environmental and climate change. She is one of the founders of the Coral Nurture Program on the
Great Barrier Reef – a unique program involving scientists and Tour Operators to enhance reef biodiversity and promote site stewardship. Emma is an advocate for Women in STEM and improved Climate Action.

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Ivonne Cassaigne

I am a wildlife veterinarian and I have worked for the last 20 years in several translocation/ reintroduction/conservation programs for different wild species. I will be sharing 2 successful reintroductions (pronghorn and bighorn sheep) and the ongoing project for future grizzly reintroduction.

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Nilofar Raeesi Chahartaghi

With an MSc in Conservation Science, I have been working as a conservation practitioner for almost a decade in Iran. I am interested in and mainly focused on Felidae conservation and human dimensions of it. In this Global Biodiversity Festival, I will tell you about our efforts to study the endangered Persian leopard in Southwestern Iran and our recent activities to bring more attention to small wild cats of the country.

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Moumita Chakraborty

I am a conservation biologist, specializing in birds and mammals. I am doing PhD from Wildlife Institute of India, working to understand how anthropogenic and environmental factors control changes in red panda distribution in Sikkim. Primarily my research focused on aspects of red pandas ecology, behavioral biology, and long-term conservation. I am associated with the ZSL EDGE of Existence Program, as a Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellow, I have spent the last three years in Sikkim conserving red pandas through various research, education and communication activities, where conservation attention is very negligible.

 

On this special day, I will talk about one of the strangest and most wonderful creatures in the world, the 'Red Panda'! Starting with global concerns, I will describe some of their fun facts, unique features, and characteristics, habits and habitats, threats and challenges. I will conclude with our research findings and plan for landscape-level conservation design. Besides, I am gonna talk about the traditional knowledge of the local people, cultural beliefs and perceptions about the Red Panda.

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Alexis Chappuis

I am a marine biologist, technical scientific diver and underwater photographer. In 2018, I founded the NGO UNSEEN Expeditions. I am now focusing on exploring and documenting mesophotic coral ecosystems to raise awareness of the importance and vulnerabilities of these hidden worlds and their rich and colourful biodiversity. The more we know, the more we care and the better we can preserve. I will be presenting some images of mesophotic life and landscapes that I collected over the past three years around Bali, Indonesia. The idea is to give you a glimpse of the diversity and colours that can be found a hundred metres beneath the surface of our Oceans. But also of the threats these poorly-known habitats are facing.

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​​Gonçalo J. Costa

My love for insects came since a very young age, but it was only during my Master's thesis that I discovered just how awesome cicadas can be! I live in Portugal and I wanted to see what's singing in the other side of the Mediterranean, in Morocco. They are poorly known and my research will help shed a light on these noisy, but yet unheard bugs for science, setting the first stone for future conservation efforts. Want to see what's the buzz all about?

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Joe Cutler

National Geographic Explorer Joe Cutler recently conducted the Ogooue Megatransect, where he and his team rafted 1000 kilometers across Gabon on Africa's 4th largest river. Joe has a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has been studying central African freshwater ecosystems for nearly a decade. In his talk, Joe will take take us on a virtual exploration of Gabon's incredible national parks.

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Jennifer Denny

 

Join Jennifer Denny, Education Coordinator at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, for a discussion about Common Loon ecology and conservation in northern New York State.

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Arnaud Desbiez

Arnaud Desbiez was born in France, but spent his childhood in the US. He has a Ph.D in Biodiversity management. He has worked and lived in Belize, Argentina, Bolivia, Nepal and has now been based in Brazil for the past 19 years. He founded an NGO called ICAS in Brazil (Wild Animal Conservation Institute) to provide administrative support to the two projects he coordinates: the Giant Armadillo Conservation Program and Anteaters and Highways. His work has been featured in National Geographic, BBC nature and was recently featured in a 60 minute documentary on PBS. He lives in Campo Grande, Brazil with his wife, two kids, and four dogs.

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Stella Diamant 

After working in Madagascar and realising no work was being done on whale sharks, Stella initiated the Madagascar Whale Shark Project in 2016, a multi-disciplinary and collaborative project aiming to gather scientific data on whale sharks to protect them in Madagascar, as well as empower communities locally.

 

Stella’s team has identified more than 400 juvenile whale sharks off North-Western Madagascar, which have never been observed anywhere else in the world. The project also leads awareness activities amongst locally, such as code of conduct training for tourism operators and an education program across schools.

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Rosa Vasquez Espinoza

Rosa is a Peruvian Chemical Biologist, National Geographic Explorer, educator, conservationist and award-winning artist. She founded the project MicroAmazon that explores the microscopic universe of extreme environments and unique animals in the Amazon Rainforest to discover new molecules and enzymes for medicine and green chemistry.

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Diana Friedrich

Diana is a naturalist and adventurer. She received a degree in Nature Conservation in South Africa, that led her to work in several nature reserves in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Tanzania. She was the field coordinator for the Macá Tobiano (hooded grebe) Project, an initiative of Aves Argentinas, for three seasons and worked as a field technician on Rewilding Argentina’s projects to reintroduce giant anteaters and red-and-green macaws. Currently she lives in Camarones and coordinates the Parks & Communities programs in Patagonia Azul project. 

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Joe Grabowski

Joe Grabowski is a science communicator, educator and scuba diver working to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers. He is the founder of the non-profit Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, which brings science, exploration, adventure, and conservation into classrooms across North America through virtual speakers and field trips. Since 2015, he’s hosted over 3.000 live events connecting a half a million students with leading scientists and explorers from over 95 countries. In 2017, he was selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and shortly after became National Geographic’s first Education Fellow. He founded National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom program and recently launched the Global Biodiversity Festival, a virtual event bringing biodiversity live to the general public in over 100 countries. Joe's a top 50 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Explorers Club. 

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Rachel Graham

I founded MarAlliance to catalyze the rewilding of tropical seas with threatened marine wildlife, notably sharks with communities. I look forward to sharing about our successful work to repopulate the second longest barrier reef, the MesoAmerican Reef (MAR) with sharks.

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Rosamira Guillen

Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director of Fundación Proyecto Tití, working to protect the cute little cotton-top tamarins, one-pound monkeys that are only found in northern Colombia, and critically endangered due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade. We work to protect and restore the forests that are home to this unique and charismatic primate, conducting permanent field research and monitoring, educating the young generation of Colombians, and providing income alternatives and conservation agreements to reduce human impact on forest and cotton-top tamarin conservation. Our goal is to secure a long-term future for cotton-top tamarins and their forest home.

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Andreas B. Heide

Marine biologist, diver and expedition sailor, Andreas B Heide uses his boat S.V. BARBA as a platform and tool for ocean conservation. He's best known for sharing his extraordinary encounters while diving with whales in Arctic waters and has received global attention for his work using whales as ocean ambassadors. This summer he's led a collaborative four-month scientific and communications expedition, Arctic Sense, over 3,000 nautical miles between Norway and the UK via the polar Atlantic researching, documenting and sharing untold stories about the impacts of climate change and pollution on marine life in the region.

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Peter Houlihan

Peter is the Vice President of Biodiversity & Conservation with XPRIZE.  He specializes in planning and leading expeditions into understudied and threatened rainforests all over the world for conservation. Regularly operating in more than 20 countries across Africa, the Americas, and Asia, Peter is passionate about working with local scientists and communities, and inspiring others to learn about our natural world. He has lived and worked extensively throughout the tropics, where he has led nearly 50 large scale expeditions and managed long term conservation programs, particularly in Borneo, Madagascar, the Amazon, Central America, and the Congo Basin. A tropical ecologist and conservation scientist by training, Peter is a Senior Research Fellow with UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research, a frequent visiting scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, International Advisor for the Borneo Nature Foundation, and an Adjunct Professor for Johns Hopkins University instructing international graduate level field courses in tropical ecology and conservation.

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Greta F. Iori

Greta is Director, Programme Development with the Elephant Protection Initiative. She is an Ethiopian-Italian International Consultant with extensive experience in wildlife conservation, crime and sustainable rural development. Over the last 10 years, she has delivered projects dealing with natural resource management, conflict, ecotourism, the illegal wildlife trade, and local community livelihoods from Ethiopia to South Africa and across East Africa.

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Sandesh Kadur

Sandesh Kadur is a BAFTA award winning film-maker and National Geographic Fellow. His work spans from the elusive snow leopard in the Himalaya to the Okavango Delta in Botswana & the endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtles in Mexico. His documentaries have aired worldwide on prominent networks such as National Geographic, the BBC, Netflix, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. Sandesh will take the viewers on a journey 'Into the Himalaya' during his talk.

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Lia Nahomi Kajiki

​Dr Lia Nahomi Kajiki is a Brazilian behavioural ecologist and National Geographic Explorer passionate about the incredible biodiversity in her home country, especially birds. She developed her PhD research with the Helmeted Manakin, a beautiful bird endemic to the Cerrado biome, one of the world's most biodiverse savanna. Besides the scientific discoveries made in her 4-year study, Dr Kajiki joined forces with the local community to reconnect young students with the surrounding biodiversity.

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Elvis Kisimir
 

Elvis Kisimir is African People & Wildlife’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Program Officer and the leader of the organization's innovative Living Walls project. He is a Maasai moran (warrior) and respected community member of the Maasai Steppe. Having grown up hearing the roar of lions, Elvis is deeply concerned about the loss of big cats from community lands. Since 2010, he has worked to significantly reduce livestock depredation by lions and other carnivores while promoting community tolerance of big cats. By working with the community, he has seen that directly engaging local people in conservation can change perspectives and significantly increase local support for environmental protection. Elvis currently oversees a local team of Warriors for Wildlife and program assistants. He is also responsible for the installation, monitoring, and management of Living Walls across northern Tanzania. In 2013, Elvis was honored as a Disney Conservation Hero.

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Dr Jessicah Kurere

Jessicah is the lead veterinarian working with the Community Animal Health Initiative Programme ( Ewaso Lions, Vet in Wild and Animal Care Centre). Jess treats domestic animals who have faced injuries through carnivore attacks, vaccinates dogs and cats against deadly diseases, increases awareness on diseases and the One Health approach through education, and much more.  She loves living and working with pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya. 

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Leo Lanna

Leo Lanna is a Brazilian scientist guided by the search for praying mantises in tropical rainforest nights, especially at the Amazon. Through his independent organization, Projeto Mantis, he combines poetry, wildlife photography and innovative research methods to produce vanguard science, studying aspects of evolution, species richness and natural behavior beyond data. In his talk, he will share the eccentric and exuberant universe of praying mantises, from new species to mysterious behavior, advocating for the wonders of the diversity found under the cover of darkness.

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Kristen Lear

 

Dr. Kristen Lear is a bat conservationist and environmental educator. She got her start in bat conservation at age 12, when she built and installed bat houses for her Girl Scout Silver Award project. Since then, she has led bat conservation and research projects in the US, Australia, and Mexico, coordinating international teams and guiding conservation policy for endangered species. Kristen is an award-winning public speaker and science communicator and has shared her story and her passion for bats on platforms ranging from podcasts, radio shows, the National Geographic stage, and CBS’s “Mission Unstoppable” TV show about women in STEM. She uses her passion and enthusiasm to inspire others to help bats in their own backyards. She regularly leads public bat walks, bat house building workshops, and bat educational kids’ activities at community events, and she enjoys connecting with audiences of all ages. Kristen holds a BA in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University and a PhD in Integrative Conservation from the University of Georgia. Kristen is currently Bat Conservation International's Agave Restoration Program Manager, where she leads the organization's bi-national Agave Restoration Initiative to support endangered pollinating bats and community livelihoods in the US and Mexico. She is also a 2018 National Geographic Explorer and an IF/THEN Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science working to encourage girls and young women in STEM fields.

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Jennifer Matthews

Without help, coral reefs may not survive this century. But vital nutrients provided by tiny plants - called algae - that live inside the corals may be key to coral reef survival. Marine biologist and coral specialist Dr Jen Matthews investigates which nutrients are key for corals to grow big and strong, fight infections and survive change. She then uses this knowledge to invent new conservation tools to diagnose coral health and rebuild reefs. A UTS Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, she is dedicated to finding solutions to current environmental challenges, targeting local (e.g. tropicalization of coastal Sydney), national (e.g. Great Barrier Reef restoration), and global topics (e.g. microplastic pollution).

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Mhairi McCann - Youth STEM 2030

In this session, Youth STEM 2030 – a social enterprise empowering youth to use science, technology, engineering and maths to tackle the world’s biggest challenges – are shining the spotlight on the young changemakers who are protecting our planet.  We’re joined by youth leaders from around the world who will share why it’s important for our generation to be heard in decision-making, and how they are innovating solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Joining Mhairi will be:

Aminta Permpoonwiwat – Founder of Youth Mentorship Project

Dauletzhan Berdikulov – Youth Innovator

Saida Mammadova – Founder of Green Azerbaijan

Yazid Salahudeen Mikail – Advisory Panel Member at The Iris Project

Alfie Davis – Life Sciences Reviewer at Youth STEM Matters

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​Rodrigo Medellin

Rodrigo has worked on the ecology and conservation of bats for over 40 years. Bats are not to blame for the current pandemic. Instead, they provide crucial services and benefits to us and to ecosystem functioning. Let's celebrate bats!! ​

 

Not a lot of people can say that their work has been documented in film and narrated by David Attenborough, but Rodrigo is on that list! The renowned Mexican mammalogist is an Explorer at Large with National Geographic and credited with saving the Tequila Bat from extinction. He's slogged through caves shin-deep in bat poop more times than he can count as he's worked on the ecology and conservation of bats for over 40 years. Join in and celebrate bats as he shares the crucial services and benefits bats provide to us and to ecosystem functioning.

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Prashant Mohesh

Prashant is a National Geographic Young Explorer and the Founder & Expedition Leader of The Oceanic Project. He will be sharing his work supported by National Geographic and The United States Embassy in Mauritius, which focuses on engaging youth to explore, educate and take action to protect our ocean.

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Alexander More

Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Long Island University and Climate Change Institute, Group Leader, SoHP at Harvard, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Theodore Roosevelt Institute (LIU), and The Explorers Club.

 

Alex's research focuses on the impact of climate change on ecosystem health. He combines data from mountain glaciers to the ocean's depths to understand how manmade environmental change has affected migrations, biodiversity and emerging diseases.

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Elizabeth Naro

 

As the Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Adaptation, and Learning for African People & Wildlife, Elizabeth Naro oversees data collection and conducts analyses on all program monitoring data. She is responsible for reporting on all of the organization’s programs, ensuring quality and accuracy while seeking opportunities for internal program evaluation. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from American University and a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has worked on field office management, M&E training, and technical support of monitoring and evaluation projects for USAID, USDA, and the Department of State. Elizabeth’s passion lies in wildlife and wildlands conservation, specifically regarding socio-economic anti-poaching methods for Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis).

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Mark Ofua 

I am Dr. Mark ‘Rume Ofua, a practicing wildlife veterinarian of sixteen years. As a wildlife veterinarian, I have been extensively involved in health management involving wildlife including endangered species sold in the bush markets as well as in the wildlife trade. And I will be talking briefly at the festival on my journey so far in the world of pangolin conservation in Nigeria.

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Peter Ong 

​Peter is a wildlife photographer and he has been trying to photograph all of Malaysia's 25 primate apices, some of which remain Data Deficient and some have barely any photos. Peter will be talking about some of the primates he has shot as well as the unique landscapes they occupy, their role in the ecosystem and the threats they face. It will also be a brief introduction to the landscapes of the Nusantara region - Malaysia & Indonesia.

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Dr. Meredith Palmer

 

My name is Meredith Palmer and I'm a conservation technology specialist at Fauna and Flora International. I'll be talking about my work innovating new hardware and software tools - think camera traps, drones, satellites, AI! - to overcome critical conservation challenges. In particular, I'll focus on my research using technology-enabled solutions to restore populations of large carnivores in Africa and North America.

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Pedro Peloso

Pedro Peloso is an award-winning field biologist and wildlife photographer with a passion for wildlife and wild places. Through his work he has discovered and helped name over 30 new species of animals, most of which Amazonian frogs. Pedro is the founder and director of the Documenting Threatened Species (DoTS) project, a bold initiative that combines science, art and storytelling to promote the conservation of endangered amphibian species in Brazil. During his talk, Pedro will share some of the stories and images of his quest to study, document and protect biodiversity in the incredibly diverse rainforests of Brazil.

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Josiah David Quimpo

David fell in love with nature when he started climbing mountains at a young age. He loves outdoor sports like rock climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, and surfing, among many others. He finished a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management at Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, and worked as a wildlife researcher for Haribon Foundation since 2012. He studied avian and mammalian diversity in different parts of the Philippines including the Philippine Eagle, Rufous-headed Hornbill and waterbirds. He is a National Geographic, Zoological Society of London-EDGE, and Conservation Leadership Program fellow. He will talk about one of the three critically endangered hornbills in the world which can only be found in two islands in the Philippines, the Rufous-headed Hornbill.

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Marcela Quiroz

Born in Santiago, Chile, Marcela studied Hispanic American literature at the University of Chile and journalism at the Catholic University of Chile. Before joining the Rewilding Chile team in 2016, Marcela worked for over a decade on different projects related to tourism and conservation in Chilean Patagonia. She currently leads the Strategy and Partnerships team.

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Ramadhani Saidi​

 

Ramadhani Saidi joined African People & Wildlife (APW) in 2019 as the GIS Specialist. In this role, he conducts spatial and non-spatial data collection and analysis, designs digital maps using mapping software, and implements systems and databases to access and store geospatial data. In addition, he is responsible for the management and maintenance of mobile phones used for data collection in APW's Community Natural Resource Management and Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention programs. Ramadhani is experienced with living in rural bush areas. Wildlife has been his lifelong passion, with birds being one of his main interests. This passion drove him to the College of African Wildlife Management (MWEKA), where he completed a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management. Ramadhani is a committed wildlife professional who divides his time between the office and the field working on various projects with rural communities to create effective, sustainable solutions that improve the lives of rural Africans while protecting the natural world.

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José Hernán Sarasola

I am a wildlife researcher passionate about birds of prey. I will present the long-term conservation project on Chaco eagles that we carry out in Argentina. I will also share our achievements in preserving this majestic eagle and how it became an umbrella species for wildlife conservation in semiarid landscapes of southern South America.​

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Neovitus Sianga​

 

Neovitus Cassian Sianga is the Community Conservation and Environment Program Officer at African People & Wildlife (APW). Before joining the team in 2011, he received a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Dar es Salaam. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in natural resource assessment and management at the University of Dar es Salaam with a Sydney Byers Scholarship from the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN). Prior to assuming responsibilities in APW’s rangeland management program, Neovitus held the position of environmental education program officer, offering critical input to our educational curriculum and activities. With a long history of family involvement in conservation, Neovitus believes that Tanzania has a strong future in the conservation of its environments as long as rural communities are empowered to manage their natural resources wisely.

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Natalie Schmitt

Natalie is an empathetic ecologist, conservation geneticist, and documentary presenter, deeply passionate about protecting biodiversity using hard science, public education, and community empowerment. Studying elusive, endangered species, like snow leopard and Antarctic whales, she has empowered grass-roots conservation, and enabled policy education and management improvement at various scales, including that of the International Whaling Commission. Natalie is developing a leading-edge technology to detect DNA from minute biological samples in real time, error-free, at low cost and easy-to-use.

 

Join her on an adventure from Antarctic blue whales to snow leopards to caribou and learn about some of the very cool ways that DNA tools can help us study and therefore protect rare and elusive species.

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Inov Sectionov

Inov is the Indonesia Program Manager with The International Rhino Foundation. He has been with IRF since 2006, and he has worked in rhino conservation for over 20 years. He was a program officer for the Indonesia Friend of Rhino organization from 2000 until 2006. Inov is also involved in Sumatran rhino research and he assists Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI).

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Gautam Shah

​Gautam, a National Geographic fellow, is the founder of Internet of Elephants, a social enterprise that tells stories about wildlife and its conservation through the channel of games and other digital experiences. Gautam will discuss the power of games as a storytelling medium and why he feels that they should be the future of how we engage the public with wildlife.

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Aishwarya Sridhar

Aishwarya Sridhar is a 2022 National Geographic Explorer, award winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker. An Emerging Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers, she has been working towards policy protection for wetlands using the visual medium. Her debut feature film ''Tiger Queen of Taru'' is airing worldwide on National Geographic WILD and Disney+ Hotstar. Currently, she is working on another full-length wildlife documentary for a prominent broadcaster. She will be speaking about her work as a storyteller.

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Victoria Strange

As a wildlife biologist, I have experience conducting surveys for birds, mammals, herpetofauna, and fish throughout the country. My graduate research examined herpetofaunal assemblages in forest fragments adjacent to sustainable and conventional agriculture in the north-central highlands of Nicaragua. I currently manage four preserves for Palm Beach County in Florida. My responsibilities include monitoring for listed plants and animals, overseeing management activities and invasive species removal, restoration, and public outreach. I will be taking you on a field excursion to experience imperiled scrub habitat, Florida's oldest community type that is heavily pressured by increasing development throughout its extent.

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Seno Tsuhah

Seno is a teacher, farmer and an indigenous women rights activist and belongs to the

Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland, India. She has been working with the North East Network ( www.northeastnetwork.org) for over 20 years on issues of gender justice, food sovereignty and sustainable development. Her engagement with ecological issues ranges from community mobilising and organising, education, capacity building, and policy advocacy on restoring indigenous food and farming systems, setting up women-led community seed banks, amplifying the stories and voices of indigenous communities, women in particular through participatory videos. 

 

Besides her engagement with community work, she is a member of other networks such as Millet Network of India (MINI), InsightShare Network, Roots Studio etc.

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Prisca Urio

 

As the Gender Specialist with African People and Wildlife (APW), Prisca Urio develops and implements gender mainstreaming action plans for all of the organization’s programs and operations. She also supports APW’s programs to incorporate a gender lens into their day-to-day activities.

 

With more than eight years of experience in the field of gender and development, Prisca has worked to uplift the lives of thousands of marginalized community members in different projects across Tanzania. Through her work with several international NGOs, she has designed and implemented gender strategies and integrated gender equity and equality aspects into a variety of projects, mainly in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Prisca has a wealth of experience developing and conducting participatory trainings and facilitating adult learning courses in human rights-based approaches, leadership, and governance. She has also worked to establish a community center for women, which helped them to realize their potential to bring development to their communities.

 

Prisca holds a bachelors’ degree in gender and development and is currently a master’s student in international cooperation and development at the Open University of Tanzania. She is passionate about helping people to transform their lives—especially women and girls who are the most vulnerable community members in Tanzania due to outdated cultural and traditional practices.

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Andrea Quirós Vargas

Join Toucan Rescue Ranch for an authentic field trip. This opportunity covers animal rescue stories and cool animal facts! During this LIVE virtual visit, you will be given an all-access walk of the wildlife sanctuary sharing the large variety of parrots, toucans, macaws, owls, sloths, spider monkeys, weasels, and more! Our Tour Coordinator will take you to the rehabilitation areas of Toucan Rescue Ranch! 

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Dale Wepener

Dale is the Assistant Reserve Manager of &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve - which has been rehabilitated to a pristine big five reserve over the last 30 years. Dale works at the sharp end of conservation by protecting endangered species, gathering conservation-shaping research, keeping open communication channels with local communities, and freely sharing knowledge and learnings for the greater good of global conservation.