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Speaker Sessions

View Recordings of All the Events in This Playlist:

Friday, May 22nd

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Amy Dickman| Cats, Cows & Camera-traps: Community Conservation in Tanzania

May 22nd @ 8:00am eastern/1:00pm UK Time

Amy is the Founder and Director of Tanzania's Ruaha Carnivore Project, which works to reduce human-widllife conflict and empower local communities through conservation. Here she will give insights into the challenges of trying to protect lions and engage remote tribal communites, and to build a better future for both people and big cats.

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Felix Lankester | Wildlife Disease in the Serengeti: A Case Study

May 22nd @ 8:30am eastern/1:30pm UK time

Infectious diseases have impacted wildlife health for millenia. In this talk I will describe the impact that rabies had in recent years on endangered carnivores in the Serenegti ecosystem and the research efforts that led to the local elimination of this lethal disease.

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Joao Vitor Campos-Silva | Communiy-based Conservation of Amazonian Megafauna

May 22nd @ 9:00am eastern/2:00pm UK Time

I am conservationist with a broad interest on conservation of tropical social-ecological systems. I have been working since 2008 with biodiversity conservation, sustainable-use protected areas and community-based arrangements in Amazonia. In this talk I will show two impressive community-based conservation arrangements that have been strongly contributing with biodiversity conservation and wellbeing of indigenous and local communities in Brazilian Amazonia.

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Asha de Vos | The Secret Lives of Sri Lanka’s Giants 

May 22nd @ 9:30am eastern/2:30pm UK Time

Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator, and pioneer of blue whale research within the northern Indian Ocean. After receiving degrees from the University of St Andrews, University of Oxford, and University of Western Australia, she established her own nonprofit, Oceanswell. As Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization, Oceanswell is home to the well-known Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, the first long-term study on blue whales in the region. Asha is the first Pew Marine Fellow and National Geographic Explorer from her small island nation and she 's a TED Senior Fellow.

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Daisy Hessenberger | Nature-based Solutions for the Next Generation – How Can You Help?

May 22nd @ 10:00am eastern/3:00pm UK time

Biodiversity is beautiful and it is a solution. As we face global challenges from food security to human health to the current climate crisis, backing biodiversity is not just about addressing the biodiversity crisis. Backing biodiversity is about addressing our societal challenges. Backing biodiversity also means backing the next generation. With engagement of youth, Nature-based Solutions can reach their potential towards a just transition to a sustainable future.


For the last two years, Dr Daisy Hessenberger has been working as a young professional at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (the largest and oldest environmental network in the world) on the topic of Nature-based Solutions. During that time she has had the opportunity to engage with people around the world and across sectors putting her background in science comedy to more use than her PhD in evolutionary genetics. Her role is not necessarily to “get everyone on the same page” about Nature-based Solutions, but rather to write that page together in the form of the Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions. In 25 minutes, she will share what Nature-based Solutions look like, explore their relationship with the next generation and get you to stand up (literally) for biodiversity and youth.

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Richard Kock | Covid-19 and Biodiversity

May 22nd @ 10:30am eastern/3:30pm UK time

Richard Kock is a wildlife veterinary ecologist, infectious disease researcher and conservationist. He has worked almost entirely in the field of wildlife health and disease since 1980 with a focus on African and Asian ecosystems. He has a particular interest in One Health questions at the interface between animals, humans and environment and the role of food systems in disease emergence and environmental change. 40 years as a professional, 28 years attached to the Zoological Society of London and 9 years as a research academic with a chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. He was awarded an FAO international medal in 2010 in recognition of his work on morbilliviruses and global eradication of the first veterinary pathogen (rinderpest) important to food security.

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Rodrigo Medellin | Do Not Be Deceived: Bats in Real Life Are Your True Friends

Friday, May 22nd @ 11:00am Eastern/4:00pm UK time

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!!

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Carl Gustaf Lundin | Wonders of Marine Biodiversity

Friday, May 22nd @ 11:30am Eastern/4:30pm UK time

In this presentation I will give a sense of the marine biodiversity around the globe, with a special emphasis on coral reefs and polar regions. I will show a short video from a recent expedition to Spitsbergen and talk about how climate shifts are impacting nature. I will also discuss how marine protected areas can help protect the ocean and what IUCN is doing to help expend the network to 30% by 2030.

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Peter Houlihan | Rainforest Conservation in the 21st Century: The $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE

Friday, May 22nd @ 12:00pm Eastern/5:00pm UK time

Peter Houlihan 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. Peter is also a National Geographic Explorer, Photographer with National Geographic Image Collection, Fellow of the Explorers Club, and a gear tester for Patagonia. He is now the Technical Manager of the Rainforest XPRIZE.

The $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE is a global, five-year competition challenging innovators to develop novel technologies to rapidly and comprehensively survey rainforest biodiversity and use data to deliver new insights that promote the health and conservation of this vital ecosystem. An improved understanding of these ecosystems will support the sustainable use and well-being of standing rainforests and its inhabitants, leading to new scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and to just and sustainable bioeconomies. Register or join a team today!

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Mariasole Bianco | The Future of the Ocean

Friday, May 22nd @ 2:00pm Eastern/7:00pm UK time

Mariasole Bianco is a marine conservationist and ocean advocate. She coordinates the Young Professionals network of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, host a TV show in Italy about ocean wonders and issues, works with private sector on ocean responsibility, teaches at University of Genoa environmental dissemination and is the founder and president of Worldrise, an Italian non-profit organisation focused on marine conservation and young professional empowerment.


In her speech, Mariasole will discuss the importance of the Ocean as our life support system, the challenges it faces and the solutions that we have to turn the tide in favour of marine conservation. A focus will be given on the important role that new generations can play with inspiring example from the IUCN WCPA Young Professionals Network and Worldrise.

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Joe Smith | How to Stay Safe and Enjoy Your Stay on Campsite Earth

Friday, May 22nd @ 2:30pm Eastern/7:30pm UK time

Joe Smith has spent 25 years writing about environmental history, policy and politics at the University of Cambridge and the Open University. He is now Director of the Royal Geographical Society. Joe will chart the past, present and future of environmental ideas and actions, and argue that if we make the most of our best characteristics - of creativity, generosity and determination - then this could be humanity’s best century yet.

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Nachamada Geoffrey ​| Saving Nigeria's Largest Elephant Population

Friday, May 22nd @ 3:00pm Eastern/8:00pm UK time

Nachamada (Nacha) Geoffrey was awarded a merit scholarship at the American University of Nigeria where he completed a BSc in Natural and Environmental Science. In 2011 he was awarded the Primate Habitat Country scholarship at Oxford Brookes University in the UK where he completed a MSc in Primate Conservation. In 2013 he received an award from the Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) to work as an intern with the WCS Nigeria Program at Yankari Game Reserve. He is the landscape director for WCS in Yankari where WCS has a co-management agreement with the state government for WCS to manage all anti-poaching patrols and other conservation activities in the reserve since 2014. Under Nacha's leadership, the rate of elephant poaching declined from an average of twenty elephants killed annually before WCS took over to zero elephant poaching recorded since May 2015. Ranger morale is at all time high and a close working relationship has been developed with the communities surrounding the reserve over time

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Dominique Gonçalves | Gorongosa Map of Life

Friday, May 22nd @ 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm UK time

I am Dominique Gonçalves. I work with elephant conservation in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. During this talk I will share elephants and the amazing biodiversity of living things that call Gorongosa home.

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Rosamira Guillen | Proyecto Tití: Securing a Future for a Critically Endangered Little Primate

Friday, May 22nd @ 4:00pm Eastern/9:00pm UK time

Cotton-top tamarins are one-pound monkeys, only found in the tropical forests of northwest Colombia in South America. They are severely threatened by deforestation and by their capture for the illegal pet trade of wildlife species. Proyecto Tití combines field research and forest protection / restoration with environmental education and community development to reduce the use and exploitation of forest resources for subsistence by local communities. I was originally trained as an architect / landscape architect and fell in love with cotton-tops when I saw them for the first time while remodeling the zoo in my hometown. Knowing they were only found in my country, and not too many people knew about how special they are, motivated me to do something about it. I joined Proyecto Tití 16 years ago and made it my mission to secure a future for these cute crazy-hair little primates.​

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Philippe Cousteau and Ashlan Gorse Cousteau

Friday, May 22nd @ 4:30pm Eastern/9:30pm UK time

Our ocean is responsible for every second breath we take yet only 6% of the ocean is legally protected from destructive activities like overfishing and plastics pollution, which has resulted in choked sea life, thousands of dead zones, the increased death of coral reefs, and the loss of billions of fish all over the world. The ocean and coastal zones provide critical habitat for 700,000-1 million species not including the millions of microorganisms and up to 2,000 new species are described annually.


Global concern regarding environmental decline has led to urgent calls to increase the global coverage of marine protected areas by 30% in the next decade, the aim being to preserve and recover what remains of ecosystems, and prevent further damage. Ocean explorers Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau will share some of their incredible adventures and strategies for youth to take action to protect our oceans!

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Anne Pringle | Are Lichens Organisms?

Friday, May 22nd @ 5:00pm Eastern/10:00pm UK time

In 2005, I began collecting data on lichens growing in a New England cemetery. Over the years, I've watched individuals fragment, grow back, and reproduce. Lichens are complex symbioses of fungi, algae, and bacteria. Working with a team of physicists, I've been exploring the physics of air moving over lichen bodies and generating formal theory explaining lichen behavior. The work suggests a strong hypothesis about the "organismality" of these fascinating, diverse creatures.

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Jonathan Kolby | Hope in the Midst of the Amphibian Extinction Crisis

Friday, May 22nd @ 5:30pm Eastern/10:30pm UK time

Jonathan Kolby is a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement officer and policy specialist focusing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). His Ph.D. research at James Cook University focused on biosecurity and the spread of wildlife pathogens through international trade. He is a National Geographic Explorer and helped establish the Honduras Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center, working to combat the amphibian extinction crisis caused by chytrid fungus. In this presentation, Jonathan will talk about his work in the cloud forest of Cusuco National Park, where he has been working to study and protect frogs for the past 15 years.

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Emma Camp | Valuing Extreme Corals for the Future of Reefs

Friday, May 22nd @ 6:00pm Eastern/11:00pm UK time

Emma researches and advocates for the world’s marine life under threat from environmental and climate change. An ocean explorer, Camp has discovered natural populations of super tolerant corals, which she is researching to better understand how corals may survive into the future. She will talk about the threats to coral reefs, and how she hopes her work will aid their future survival.

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Enric Sala | Why We Need a Wild Ocean

Friday, May 22nd @ 6:30pm Eastern/11:30pm UK time

Ocean life makes it possible for us to survive on Earth, but because of our overexploitation and global warming, we've been destroying the ability of the ocean to provide for us. The good news is that if we given the ocean space, it can recover spectacularly and restore all the essential services we need. Here I'll share success stories that show how the ocean can come back and benefit people living off it.

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7:00PM Brad Norman | Whale Sharks: Biggest Fish in the Sea Inspires Respect for Our Oceans

Friday, May 22nd @ 7:00pm Eastern/12:00am UK time

Whale sharks are truly magnificent. They are the biggest fish in the sea: they can reach the size of a bus. And they are known as 'gentle giants' - and no danger to humans. As a filter-feeder, this species is dependent on the smallest organisms - and healthy oceans overall. Yet largely because of human pressure, whale sharks are endangered. We have the potential to bring this species back from the brink. The first step is to respect our oceans - and work to maintain the health of this amazing resource. And at the same time, enjoy swimming alongside an ocean giant.​

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Joe Cutler | Fantastic Fishes and their Future

Friday, May 22nd @ 7:30pm Eastern/12:30am UK time

Joe has been exploring freshwater diversity in Central Africa for over a decade. He will share some stories from the field, tell you about some amazing fishes, and discuss the future and conservation of freshwater ecosystems.

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Kristen Lear | The Wonderful World of Bats

Friday, May 22nd @ 8:00pm Eastern/1:00am UK time

Kristen Lear is a bat conservation scientist with over 11 years of experience with global bat conservation, research, and education. In this session, Kristen will share the amazing world of bats and how they support ecosystems and people around the world.

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Imogene Cancellare | Snow leopards and Carnivore Conservation

Friday, May 22nd @ 8:30pm Eastern/1:30am UK time

Imogene Cancellare is a conservation biologist and National Geographic Explorer who conducts research on rare and elusive wildlife. Her background is in landscape and conservation genetics, population ecology, and wildlife management, primarily with carnivores and amphibians.  Imogene is currently a PhD student at the University of Delaware, where she is working with Panthera to research the phylogeography and genetic structure of snow leopards across High Asia. 

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Joe Grabowski | The Wonders of the Galapagos

Friday, May 22nd @ 9:00pm Eastern/2:00am UK time

The Galapagos are often referred to as the Enchanted Isles, and for good reason! Join Joe as he shares his explorations on these volcanic islands and the incredible wildlife he encountered, most found nowhere else on the planet!

Joe Grabowski is a science communicator and scuba diver working to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers. He is the founder of the nonprofit 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. 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 still hosts events. Joe is a top 50 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Explorers Club. An avid scuba diver for the past decade, he's always looking for an excuse to sink beneath the waves.

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Saturday, May 23rd


Prasenjeet Yadav| Stories from the Skyislands of India

Saturday, May 23rd @ 7:30am Eastern/12:30pm UK time

Prasenjeet Yadav is a molecular ecologist turned National Geographic Explorer and a science photographer. Prasenjeet holds a master's degree in molecular biology and has pursued research in molecular ecology for several years at National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. Early in his scientific career, he realized that his real passion lay in storytelling. He now combines his experience in research with his photography skills to popularize ecological and conservation sciences in the wider society. He is currently working on a story for National Geographic Magazine in Indian Himalayas. You can learn more about him on his website:

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Eunice Tan | Beyond Looking Like a Stick – A Peek Into the Lives of Stick and Leaf Insects

Saturday, May 23rd @ 8:00am Eastern/1:00pm UK time

Eunice is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. She combines field observations and laboratory experiments to understand the ecological interactions of insects in various natural and urban habitats in Southeast Asia.


Several recent studies suggest a worldwide decline of insects, and this is of great concern to mankind, as the ecosystem services that these insects provide are being lost. Stick and leaf insects are well known for their remarkable resemblance to sticks or leaves. These insects are especially abundant in tropical regions, with a high diversity in Southeast Asia, but little is known about the ecological interactions of this group of charismatic insects. I will share my findings of these insects, which was supported by funding from National Geographic.

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Sugoto Roy | Ensuring Tiger Conservation, Works for the Good of Species, Habitats and People

Saturday, May 23rd @ 8:30am Eastern/1:30pm UK time

I am a conservation biologist and have worked on carnivore ecology since the mid-1990s. My work has involved management of invasive species, human-wildlife conflicts and species conservation. Since 2014 I have been managing IUCN's Tiger Programme funded by The German Ministry for Cooperation through the German Development Bank KfW. We currently have 12 projects in 6 countries. All projects focus on landscape scale conservation that manages the sensitive interface between wildlife conservation, habitat management while still addressing the needs of local communities. This talk highlights how we have been doing this across our programme. ​

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Huw Griffiths | Biodiversity in the Deep Freeze: Antarctica

Saturday, May 23rd @ 9:00am Eastern/2:00pm UK time

I'm a marine biologist with 20 years experience of working in the polar regions. I specialise in Antarctic sea floor biodiversity and ecology. In sharp contrast to the icy desert at the surface, the bottom of the Southern Ocean is teaming with thousands of species, most of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

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Helena Sims | Developing a Marine Spatial Plan for a 30% Conservation Goal in Seychelles

Saturday, May 23rd @ 9:30am Eastern/2:30pm UK time

The Seychelles is an archipelagic nation in the rich, tropical marine waters of the Western Indian Ocean. Encompassing 1.37 million square kilometers and 115 islands, biodiversity is Seychelles’ most important natural asset supporting a luxury tourism industry and over 10 different fisheries. Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources are very important to Seychelles’ way of life and in 2010 the government made a bold commitment to increase marine protections from 0.03% to 30% using a debt-for-conservation deal. The Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) process began in 2014 and is a public and transparent process to achieve the 30% marine conservation goal and meet other conditions of the debt swap. By developing robust stakeholder engagement processes, a simple zoning framework to match planning goals, building an adaptive spatial database at multiple scales, and using a planning unit approach with decision-support tools like Marxan with Zones, the first SMSP milestone was achieved in 2018 after more than 100 consultations. This approach resulted in over 400,000 square kilometers or 30% of Seychelles’ waters in marine protection and sustainable use areas. This presentation will show how marine conservation goals and resilient ocean economies can be achieved using a transparent marine spatial planning process.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy | Live with the Last Northern White Rhinos

Saturday, May 23rd @ 10:00am Eastern/3:00pm UK time

Take a trip live to Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy! We'll join Richard Vigne, Conservationist and Managing Director of Ol Pejeta Conservancy and meet the last two northern white rhinos alive on the planet and the people who are caring for and protecting them. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 90,000-acre conservancy located in central Kenya, home to the largest black rhino population in East and Central Africa, the last two northern white rhinos and a safe haven for endangered species including rescued chimpanzees and the big 5. It has some of the highest predator densities in Kenya, and still manages a very successful livestock programme. Ol Pejeta also seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensure wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians.

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Susan Canney | Elephant Conservation in Times of War and Peace: Why Do the Local People Protect the Elephants?

Saturday, May 23rd @ 10:30am Eastern/3:30pm UK time

Having worked on a variety of international nature conservation projects and in sustainable development policy at the Green College Centre, I'm interested in using systems perspectives and collaborative approaches to find sustainable solutions to conservation problems. The desert-adapted elephants of the Gourma region of Mali make a vast annual migration through the harsh, open, populated landscape of Central Mali. This talk will describe how this population has managed to survive when those around them have disappeared; and the work being done to combat the multiple threats to their continued existence. These include the concurrence of human and elephant needs, poaching and the lawlessness and conflict associated with a terrorist insurgency.

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Martin Wikelski | Internet of Animals

Saturday, May 23rd @ 11:00am Eastern/4:00pm UK time

Director at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Professor in Biology at the University of Konstanz Previously worked at: University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Panama; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Princeton University. 


My specialization is the study of global animal movement. I’ll share some of the latest data on animal movement around the planet. I will highlight how this helps us to preserve biodiversity, to secure our global food supplies, to anticipate pandemics and potentially to predict natural disasters.

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Andy Whitworth and Arianna Basto | Live in the Rainforest Canopy

Saturday, May 23rd @ 11:30am Eastern/4:30pm UK time

Join Arianna Basto and Andy Whitworth high above the rainforest floor as they hang in their harnesses, setting camera traps in the rainforest canopy. Arianna is a wildlife monitoring technician with Osa Conservation and Andy is a wildlife conservationist, National Geographic Explorer and director of ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation with Osa Conservation.


They use camera traps to capture pictures and videos of secretive species that spend their entire lives high above the ground in the rainforest. The Osa Peninsula is home to half of all the species in Costa Rica, that's a staggering 2.5% of the entire biodiversity of the planet, living on a mere 0.00000085% of the earth's total surface area. 

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Pablo Borboroglu | The Penguins: Ocean Conservation Game Changers

Saturday, May 23rd @ 12:00pm Eastern/5:00pm UK time

He is the founder and President of the Global Penguin Society (GPS,, an international science-based conservation coalition dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species). He has spent 31 years in the field of marine conservation focusing on protected areas and seabird ecology. His research focuses on different ecological aspects of seabirds relevant for conservation, with special emphasis on penguins.


He will talk about why penguins’ fragile conservation status reflects the condition of the ocean and coasts they inhabit. His presentation will describe the features that make them particular vulnerable to the main threats they are facing. Penguins, as keystone umbrella species, can catalyze integrated ocean conservation allowing the protection of vast environments and many other species they coexist with. Finally, penguins are the perfect tool to inspire behavior changes in the international community while they help to garner political support to accomplish long-term conservation benefits.

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Marco Lambertini | We Need a New Deal for Nature and People

Saturday, May 23rd @ 12:30pm Eastern/5:30pm UK time

The way we currently produce and consume is causing nature to decline at a rate unprecedented in human history. This matters. Nature unpins our society, our economies, our health and well-being. Never has it been more clear - in the midst of a global pandemic - that we urgently need to transform our relationship with nature.


While the critical decisions world leaders were scheduled to take on the environment, climate and development have been postponed until 2021, they remain a momentous opportunity to secure a New Deal for Nature and People that places nature on the path to recovery by 2030 and safeguards long-term human health, well-being and prosperity.

Marco Lambertini became Director General of WWF International in April 2014, to drive the achievement of the global conservation organization’s critical mission to save life on Earth and to lead the secretariat team based in Gland, Switzerland. With 35 years of conservation leadership, Marco Lambertini began his association with WWF as a youth volunteer growing up in his native Italy. 

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Asher Jay | Core Communications

Saturday, May 23rd @ 1:00pm Eastern/6:00pm UK time

Asher’s laterally associative vision delivers on a client’s commitment to offer a product of service in alignment with ensuring a healthy planet and a collective wild future. Harnessing the effective application of the arts to address simple disconnects that prevent individuals from understanding the complexity of the whole, her work is the nexus of storytelling, marketing, public relations, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit impact, and philanthropy.

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Live from the Turtle Hospital

Saturday, May 23rd @ 1:30pm Eastern/6:30pm UK time

Join in as we head to the Florida Keys to visit the Turtle Hospital to meet some of their patients and check out the conservation work they do to rehabilitate injured sea turtles and return them to the wild. The hospital opened its doors 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat, 2) educate the public through outreach programs and visit local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles (in conjunction with state universities), and 4) work toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles. The Turtle Hospital contains up-to-date equipment needed to perform a variety of surgeries on different species and sizes of sea turtles. There are 7 species of sea turtles throughout the entire world. Five of the seven are found in Florida: Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Kemp’s Ridley.

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Nicole Stott | eARTh From Space

Saturday, May 23rd @ 2:00pm Eastern/7:00pm UK time

Nicole has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans. A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). She performed one spacewalk, was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free flying HTV cargo vehicle, she was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle, and she was a member of the crew of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133.  A personal highlight of Nicole's spaceflight was painting the first watercolor in space. Nicole is also a NASA Aquanaut, who in preparation for spaceflight and along with her NEEMO9 crew, lived and worked during an 18-day and longest saturation mission to date on the Aquarius undersea habitat. As an Artist, and now retired from NASA, Nicole combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve life right here on Earth. She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation.​

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Sven Lindblad and Kristin Hettermann | Tourism and Biodiversity - Essential Partners

Saturday, May 23rd @ 2:30pm Eastern/7:30pm UK time

Tourism while by no means perfect is a necessary ingredient if wildlife and habitats are to be protected. Too much tourism is a problem, too little is a catastrophe. 

Sven Lindblad was born in Switzerland and traveled extensively with his father, renowned adventure-travel pioneer Lars-Eric Lindblad. For six years, Sven lived in East Africa photographing elephants and wildlife in Kenya and assisting filmmakers on a documentary on the destruction of African rain forests. In 1979, he launched Special Expeditions (now Lindblad Expeditions), a unique travel company aimed at offering marine-focused expeditions aboard small ships for adventurous travellers.

Kristin Hettermann is recognized for her underwater and adventure travel photography and creating awareness for important environmental and social causes. Based between Maui and Manhattan, her work and travels have taken her on adventures around the world with a keen eye toward ocean conservation and distant cultures. Kristin contributes to publications including Scientific American, Newsweek and Virgin and is an ambassador to Oceanic Global and Beneath the Waves.

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Live from the Toucan Rescue Ranch

Saturday, May 23rd @ 3:00pm Eastern/8:00pm UK time

Join us live from the Toucan Rescue Ranch in Costa Rica!!! We'll learn all about the two and three fingered sloths and meet some of the incredible animals they're rehabilitating. At TRR they have focused on care, rehabilitation, and release of national wildlife since 2004. TRR provides sanctuary while giving treatment, rehabilitation, and when possible, release to their natural environment. They specialize in toucans, sloths, and owls, however, we have a large array of wildlife from weasels, porcupines, cats, kinkajous, parrots, and so forth.

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Enric Sala and Paul Rose | Pristine Seas: The Inside Secrets!

Saturday, May 23rd @ 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm UK time

Join Executive Director Dr. Enric Sala and Expedition Leader Paul Rose as they recount the amazing success they've had leading expeditions to the most pristine areas left in our oceans and how it's lead to the protection of over 5,000,000 sq kms of ocean. Join in for the inside secrets of protecting the ocean's wild places and a life at, in, on and under the sea with two ocean legends!


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David de Rothschild | Plastiki

Saturday, May 23rd @ 4:00pm Eastern/9:00pm UK time

Ten years ago a boat was built from 12,500 2L pop bottles and sailed 8,000 miles from San Francisco to Sydney, raising awareness for the 8 million tons of plastic dumped in our oceans each year...this was only the beginning!

David is an explorer, environmentalist and eternal optimist.  Driven by his immeasurable curiosity for the natural world, he has ventured to some of the most remote and fragile ecosystems on our planet in order to bring widespread attention and innovative solutions to urgent global environmental issues. With numerous adventures, several books, a TV series, alongside being recognized by UNEP as Climate hero and National Geographic as an Emerging Explorer, David is always debating, collaborating and innovating solutions for a more sustainable planet and driving individuals  and groups alike to unlock their human potential and dream big.


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Sunday, May 24th


Wangechi Kiongo | Local Communities and Conservation

Sunday, May 24th @ 7:00am Eastern/12:00pm UK time

Wangechi Kiongo is a young environmental scientist based in Kenya. She's engaged in research and community outreach in matters environmental conservation and is a National Geographic Explorer. She is the co-founder of the Save Lake Turkana Movement, a community based organization which works to protect the world's largest desert Lake- Lake Turkana in Kenya which is a listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in danger.

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Pia Ve Dahlen | Journey to the Centre of the Kelp Forest

Sunday, May 24th @ 7:30am Eastern/12:30pm UK time

Ever wondered what a bioluminescent shark looks like? Or why the rocks beneath the kelp is pink? No? Well, now you do. Pia is a marine biologist, co-founder of Passion for Ocean and 'Rent a biologist", and specializes in answering questions you didn't know you had. She invites you to join her in a semi-deep dive into the kelp forest of the North Atlantic, to befriend a barnacle, talk to nemerteans and explore the wonderful biodiversity you find under the surface outside of Norway.

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Sheena Talma | Seychelles - A Journey From the Sandy Shores to the Deep

Sunday, May 24th @ 8:00am Eastern/1:00pm UK time

Sheena is a marine biologist with a postgraduate degree in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science. She currently works as the science program manager with the Nekton Foundation, a charity focused on equitable science research between 0-300 metres. Sheena has also worked for the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change in Seychelles contributing towards environmental sustainability. She will share her journey and the unique biodiversity encountered from the sandy Seychelles shores to its surrounding deep sea.

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Thomas Starnes | Amazing Maps for Nature Conservation

Sunday, May 24th @ 8:30am Eastern/1:30pm UK time

Thomas works in the IUCN Key Biodiversity Areas Programme, harnessing the power of maps to identify the most important sites globally for the persistence of freshwater biodiversity. Having worked in conservation GIS roles with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife in the UK), Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, he also chairs the Conservation GIS Group based out of Cambridge, UK. In his spare time he contributes to humanitarian relief mapping and explores and makes maps of caves. Thomas has a passion for maps and spatial data and will share some of his favourite applications of GIS in nature conservation, highlighting some of his own work and that of other organisations and professionals. Together we will explore the use of traditional cartography and modern technology including GPS, data loggers, drones and satellite earth observation. If that's not enough to get you excited, then just come along and see some amazing maps!

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Callie Broaddus | Youth-led Biodiversity Conservation and How You Can Help

Sunday, May 24th @ 9:00am Eastern/2:00pm UK time

Callie founded Reserva: The Youth Land Trust to empower young people around the world to take solution-based action toward solving our climate and biodiversity crises. She and her team are currently working to create the world’s first entirely youth-funded nature reserve. She’ll share stories and photos from an expedition to that site—a beautiful cloud forest in the Ecuadorian Chocó—and explain how everyone watching can take action to protect it.

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Jeneria Lekilelei | Cultures of Coexistence: Mentoring the Next Lion Warriors

Sunday, May 24th @ 9:30am Eastern/2:30pm UK time

Jeneria is a Samburu moran (warrior), soon to transition to an elder, who comes from Westgate Community Conservancy in Samburu, northern Kenya. Jeneria first joined Ewaso Lions in 2008 at just 19 years old. At that time, he spoke limited English and saw lions only as killers of goats and cows. Since then, Jeneria has progressed from Lion Scout to Field Assistant to Field Operations Manager, and is now the Director of Community Conservation. As anyone can attest, Jeneria’s knowledge of lion identification, ability to transform conflict, and exceptional relational skills are key to Ewaso Lions’ functioning. Recognising his age-set was being neglected from conservation decision-making, it was Jeneria who conceived Ewaso Lion’s flagship outreach programme, Warrior Watch. He has since been responsible for engaging dozens of Samburu warriors in lion conservation.  In this talk, Jeneria will discuss the decline in the lion population across Kenya before focusing on the unique conservation programmes Ewaso Lions uses to promote human-carnivore coexistence, reduce human-lion conflict, and ensure a future for Kenya’s lions. Jeneria is now in the process of bringing on board new warriors in to the Warrior Watch programme - hear how he is doing it and learn how, as a result of engaging local people, lions have started to make a comeback in the community areas where Ewaso Lions operates.

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Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka | COVID-19 and Gorilla Conservation

Sunday, May 24th @ 10:00am Eastern/3:00pm UK time

I will talk about our work at Conservation Through Public Health and what we are doing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, southwestern Uganda

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Eleanor Drinkwater | Searching for Giants

Sunday, May 24th @ 10:30am Eastern/3:30pm UK time

Eleanor is an animal behaviour researcher who specialises in understanding the weird and wonderful world of insects. In this talk she will be sharing her recent work tracking one of the biggest and most elusive beetles on the planet, the titan beetle. Tackling tropical rainstorms, nocturnal work and dense forest, the team were able to gain rare insights into the behaviour of these incredible beetles as well as some understanding of the threats which face these animals in the wild.

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11:00AM Joseph Cook | Ice Alive

Sunday, May 24th @ 11:00am Eastern/4:00pm UK time

Earth's coldest places are rarely thought of as hot spots for biodiversity, but a microscopic frozen rain forest exists in our ice and snow. In this talk we will explore this frozen world and discover why hidden life in the cold matters to humans around the globe.

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Ben Mirin | Music as a Gateway to Nature

Sunday, May 24th @ 11:30am Eastern/4:30pm UK time

Join Ben for a live DJ session where he'll take us on a global journey, using a biodiverse array of animal sounds he collects in the field to create music representing each ecosystem we visit.


Ben Mirin is a PhD student at Cornell University studying the significance of bird song in human cultures. He is also a musician who creates music from the sounds he records around the world. A Nat Geo Explorer and Fellow at the National Science Foundation, Ben creates award-winning educational multimedia to connect new audiences with nature and welcome new voices into the conservation movement.

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Iris Berger | Sumatra Megatransect

Sunday, May 24th @ 12:00pm Eastern/5:00pm UK time

Iris is a 23-year-old Masters student with a particular interest in animal-plant interactions and a desire to do research that benefits both nature and people. At present, she is looking into the effect of megafauna-declines on tropical forest dynamics, however, as this is (unfortunately) a desk-based endeavour, Iris will be sharing stories from her 2016 "Sumatra Megatransect" expedition. This 500km biodiversity transect crossed the Indonesian island from coast-to-coast, to record how deforestation is affecting bird diversity. Iris and her team reached regions previously unknown to scientists – with good reason! The tangled montane forests meant that the team would sometimes walk for over 12 hours and cover no more than two kilometres. The physical challenges were augmented by the difficulty of recording data under such conditions, but ultimately, the excitement of conducting fieldwork in such a remote and wild place triumphed over the discomforts.

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Travis Steffens| Marvel's of Madagascar

Sunday, May 24th @ 12:30pm Eastern/5:30pm UK time

Travis Steffens, PhD is a lemur researcher, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, International Fellow of the Explorers Club, and founding Director of Planet Madagascar. Travis has spent years studying primates in the wild and now focusses his research on One Health approaches to lemur conservation. He will talk about Madagascar, it’s incredible biodiversity, and the threats facing the many unique species that live there.

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Oliver Steeds | Exploring and Conserving the Deep-sea

Sunday, May 24th @ 1:00pm Eastern/6:00pm UK time

Oliver runs Nekton's missions - to get scientists in the deep sea to explore and protect the ocean - particularly the deeper bits below scuba depth. Nekton work with, and on behalf of ocean nations to support their goals to conserve their ocean. Missions are focused in the Indian Ocean - the least explored and one of the least protected oceans.

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Jut Wynne | Going Deep! Cave Biodiversity

Sunday, May 24th @ 1:30pm Eastern/6:30pm UK time

Using examples from Belize, China, Spain, Easter Island, and Grand Canyon, we'll explore why animals colonize underground habitats, how they adapt to life in complete darkness, and why some caves can support an impressive array of biodiversity.

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Sylvia Earle

Sunday, May 24th @ 2:00pm Eastern/7:00pm UK time

Sylvia Earle is President and Chairman of Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance. She is a National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, and is called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine. She is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for several corporate and non-profit organizations.

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Andy Whitworth and Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya | Botany at a Biological Field Station

Sunday, May 24th @ 2:30pm Eastern/7:30pm UK time

Join Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya and Andy Whitworth high above the rainforest floor as they hang in their harnesses, setting camera traps in the rainforest canopy. Ruth is the botanic manager with Osa Conservation and Andy is a wildlife conservationist, National Geographic Explorer and director of ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation with Osa Conservation.

Explore the strides being made at Osa Conservation's botanic nursery. They recently collected seeds from the Pleodendron costaricense, an incredibly rare tree endemic to Costa Rica (we think there have been as few as 10 living trees recorded). If her efforts succeed, Ruth will be the first person in the world to germinate the species. She and Andy will dive into the cutting-edge botanic and restoration work being done by the team.

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Paul Rose | Science Expeditions: How to Convert Science Hypotheses Into Fieldwork in Challenging Places

Sunday, May 24th @ 3:00pm Eastern/8:00pm UK time

A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced science expedition leaders, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet. Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society, Paul is Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions. The Royal Geographical Society has awarded Paul the Ness Award and the Founders Gold Medal.


A broadcaster, published author and journalist, Rose presents BBC television programs on current affairs, science and the environment. He is Ambassador for the UN Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Paul was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for ten years and was awarded HM The Queen's Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he was awarded the US Polar Medal. A mountain in Antarctica is named after him.

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Ami Vitale | Wild Hope

Sunday, May 24th @ 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm UK time

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.”  In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories Instyle Magazine named Ami one of fifty Badass Women, a series celebrating women who show up, speak up and get things done. 

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Phil Taylor | Open Seas

Sunday, May 24th @ 4:00pm Eastern/9:00pm UK time

Phil has been working in wildlife conservation since his teens. He’s set up projects like the Shiant Isles Recovery Project, has supplied evidence to the world’s tuna commissions and has been involved in marine policy at a Scottish, UK and International level for 8 years.

Open Seas is interested in protecting our marine environment and the things that live in it. They'd like to see more sustainable shellfish and fish, and are promoting sustainable alternatives to damaging fishing. They are working with data and evidence to objectively identify issues and present opportunities for environmental and social sustainability.

It takes time to find a smarter, more sustainable way to look after our sea and seafood. We are taking a long term view and aren’t interested in undermining anyone with short term fixes.

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Jeff Corwin | Discussing Biodiversity and Festival Wrap-up

Sunday, May 24th @ 4:30pm Eastern/9:30pm UK time

Emmy-winning television host Jeff Corwin has worked for the conservation of endangered species, natural resources, and ecosystems around the globe. Through education and awareness, he believes these vital elements of our planet can be conserved for future generations.


As the host of the Emmy Award-winning ABC wildlife adventure series Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin, Jeff educates and entertains audiences with his knowledge and deep sense of caring about the natural world. During Jeff’s television career, he also hosted Animal Planet’s The Jeff Corwin Experience and Corwin’s Quest, along with a variety of popular television series on networks like Disney Channel, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and Food Network. Jeff’s work on CNN’s critically-acclaimed Planet in Peril with Anderson Cooper and as a special science and the environment correspondent for NBC News has solidified his place as one of the world's leading environmental journalists.

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