Speaker Bios and Talk Descriptions
KM Reyes | Power of One
Twitter: @karinamay_reyes Instagram: @karinamay_reyes
KM is going to talk about her journey in co-founding the Centre for Sustainability PH, a women-led, youth, environmental non-profit in Palawan island. She'll highlight their work and the challenges they faced to establish the Cleopatra's Needle Critical Habitat, the Philippines' biggest Critical Habitat! In so doing, they protected our City's biggest watershed, the ancestral domain of the disappearing Batak tribe, and countless endemic and endangered fauna & flora.
Purnima Devi Barman | A Female Led Community Conservation Movement: Saving the Endangered Greater Adjutant Stork by Changing Perceptions and Empowering Women in Assam, India
Twitter: @Storksister Instagram: @storksister
Dr. Purnima Devi Barman globally known as Stork Sister and locally as hargila baido (Stork Sister) is a conservation biologist with the NGO, Aaranyak, in Assam, India. She is a founder of all rural women army group called Hargila Army with 400 front leaders and comprising of 10,000 women members in villages in Assam. Purnima is the recipient of the Whitley Award 2017/Green Oscar 2017 for her crusading conservation movement to protect the highly endangered Greater Adjutant Stork locally called as hargila. Dr. Purnima has been conferred with Nari Shakti Purashkar by the President of India which is the highest civilian award for Indian women. She has been tirelessly working with communities and researching the storks for the last 15 years. Purnima was also awarded several other distinguished awards, including the UNDP India biodiversity Award 2016 from United Nations.
In this talk, Purnima will explain about her female led conservation movement in Assam , India to save endangered Greater Adjutant Stork.
Rosamira Guillen | Proyecto Tití: Securing a Long-term Future for the Critically Endangered Cotton-top Tamarins in Colombia
Twitter: @RosamiraGuillen Instagram: @rosamiraguillen
Rosamira was trained as an architect and landscape architect. Her first job was at the zoo in her hometown of Barranquilla where she met cotton-top tamarins for the first time. She was impressed and encouraged to take action for this species and its threatened habitat, the tropical dry forests of northern Colombia, so she decided to join Proyecto Tití and lead the efforts to secure this jewel of Colombia's biodiversity.
Nicole Stott | eARTh From Space
Twitter: @Astro_Nicole Instagram: @astro_nicole
Nicole will reflect on her time in space on the ISS & Space Shuttle, undersea on the Aquarius habitat, and as an artist - appreciating Spaceship Earth as our one shared home in space and our need to behave like crewmates.
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). 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. She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation.
Dominique Gonçalves | Gorongosa Elephants Population Recovery and Challenges
Dominique is a Mozambican scientist working on elephant ecology and conservation, currently serving as the Manager of the Elephant Ecology Project in Gorongosa National Park where she investigates elephant movement and range expansion in relation to habitat use and human-elephant conflict. Dominique works with law enforcement and sustainable development colleagues, she hopes to build coexistence between communities and wildlife throughout the buffer-zone surrounding the park. Dominique is pursuing her PhD at the University of Kent, and is also a passionate advocate for girls’ education.
In her talk she will share extraordinary Gorongosa national Park and Gorongosa elephants with you.
Kellie Gerardi | Not Necessarily Rocket Science
Twitter: @kelliegerardi Instagram: @kelliegerardi
There has never been a more exciting time to get involved in the space industry - humanity's next giant leap will require the contributions of artists, engineers and everyone in between. It's not all rocket science!
Kellie Gerardi is an aerospace & defense professional, author, and popular science communicator. She is a Scientist-Astronaut Candidate with Project PoSSUM, a crewed suborbital research program, where she has flown multiple microgravity research campaigns as a citizen scientist evaluating spacesuits and testing technologies in zero-g. Kellie is the author of Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to Life in the Space Age and serves as a Director of The Explorers Club, whose prestigious flag she carried on a crew expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
Hilde Strom and Sunniva Sorby | Hearts in the Ice: Live from Svalbard
Twitter: @Heartsintheice Instagram: @heartsintheice
In June 2017, Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Falun Strom started Hearts in the Ice, a global platform for dialogue around our changing climate with a special emphasis on the polar regions. Both Sunniva and Hilde have close to 25 years of experience each in the Polar regions and are passionate Polar Ambassadors. Their shared love of these wild spaces and the fact that they have borne witness to tremendous change in the Antarctic and Arctic is what has motivated their venture - “Hearts in the Ice”
In 2019-2020, Sunniva and Hilde made history when they became the first women to overwinter in Svalbard solo. They spent 12 months at the remote trappers cabin called “Bamsebu”- located at 78’n and 140 km from the closest town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. Climate change is not taking a break so neither are they. From Nov-May 2021 they are back to the 25 m2 ( 215 sq ft) “Bamsebu” continuing to serve as citizen scientists to build on their 2nd year of data collection for seven projects.
Morgan J. Martin | Whale and Dolphin Behavior, Communication and Echolocation
Morgan is a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Victoria in Canada. Currently, she's working with the Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada on a bowhead whale conservation project. Morgan focuses on underwater acoustics of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). She specializes in using underwater acoustics to estimate cetacean abundance (population sizes) and to study animal behavior. She studies how sound travels underwater - especially sounds that cetaceans make. The majority of cetaceans can echolocate, which means that they produce a form of biological sonar to navigate underwater. They also use their sonar to hunt fish and other prey underwater. Cetaceans are often highly social species and because of that, they communicate a lot underwater.
Ami Vitale | Reframing the Narrative
Twitter: @Amivee Instagram: @amivitale
Join National Geographic photographer, filmmaker, writer and explorer Ami Vitale, as she takes us on an odyssey, sharing powerful stories that drive change and inspire us all to push boundaries, break glass ceilings and have impact in our daily lives.
Ami 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. She 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.”
Ami will share her work to illustrate personal stories about individuals who, against all odds, are changing the destiny of the wildlife they coexist with. They remind us that we are a part of a complex world created over millions of years, and the survival of all species is intertwined with our own.
Tierney Thys | Fish, Fashion and Fabrics: a Wild Adventure Around the World
Tierney is smitten with the ocean sunfishes and her research on these glorious fishes has taken her around the world. Along the way, however, she's witnessed the footprint of plastic pollution growing larger and larger. In particular she's learned how our clothing sheds trillions of plastic microfibers that end up in the guts of everything from hermit crabs to humans. Join Tierney on her latest wild global adventure discovering remarkable fabrics from our past, present and future and the opportunities that abound for finding textile solutions to our fast fashion pollution.
Alizé Carrère | ADAPTATION
Twitter: @alizecarrere Instagram: @alizecarrere
Alizé is a National Geographic Explorer, award-winning filmmaker and doctoral student researching and documenting human adaptations to environmental change. In 2013, Alizé received support from National Geographic to conduct research in Madagascar, where she spent several months uncovering an unlikely agricultural adaptation in response to severe deforestation. With additional grants from National Geographic, The Redford Center and PBS, her work has evolved into a broader film and educational project on human resilience in the face of climate change.
Milbry Polk and Lacey Flint | The Explorers Club and the History of Women in Exploration
Twitter: @ExplorersClub Instagram: @the_explorers_club
Milbry Polk, co-author of Women of Discovery A Celebration of Intrepid Women who explored the World, will present a brief overview of a selection of women explorers throughout history who have contributed to world knowledge and upon whose shoulders today's women explorers stand. Lacey Flint, The Explorers Club's Archivist and Curator, will pick up the story by highlighting women explorers and their involvement and history with the Club in the years when membership was restricted to men.
Krystle Wright | Adventure Photographer
Twitter: @KrystleWright Instagram: @krystlejwright
Krystle is an adventure sports photographer from Queensland, Australia, although she now lives a semi-nomadic lifestyle in her quest to capture and present unique moments from extreme sports, expeditions and adventures across the globe. Whether she’s camping on a frozen fjord for a month in the Arctic with 23 BASE jumpers, paragliding in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan or sleeping on the back of a yacht on the Great Barrier Reef. Krystle is known for pushing herself to extremes, sometimes beyond what might even be considered sane. Anything to get that elusive, compelling shot – whether hanging from precarious positions on remote cliff edges, swimming through jagged, unexplored canyons, or trudging for days through vicious, baleful weather.
Carlee Jackson | To Feed or Not to Feed: Effects of Tourism on Nurse Sharks
Twitter: @CarleeMJ_ Instagram: @carleemj_
Carlee is a shark and sea turtle conservationist based in south Florida. She is the Director of Communications and Co-Founder of Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), working to increase diversity in shark sciences. In her talk, Carlee will be sharing some of her research on the effects of tourism on of the most underrated sharks: nurse sharks. Carlee will go into some different forms of tourism, why tourism can be good and bad, and how this practice affects nurse sharks and other sealife.
Sandhya Narayanan | Language as Exploration
Dr. Sandhya Krittika Narayanan is a linguistic anthropologist and a National Geographic Explorer. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. Her work focuses on Indigenous language multilingualism, and has worked primarily in Peru and Bolivia. Dr. Narayanan will talk about her adventures in linguistic exploration, sharing her insights and stories about the ways that language can help us better explore the world that we live in today.
Jill Heinerth | The Explorer's Mindset
Twitter: @jillheinerth Instagram: @jillheinerth
Jill Heinerth is an underwater explorer, writer, photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. A pioneer of technical rebreather diving, she has led expeditions into icebergs in Antarctica, volcanic lava tubes, and submerged caves worldwide. Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Her book, INTO THE PLANET, has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. Jill is a Fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Explorers Club, which awarded her with the William Beebe Award for ocean exploration.
Kakani Katija | Illuminating Life in the Deep Sea
Twitter: @KakaniKatija Instagram: @kakanikatija
As a bioengineer and deep sea technologist, Kakani is driven by the desire to understand and learn from life in the ocean so that she can inspire innovations of the future. In order to do this, we need technology that can get us to the deep sea, and enable observations of animals in their natural environment. Kakani will share what they are doing in the Bioinspiration Lab at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to observe life and reveal the unknown in the deep sea.
Tara Keir | In the Informant's Shoes: The Human Side of the Poaching Crisis
Twitter: @tarakeir Instagram: @tarankeir
Tara Keir is an artist, geographer, conservationist, and National Geographic Storytelling Grantee whose research focuses on wildlife crime and the poaching crisis in South Africa. Through mapping, storytelling, photography, and art, Tara works to share the stories and voices of the local rangers and individuals living alongside rhino who experience the effects of the illicit trade in rhino horn first-hand.
Join Tara on a journey revealing the lesser-known side of the poaching crisis: the human side of the story. We'll challenge ourselves to think differently from the current "war on poaching" narrative that so heavily focuses on good rangers against bad poachers, and instead dive into some of the complex dynamics perpetuating the illegal killing of rhino.
Lauren Eckert | Diving Back in Time: Interweaving Knowledge Types Towards Improved Marine Conservation
Twitter: @laureneeckert Instagram: @laureneeckert
Lauren Eckert is a Conservation Scientist, PhD candidate, National Geographic Explorer, and adventure enthusiast based in Western Canada. Lauren will share insight into her research at the interface of ecology and Indigenous knowledge, natural and social sciences, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
Beverly Joubert | Conservation work in Africa
Twitter: @GreatPlainsCons Instagram: @beverlyjoubert
Beverly Joubert is a world famous, award-winning filmmaker, photographer, conservationists and a National Geographic Explorer. She co-founded the Big Cats Initiative with her husband Dereck and together they have produced over 35 films for National Geographic, with 22 Emmy nominations and 8 Emmy Awards. They have published 12 books two in the last year of lockdowns. She co-founded Great Plains Conservation that manages over 1.5 million acres of conservation land in Africa
Beverly will be talking about why the Big Cat Initiative was started and how it has developed and grown over the years. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the devastating effect it has had on wildlife across the globe, the BCI is now more relevant than ever before and this has led to a parallel project called Project Ranger.
Shivani Bhalla | A Cheetah, a Tent, and a Team: A Journey of Conservation Perspectives
Twitter: @EwasoLions Instagram: @ewasolions
Born and raised in Kenya, Shivani believes the key to lion conservation is working in partnership with local communities. She founded Ewaso Lions in 2007 to promote co-existence between carnivores and people - a project that she now co-leads with her team. Together with her team, she works with communities to reduce livestock loss to carnivores, and monitors the existing lion population within the Samburu-Isiolo landscape in northern Kenya. Shivani, with her team, have created successful community programmes including Warrior Watch, Mama Simba and Lion Kids Camps. Shivani moved to Samburu in 2002 and lives in the Ewaso Lions Camp in Westgate Conservancy with her team and two dogs, Kura and Nanyori. In this talk Shivani will talk about her journey in conservation and lessons learned along the way.
Eleanor Drinkwater | Outrageous Women: Entomologists Who Changed History
Twitter: @E_Drinkwater Instagram: @drinkwater.eleanor
Eleanor is an entomologist fascinated by the personality and behaviours on invertebrates. Her research has led to to jungles in Peru, Honduras and most recently to French Guiana where she led a project to study the biggest beetle on the planet. For Eleanor, one source of inspiration are the amazing stories of women throughout history who were carved out a place a place for women in science. Today she will be sharing the fierce and surprising stories of three remarkable women who changed the face of entomology.
Anusha Shankar | Seeing Science in Everyday Life - Lessons from Hummingbirds
Twitter: @nushiamme Instagram: @nushiamme
Anusha studies how hummingbirds manage to exist in different environments. Studying them made her start wondering if there were lessons she could learn about herself by collecting information on her own life. She'll share some of the lessons she's learned about herself while studying animals, and how you can collect data on things going on around you to better how you relate to the world!
Lindsey Rustad | Reflections on Navigating a Career in Environmental Science
Lindsey is a research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, she has spent the last three decades trying to figure out what makes forests tick, and especially how large scale disturbances like Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events and Pollution affect forest ecosystems. As one of the more senior (aka older) AAAS If/The Ambassadors, she has the opportunity to share how she navigated a career addressing some of the major environmental issues of the 20th/21st century.
Hilary Brumberg and María José Mata Quirós | Restoring and Rewilding the Costa Rican Rainforest (Virtual Field Trip!!!)
Twitter: @osaconservation Instagram: @osaconservation
Join Hilary Brumberg and María José Mata Quirós live from a cutting-edge restoration and rewilding experiment in the Costa Rican rainforest. Hilary, the Lowlands Ridge-to-Reef Program Manager at Osa Conservation, and María José, the Restoration & Rewilding Program Coordinator at Osa Conservation, dedicate their lives to conserving and restoring tropical forests. As solutions-oriented conservation scientists, Hilary and María José will share the novel techniques they use to kick-start rainforest generation, tips to facilitate the success of restoration intiatives, and advice for budding conservationists.
Keriann McGoogan | Chasing Lemurs: My Journey into the Heart of Madagascar
At age twenty-five, graduate student Keriann McGoogan traveled into the wilds of Madagascar to study lemurs in their natural habitat and to set up a permanent field site in the remote northwest—a site to which she could later return to do research for her PhD in biological anthropology. Despite careful planning, the trip spiraled out of control. Food poisoning, harrowing backcountry roads, grueling hikes, challenging local politics, malaria, and an emergency evacuation would turn a simple reconnaissance into an epic adventure. Join McGoogan to learn more about her memoir and the wonders of Madagascar's incredible biodiversity, especially its many varieties of lemurs.
Andrea Quirós Vargas | Live from the Toucan Rescue Ranch
Twitter: @ToucanRescue Instagram: @toucanrescueranch
Take a trip to the Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) to meet and learn fun facts about sloths and the rescue, rehab and rewilding mission Toucan Rescue Ranch has to protect sloths in Costa Rica.
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 more.
Kristen Lear | Bats and Agave
Twitter: @BatsForLife Instagram: @batsforlife_kristen
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 research and conservation projects around the world, including the US, Australia, and Mexico. She is now an Endangered Species Interventions Specialist at Bat Conservation International, where she coordinates the organization's Agave Restoration Initiative in the US Southwest and northern Mexico for threatened and endangered pollinating bats.
Rosaly Lopes | Exploring Volcanoes on Earth and the Planets
Twitter: @rosaly_lopes Instagram: @rosaly.m.lopes
The planets and moons of the Solar System are incredibly diverse worlds with histories both ancient and dramatic. Etched into their surfaces is a fascinating story – of fire and ice, of order and upheaval, of great cataclysms and slow change. Volcanoes are common throughout the Solar System and volcanic eruptions are among nature's most awesome spectacles. Rosaly Lopes will discuss her explorations of volcanoes on Earth, in every continent, and what space missions such as Galileo and Cassini have revealed about the wide variety of volcanoes in the solar system.
AsherJay | Motif, Repeat, Scale
Twitter: @EarthHeiress Instagram: @earthheiress
Whether it is communications, organisms, planet, people or business the design premise remains the same. Asher will talk about the underlying narrative that has now persuaded her to take on a Tech start up, and how biology, brands and business have the same building blocks.
Asher Jay is an international adventurer and public figure whose compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife conservation. Asher's travels to the frontline have made her witness and story-teller, combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, promoting habitat sanctuaries and illuminating humanitarian emergencies. Her core message, again and again: biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene – the Age of Man.
Erika Bergman | Fishes, and Sharks, and Crocs, Oh My!
Twitter: @erika_bergman Instagram: @theerikabergman
Erika is a submarine pilot for filmmaking, research, and exploration. She loves teaching marine robotics and founded theGEECs.com. GEECs first mission is to support a network of 'Girls Underwater Robot Camps' around the world. Join Erika as she shares stories from the deep ocean and from her traveling robotics classroom.
Gracie Ermi | Learn to Code and Save the Whales
Twitter: @GracieErmi Instagram: @gracieermi
Computer scientist Gracie Ermi builds technology platforms that just might help save our planet! Her work at Vulcan Inc. in Seattle, WA focuses specifically on protecting endangered animals. She will be sharing about writing code to support killer whale research in the Pacific Northwest, as well as her experience navigating the technology field and discovering that technology can be an avenue for anyone to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world.
Jess Cramp | My Life as a Shark Scientist
Twitter: @jessaddwater Instagram: @jessaddwater
Jess Cramp is a shark researcher who specializes in conservation policy and engaging communities in the management of their ocean. Jess co-championed a grassroots campaign that resulted in the Cook Islands Shark Sanctuary in 2012, an area exceeding 770,000 square miles. Jess has since advised communities, national governments and international organizations on conservation policy, led marine research expeditions through various island nations, and mentored local youth interested in science. She is the founder and executive director of Sharks Pacific, a non-profit organization that conducts research, outreach and advocacy throughout the Pacific Islands region. Her work focuses on improving fisheries management, human-wildlife conflict prevention, community empowerment, and the development of policies that consider people and the environment in equal measure. She is currently a PhD candidate at James Cook University. An accomplished speaker, Jess was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2015 and an AAAS If/Then Ambassador in 2019.
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka | Saving Gorillas During a Pandemic
Twitter: @DoctorGladys Instagram: @gladyskalemazikusoka
Gladys founded an eighteen-year-old award-winning NGO and non-profit, called Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) that promotes biodiversity conservation by enabling people, gorillas and other wildlife to coexist through improving health and livelihoods in and around protected areas in Africa and wildlife rich habitats, and primarily work with the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. In 2015, she founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee, as a social enterprise of CTPH. Gladys will talk about how she's using a One Health approach to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on gorilla conservation.
Bolortsetseg Minjin | Protecting Mongolia's Fossil Heritage
Bolortsetseg is a Mongolian paleontologist who played a pivotal role in stopping the sale of a fossil skeleton of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus bataar, illegally collected from Mongolia. In addition, she helped coordinate the return of over 30 other stolen dinosaurs to Mongolia. Bolortsetseg is an Emerging Explorer (National Geographic), received an Earth Award from Wings WorldQuest, was awarded a Polar Star from Mongolia, is a recipient of the Raymond M. Alf Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research and Education, and honoree of The Explorer Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World the World Needs to Know About. Her latest projects involve educational outreach in the Gobi Desert and a conservation park to combat illegal fossil poaching and building a community-based Dinosaur Museum at the Flaming Cliffs. Bolor has appeared in documentaries by BBC Horizon and the Giant Screen Films, and her work has been featured in National Geographic, Earth Magazine, The Atlantic, The Scientist, and Smithsonian magazine.
Chelsea Burnett | Chasing Storms
Twitter: @TxStormChasers Instagram: texasstormchasers
Chelsea Burnett is a public speaker/photographer/storm-chaser with Texas Storm Chasers. Chelsea’s chase career began in 2011, shortly after meeting other members of Texas Storm Chasers. She has witnessed 27 tornadoes (and counting!), from 5-second EF0s to 90-minute EF4s. Chase states include TX, OK, CO, NM, KS, NE, WY, ND, SD, & MT. She's appeared in numerous television shows, and has published articles all over the southwestern U.S about her work.
Sheena Talma | Exploring the Deep Sea: Seychelles
Twitter: @Sheena_Talma Instagram: @Sheenatalma
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.
Lynn Sorrentino | Tackling Marine Plastic Pollution
After a career in software, in Seattle, Lynn took a leap of faith and moved to Geneva, Switzerland to work in the non-profit conservation field. She has worked for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, STEM Wales, and now Lynn is leading a project at IUCN called MARPLASTICCs, the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities project - working in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Thailand and Viet Nam. IUCN’s programme of work on marine plastics has focused principally on seeking solutions to close the plastic tap and tackle plastic pollution at its source, and on plastic pollution issues since 2014. It all started in Europe in the Baltic and Mediterranean, and has now expanded to 14 countries and 4 continents.
Adjany Costa | The Source of Life
Passionate about the wilderness, all my professional and academic milestones where aimed around the prospect of contributing to the protection of wildlife and its surrounding environment. I am fully dedicated to conservation and I strongly believe in coupling science and research with community knowledge and engagement, to achieve maximum protection of wildlife and natural resources through the improvement of the livelihoods of poor and remote rural communities. Currently focused on my PhD research project aiming at activating Community Based Conservation in the Angolan Highlands, to protect its wildlife and pristine forests and rivers, and that of millions of people and the wilderness that depends on it downstream, in the KAZA realm.
Stella Diamant | Discovering a New Whale Shark Hotspot in Madagascar
Twitter: @madawhalesharks Instagram: @_stelladiamant
Originally from Belgium, Stella studied Biology and has worked on a range of projects in the field in conservation and ecology. She is passionate about initiating positive change and empowering communities through scientific research, and loves spending time underwater with marine megafauna, as well as photography, exploration and the outdoors!
Whale sharks are the world’s biggest fish, and are vanishing at an unprecedented rate like most shark species. Yet they are fascinating creatures that hold many secrets still. Following an unexpected encounter with a whale shark back in Madagascar in 2014, Stella started investigating their presence in this unstudied region. A few years later, her 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 local communities.
Thandiwe Mweetwa | Carnivore Conservation in a Changing World
Twitter: @thandi_LV Instagram: @thandi_lv
Thandiwe is a conservationist working in eastern Zambia. Her area of focus is large carnivore research and conservation in human-impacted landscapes. Thandiwe's talk will be on lessons learnt from the Zambian Carnivore Programme’s developing human-lion conflict mitigation program.
Callie Broaddus | Creative Conservation: How Youth Are Saving Biodiversity in Ecuador's Chocó Cloud Forest
Twitter: @CallieBroaddus Instagram: @calliebroaddus
Callie Broaddus is the Executive Director of Reserva: The Youth Land Trust, an organization bridging the gap between youth activism and biodiversity conservation, launching an ambitious initiative to create the world’s first entirely youth-funded nature reserve in Ecuador’s Chocó cloud forest. She is a photographer, youth leader, and lifelong conservationist. This fast-paced talk will run through the benefits and challenges of involving youth directly in land conservation and exploration, and why it's so worth the effort.
Eleanor Flatt | Connecting the Tropical Rainforest Canopy (Virtual Field Trip)
Twitter: @osaconservation Instagram: @osaconservation
Join Eleanor Flatt, the Wildlife Program Manager at Osa Conservation, up in the treetops of the tropical rainforests in Costa Rica. Eleanor will lead us through an exploration of canopy conservation technology and show off camera traps in action. She will discuss the challenges and solutions facing treetop wildlife, such as the endangered Geoffroy’s spider monkey, and how her team is working to connect the rainforest canopy and protect these key animals.
Andrea Jane Reid | Fish, People & Place
Andrea will use the life history of salmon as a metaphor to share her fisheries research and the story of how her work as a fish and fisheries scientist reconnected her with her Indigenous roots. She will speak on the brilliance of Indigenous fisheries science and why we stand to gain so much by embracing more than one way of knowing.
Lillygol Sedaghat | The Story of Plastic & My Journey to Understand It
I love bubble milk tea. But on the day I finally noticed the single-use plastic cup and single-use plastic straw, and realized how trash I was generating, I knew I had to do something. So I began a journey that took me over 7,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to Taiwan and then 2,000 miles even further to the Ganges River in Bangladesh and India to understand how single-use plastics are made, how they're used, what happens to them once they're thrown out, and how they connect us to places around the world we never thought we'd go.
Adele Luta | "Back to the Future": Scientific Challenges of Spacewalking on the Moon Again
Twitter: @serenity_astra Instagram: @serenity_astro
Adele Luta is a scientist and innovator. She has worked at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Flight Center as a certified Mission Control Center flight controller and astronaut instructor where she supported over 90 spacewalks. As the xEVA (Exploration Spacewalks) Integration Project Manager at Oceaneering International Inc, she is part of the team to develop a lunar lander under NASA’s Artemis Program. Her training as a physicist has allowed her to work in many fields including researching the mind, nuclear physics, and team cognition. She is a private pilot and SCUBA diver. In this talk, she will share some of the scientific challenges to space "walking" on the moon while interweaving fun stories from her career.
Ana María Villada Rosales | How Girls can Get Into Wildlife and Conservation
Twitter: @ToucanRescue Instagram: @toucanrescueranch
Ana is a wildlife veterinarinarian with a Master in Conservation Medicine from Mexico living in Costa Rica. She'll talk about how to get your feet into conservation and wildlife medicine, explore some of the projects she's had the luck to work on, and of course her current job as Veterinary Supervisor at Toucan Rescue Ranch.
Callie Veelenturf | Combatting Extinction of the East Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
Twitter: @CAVeelenturf Instagram: @callieveelenturf
The Leatherback Project is on a mission to prevent the extinction of the East Pacific leatherback sea turtle. In collaboration with fishermen, local community members, local and international NGOs, and government agencies, we are working to tackle the issue of artisanal fisheries bycatch before it's too late. I'm excited to share a bit about this incredible species and our journey to protect it.
Emma Camp | Emma Camp | Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene
Twitter: @emmafcamp Instagram: @emmafcamp
Dr Emma Camp, is a marine biogeochemist at the University of Technology Sydney, a United Nations Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, National Geographic Explorer, a 2019 Rolex Associate Laureate and was recently named a 2020 Time Magazine Next Generation Leader. 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.
Erika Woolsey | 21st Century Mermaids
Twitter: @ErikaWoolseyPhD Instagram: @erikawoolseyphd
Dr. Erika Woolsey is a marine biologist, ocean educator, and National Geographic Explorer. She conducted most of her research on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia where she investigated how warming oceans are impacting coral reefs, specifically how rising temperatures hinder survival and development in young corals following mass spawning events. Amidst the rapid degradation of ocean ecosystems like coral reefs, Erika is dedicated to translating scientific discovery into public understanding. Most recently, she’s been the CEO of The Hydrous, a nonprofit that combines science, design, and technologies such as virtual reality and photogrammetry for ocean education. Erika received her Ph. D. from James Cook University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, earned her Masters of Applied Science in Coastal Management from the University of Sydney, and studied Biology and Art History at Duke University.
Dr Losang Rabgey | Exploration and Empathy
Twitter: @losangrabgey Instagram: @losangrabgey
Born a Tibetan refugee in India and raised in Canada, Dr Rabgey is the first Tibetan to hold a PhD in Feminist Anthropology. She is the first Tibetan Commonwealth Scholar and National Geographic Explorer. In 1998, she and her sister Dr Tashi Rabgey co-founded Machik with their parents as a nonprofit whose mission is to grow a global community committed to a stronger future for Tibet. In 20+ years, Machik has mentored and supported education for thousands of people in Tibet and in diaspora, mostly women and girls. Machik’s currently works on civic engagement, gender equity and social innovation. Programs feature a Tibetan Ideas Festival, a global platform to learn about cultural producers and change makers in Tibet, an annual Gender Summit, and more. Machik also supports social innovators inside Tibet working in education, film, gender equity, conservation, health, and so on.
Gaelin Rosenwaks | Science at Sea: From the Arctic to Sperm Whales!
Twitter: @GaelinGOExplore Instagram: @gaelingoexplore
Gaelin is a marine scientist, explorer, photographer and filmmaker. Always fascinated by the marine world, Gaelin began diving at 14 and has since continued exploring ocean ecosystems. She began her career at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she researched over-wintering patterns of Southern Ocean zooplankton. She now participates and conducts expeditions in every ocean to alert the public not only to the challenges facing the oceans, but also to what science is doing to understand these changes. Recently, Gaelin was the expedition biologist for an expedition using submarines to explore the bottom of the Blue Hole with Sir Richard Branson and Fabien Cousteau. Her latest film project on sperm whales, Finding Physty, was recently featured on the cover of the June/July2020 issue of Outside Magazine.
Jenny Gill | The Invisible Story
Jenny Gil is a Ph.D. student in environmental science at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus and NASA Puerto Rico Space Partnership for Research Innovation and Training (PR-SPRINT) Fellow working with microalgae cultivation to grow in the International Space Station. She is currently one of the coordinators of the Caribbean National Geographic Hub. She has interned at the Smithsonian twice and was also an AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow who worked at CNN en Español. As a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow, she traveled to three Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) facilities in Panama, collecting microalgae samples. She documented her research in Spanish and English through blogging, microscopic pictures, and videos. Gil-Acevedo studied interdisciplinary science at the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s in environmental science at Florida International University.