Our team

We're a small team of scientists and conservationists with offices at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and the Zoological Society of London in the United Kingdom. We work all over the world, with research and conservation projects in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. 

(Banner photo: Guylian Seahorses of the World)
 

Dr. Amanda Vincent

DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER

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Amanda Vincent has a PhD in marine biology from the University of Cambridge and was Darwin Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford from 1994 to 1996. She is considered the leading authority on seahorse biology and conservation, and in 2000 was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. She also serves as lead scientific advisor and chair of the seahorse working group for CITES.  

PROJECTS: Seahorse Conservation, Trade and Policy, Sustainable Fisheries, Conservation Education 

 

Dr. Heather Koldewey

CO-FOUNDER & MANAGER OF FIELD CONSERVATION PROGRAMS 

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Dr. Koldewey is the Section Head for Global Programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). She holds a BSc from the University of Plymouth and a PhD (Genetics) from the University of Wales, Swansea. Heather was previously the Senior Curator for Aquarium Projects at ZSL. 

PROJECTS: iSeahorse (Philippines), Conservation Education, Marine Protected Areas

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Scott Finestone

OPERATIONS MANAGER

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Scott holds degrees in Business Administration and Liberal Studies from the University of Southern California and Simon Fraser University. Prior to joining Project Seahorse, he worked for many years as a tour guide leading camping tours around North and Central America. In 2009, he moved to the Vancouver Aquarium to lead its AquaVan community outreach education program, and later to work in its development office.

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Dr. Sarah Foster

PROGRAM MANAGER

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Sarah's research and conservation work spans the areas of trade and bycatch - specifically the listing of marine species on the international trade convention CITES, and the issue of small fish species in bycatch. Sarah recently obtained her PhD from UBC. Her thesis examined bycatch in tropical shrimp fisheries, which are believed to be a major cause of population decline in many species, including seahorses. She has a BSc and an MSc in marine biology from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. 

PROJECTS: Trade and Policy, Sustainable Fisheries, Conservation Education 

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Tyler Stiem

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

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Tyler has a wealth of experience in communicating social and environmental issues. He has worked for NGOs in Canada, Africa, and Europe. As a freelance journalist he has reported on topics as diverse as climate change, arms trafficking,  ecotourism, and HIV/AIDS for Newsweek, VICE, the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and CBC Radio.

PROJECTS: iSeahorse

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Chai Apale

iSEAHORSE PROJECT COORDINATOR (PHILIPPINES)

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Chai Apale/Project Seahorse

Chai Apale/Project Seahorse

In her role as iSeahorse Philippines coordinator, Chai manages outreach and communications for iSeahorse in the Philippines. She received a BSc in marine biology from Mindanao State University-Illigan Institute of Technology, where she studied the community structures of reef fishes. Before joining Project Seahorse, she was a coastal resource management trainer for the United States Peace Corps in the Philippines. Twitter

PROJECTS: iSeahorse (Philippines)

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Lindsay Aylesworth

PHD STUDENT 

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L. Aylesworth/Project Seahorse

L. Aylesworth/Project Seahorse

Lindsay is a field investigator for Project Seahorse's work supporting the Thailand Department of Fisheries to implement CITES recommendations. Her research interests include detection rates, occupancy modelling, and geospatial analysis, specifically to address seahorse conservation, threats and management. As a Fulbright Scholar, she brings over seven years of marine biology research and international experience to Project Seahorse. Prior to joining the team, she worked in Brazil to identify microhabitat preferences of the longsnout seahorse (H. reidi). Lindsay holds an MSc. in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University and a BSc. from Georgetown University.

RESEARCH PROJECT: From Poor Data to Good Policy (Thailand)

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Regina Bestbier

RESEARCH BIOLOGIST

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R. Bestbier/Project Seahorse

R. Bestbier/Project Seahorse

Gina joined Project Seahorse in 2007, after many years of working on watershed management issues with a neighbouring research group: UBC's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Gina completed a MSc degree in Conservation and Environmental Biology at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa). At Project Seahorse she applies her knowledge of design tools, multimedia applications, web-authoring applications, and GIS to the marine realm.

PROJECTS: Conservation Education, Trade and PolicySustainable Fisheries

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Iwao Fujii

MSC STUDENT

I. Fujii/Project Seahorse

I. Fujii/Project Seahorse

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Iwao completed his BSc at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, where he worked on mitigation of sea turtle bycatch by modifying the structure of set nets. While he was studying bycatch issues he developed an interest in sustainable fisheries and conservation of marine ecosystems, which made him keen to join Project Seahorse. In his Masters research, Iwao will be studying how marine protected areas (MPAs) affect marine habitat in the Central Philippines - a region with intensive and often destructive fishing pressures. Using long term data sets and new habitat surveys, he will be examining temporal changes in benthic composition within community managed MPAs.

PROJECTS: MPA EFFECTIVENESS IN RESTORING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS

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Kyle Gillespie

PHD STUDENT

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K. Gillespie/Project Seahorse  

K. Gillespie/Project Seahorse

 

Kyle studies coral reef invertebrates and small, community managed marine protected areas in the Philippines. He is interested in how invertebrate communities respond to fishing as well as their roles in larger ecosystem processes. Kyle completed his BSc at the University of Guelph and has worked as an ecologist with Parks Canada studying eelgrass communities, songbirds, forest systems, bivalves and ungulates, and with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on arctic salmon and Pacific marine species vulnerability projects. He has worked globally, in Indonesia and with the Government of Grenada on marine protected area management and ecosystem monitoring projects as well as at the NGO level, working with marine resource users. 

PROJECTS: Invertebrates and MPA Effectiveness (Philippines)

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Ting-Chun Kuo

PHD STUDENT

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T. Kuo/Project Seahorse

T. Kuo/Project Seahorse

Ting-Chun received her BSc in Life Science and MSc in Oceanography from National Taiwan University. During her Masters, she studied the influence of overfishing and climate change on fishes' spatial distribution shift. She also spent 3 months at Scripps institute of Oceanography, working on non-linear system dynamics. Ting-Chun joined Project Seahorse to investigate the trade of seahorses and other marine species, and the impact of international trade agreements on trade and marine species conservation.

PROJECTS: Tracking Global Trade of Marine Fishes

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Tse-Lynn Loh

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE 

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T. Loh/Project Seahorse

T. Loh/Project Seahorse

Tse-Lynn is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, working closely in collaboration with Project Seahorse on the conservation of seahorse populations in Southeast Asia. She recently completed her PhD at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, studying the cascading effects of overfishing on coral reef communities within the Caribbean region. With Project Seahorse, Tse-Lynn plans to conduct a series of rapid assessments in Southeast Asia to identify the distributions of seahorse species there and estimate their population levels. She will also be training and setting up local monitoring networks with in-country partners to provide long-term data for seahorse population trends.

PROJECTS: iSeahorse

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Sara Lourie

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE 

Publications

S. Lourie/Project Seahorse

S. Lourie/Project Seahorse

Sara has been involved with Project Seahorse since 1996. She has written an identification guide to the seahorses of the world based on original taxonomic research and has described several new species of seahorses, including four of the world's smallest. Her PhD focused on genetic connections among seahorses in SE Asia, and the application of biogeography to marine conservation. Post-PhD she has worked on developing a set of Marine Ecoregions of the World in collaboration with scientists from the The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and others, and is also a contributing author to a textbook on conservation biogeography. She is currently a research associate and lecturer at the Redpath Museum at McGill University.

PROJECTS: Seahorse Conservation

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Clayton Manning

MSC STUDENT 

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C. Manning/Project Seahorse

C. Manning/Project Seahorse

Clayton is studying seahorse feeding and growth in areas with and without human disturbance in Australia. He completed his BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Calgary. While at U of C Clayton looked at how plant chemical defenses impact mountain pine beetle reproduction, and he also that examined the relative influences of pH and solar radiation on pathogen concentrations in river environments. 

PROJECTS: Seahorses and Habitat Quality (Australia)  

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Riley Pollom

RESEARCH BIOLOGIST

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Riley is responsible for, among other things, IUCN Red List assessments for seahorses, and for iSeahorse outreach and species identification. He holds undergraduate degrees in ecology and geography from the University of Calgary and has undertaken field studies in the Mediterranean, Kenya and across Canada. His work has focused on such far-flung taxa as leopard frogs, prairie dogs, burrowing owls, rattlesnakes and cougars. 

PROJECTS: Seahorse Conservation

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Jennifer Selgrath

J. Selgrath/Project Seahorse

J. Selgrath/Project Seahorse

PHD STUDENT 

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Jenny is interested in the relationship between habitat quality and fisheries, using the Central Philippines as an example. Jenny previously studied marine protected areas at the Friday Harbor Laboratories in Washington and worked on fishing policy at The Ocean Conservancy. Jenny holds an MSc from San Diego State University, California, and two BA degrees (in Environmental Science and Dance) from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. 

PROJECTS: Mapping the impact of small-scale fisheries (Philippines) 

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Allison Stocks

MSC STUDENT

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A. Stocks/Project Seahorse

A. Stocks/Project Seahorse

Ally is studying the seahorse populations of Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, to determine their vulnerability to target and non-target fisheries. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science (Hons) from UBC. Her undergraduate thesis investigated the migration time of juvenile sockeye salmon. Ally has worked in both governmental and NGO roles, most recently as an Environmental Educator in South Africa, interacting at the community level to promote sustainability and conservation.

PROJECTS: Seahorses and Small-scale Fishers (Vietnam)

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Emilie Stump

MSC STUDENT

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E. Stump/Project Seahorse

E. Stump/Project Seahorse

Emilie studies patterns of syngnathid distribution, abundance and threat in Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA. She holds a BSc in Biology from Old Dominion University, USA, and an AAS in Graphic Design. Prior to joining the Project Seahorse Team, Emilie worked in global marine conservation with the IUCN, studied the role of trade in contributing to elevated extinction risk of marine pufferfishes, and studied patterns of speciation in Indo-Pacific pufferfishes using molecular and morphological methods. She is also a lifelong aquarist and marine science designer/illustrator.

PROJECTS: SPATIAL PATTERNS OF SYNGNATHIDS IN FLORIDA, USA

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Tanvi Vaidyanathan

PHD STUDENT

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T. Vaidyanathan/Project Seahorse

T. Vaidyanathan/Project Seahorse

Tanvi is studying shallow seas conservation in India’s Gulf of Mannar. She is interested in marine conservation and coastal resource management, with a focus on marine protected areas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and a Master’s degree in Marine Sciences and Marine Affairs from. Her work has focused on integrated coastal zone management in India, and on the impact of climate change on marine resources.

PROJECTS: FISHERIES, TRADE, AND CONSERVATION IN INDIA

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Lucy Woodall

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE 

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lucy.jpg

Lucy is a conservation geneticist, and is interested in using the analysis of DNA to answer ecological questions. She completed a PhD entitled ‘Population genetics and mating systems of European Seahorses, Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus hippocampus’ from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research involved diving in over 30 locations across Europe and as well as studies at Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Lucy continues work with European Seahorses and in marine conservation. 

PROJECTS: Seahorse Conservation

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Xiong Zhang

PHD STUDENT

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Xiong Zhang/Project Seahorse

Xiong Zhang/Project Seahorse

Xiong received his Bachelor of Engineering from Chongqing University, China (his home country) in June 2010, where he studied Environmental Science. He then began his graduate studies at the Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he has studied endemic fish conservation. During that time he participated in fishery resource monitoring and fish habitat evaluation in the Upper Yangtze River. His major research interests at Project Seahorse are quantifying the interactions between seahorses and their habitats, to evaluate and predict the impact of habitat destruction/loss on seahorse species, and to identify their critical habitats.

PROJECTS: SEAHORSES, FISHERIES, AND TRADE IN CHINA

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