Shreya Yadav– I grew up in Madras, a town on the south-east coast of India. In 2013, I graduated with a degree in marine biology from James Cook University, Townsville. For my thesis, I studied the swimming and orientation behaviour of Copula sivickisi, a cubozoan found in Australian waters. I returned to India soon after and have since been working with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. Currently, I study the impacts of climate-related disturbance on the early life-history processes of coral in the Lakshadweep archipelago and how this influences reef recovery. I am also interested in the role of herbivores and the functional importance of herbivory on coral reefs, ecological thresholds and reef resilience, and more recently, environmental law, policy and politics.
Abdul-Rahman Dirisu– Abdul-Rahman Dirisu is currently a third year Doctoral candidate and ecological research assistant in the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria. Abdul-Rahman is also a recipient of the Chief S. L. Edu research grant for Doctoral candidates in 2013 and alumnus of Tropical Biology Association training. He was born on the 8th day of October, 1981 at Agbede town to the families of Mr. and Mrs. Abdul-Salam Sparkling Dirisu of Agbede town in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Abdul-Rahman’s interest in marine conservation include; Cetology (dolphins and whales) and Marine Mammals observation (MMO).
Zoey Best-Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, I always knew I wanted to go to Duke. I completed my B.S. in Biology with minors in Evolutionary Anthropology and Environmental Science in 2012, and then got stuck trying to figure out what to do with my degree! I ended up taking an internship at the Sea Life Park of Hawaii, where I discovered my passion for marine biology. I knew I wanted to learn more, so I went back to school to get my Masters. Now I am studying at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida, where I also work for the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program. My primary conservation interests are sea turtles and marine biodiversity, which I developed during a summer session at Duke’s Marine Lab during my undergrad. When I saw an opportunity to return to Beaufort, I couldn’t help but take it!
Ludmila Damasio-I have a Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and I have a Master degree in development and environment. During my undergrad, I focused my internships and personal studies in the conservation of wildlife. After my undergrad, I worked ate NGOs during two years but I missed academia, since my working at NGOs did not reconcile well with my studies. Therefore, I started a Master’s programme in development and environment. I decided joining an interdisciplinary master’s programme by understanding the need for a broader view of environmental problems, a view that would include not just ecological variables, but that entered the main actors in the process of management and conservation. This course will expand my knowledge in environmental management and conservation, since I have always been much focused in the social area. In addition to the social view, the course offers a political and biophysics view of environmental problems.
Hairul Masrini Muhamad– My name is Hairul Masrini Muhamad from Malaysia. I graduated my MSc last November 2014, from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia. It all started with unjustified reason why I furthered my studies, but my passion on conservation of marine endangered species (cetacean) keep on growing in me during the process. I am really interested in conservations of cetaceans and finding ways to protect them together with the local people. Marine mammal research in Malaysia may not be as developed as certain countries but we do have a small network that is working hard to increase the research foundation and it is crucial to increase the conservation effort as we have encountered several alive and dead stranding in our waters. Not being able to handle and care the injured/sick cetacean in the most effective way drives me to learn more on marine mammal rehabilitation. I am really looking forward to grasp more knowledge about the policies and conservation strategies involving the marine mammals through this program.
Rodrigue Ngafack– My name is Rodrigue NGAFACK, I’m a new Duke Global Fellow from Cameroon. I graduated in Applied Ecology and Wildlife Management in Dschang University and my master’s thesis focused on African manatee research and conservation in Cameroon. I am implicated in marine mammal’s research and conservation in Cameroon since 2011 with African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization (AMMCO) and have participated in many conservation and education project among which three posters presentations were presented during International Conferences in Florida USA, in Dundelin New-Zealand and in Stellenbosch South Africa and one oral presentation in Sydney, Australia. Currently, I am an EDGE Fellow with the Zoological Society of London and with AMMCO as Project manager I’m specifically interested in the establishment of marine mammal sighting and stranding network in Cameroon and the use of modern technology such as Hummingbird side scan and 360 imaging and smartphone with built-in offline mobile application to investigate biology and ecology of marine mammals.
Noah Lieberman– My name is Noah Lieberman, and I am a Duke student in the class of 2017. I’m from Pennsylvania, and I am majoring in environmental sciences and policy. I enrolled in the MCSI because I am interested in current marine conservation issues, but I’m not that well informed on the details and policies surrounding issues like fishery conservation, marine species endangerment, and sea level rise. But I am excited to learn about them! I am also in Duke’s documentary studies certificate program, and one future path that I am considering is making nature documentaries, so learning about these types of issues may help me do that as well.
Emma Wellbaum– My name is Emma Wellbaum and I’m from Boston, Massachusetts. I am a rising junior at Duke University working towards a degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy with minors in Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology and I spend most of my spare time working as a research intern at the Duke Lemur Center. I became interested in marine sciences in high school after reading a couple books on fishing practices, both past and present, in my spare time. The information that I gained from these readings made me want to learn more about marine sciences in general, so I continued to read and eventually take classes. Specifically, I am very much interested in marine ecology and conservation. I am very excited to take part in this year’s MCSI so that I can learn more about environmental policies and management in addition to conservation strategies.
Cristina Ruano– I am a marine biologist from Sevilla, a beautiful city located in south of Spain. My passion to conserve the oceans started during the last year of my bachelor and since then I have been working to understand how costal marine environments function and how could we manage them sustainably. A great part of my specialization has focused on marine science but I have always believed that a social perspective is essential to define problems and propose better solutions. I am interested in social-ecological systems as an approach to create marine conservation initiatives that benefit both the nature and the people. Since May 2015 I am working in the Ecology department at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in a new project that aims to identify the social-ecological dimensions of the marine energy development in Chile.
Daniella Williams– Raised in coastal New Haven, Connecticut, I am a current resident of Palm Beach, Florida. I earned my B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire, where I completed a capstone project on the ecology of Great Bay Estuary through the NH Water Resources Research Center. I am currently finishing my second term serving in AmeriCorps, and will be attending Duke this fall to begin the Masters of Environmental Management program. The majority of my experience has been tied to watershed management, but my passion has always been marine science. I am thrilled to learn more about important marine conservation topics through MCSI. I am very interested in conservation that benefits both the environment and the people that depend on it, primarily in relation to the topics of sustainable fisheries, international ocean policy, and ecosystem-based management.
Jessica Kuesel– My name is Jessica Kuesel and I am from Connecticut. I am a Duke student in the class of 2017. I am majoring in Biology and Environmental Science and Policy, with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. I have been interested in marine conservation pretty much my whole life and I have taken several science courses that have allowed me to begin to explore this passion, though I am excited to get to delve deeper into key conservation issues. I have also participated in a couple of internships that have allowed me to see both the community and policy sides of conservation issues in my home state. I am excited to learn more about the law and policy aspects of conservation issues, as well as the scientific side, while participating in the Marine Conservation Summer Institute.
Lauren Jacobsen– My name is Lauren Jacobsen and I am from Chicago, Illinois. Since youth, I have been interested in marine biology and environmental conservation. I am a graduate of the University of Illinois where I earned my degree in Veterinary Medicine and studied Animal Sciences. While the majority of my experience involves terrestrial, domestic animals, I have worked with a myriad of exotic and wildlife species as well. My interests are broad and span from disease and health surveillance, species survival, population ecology, bioacoustics, sustainable seafood and food safety. Through this course, I hope to better understand the role invasive species play in ecosystem balance, marine ecology, and learn more about different career possibilities in conservation medicine and marine policy.
Lucia Garcia– My name is Lucia Carolina Garcia and I’m 28 years old from Guatemala. I’m biologist working in protecting endangered marine species and finding solutions for local people to better their way of life. I am the director of ARCAS’s Hawaii Project. I have a bachelor degree in biology and a specialization in conservation. I have more than five years’ experience working in conservation projects. In a remote town of Guatemala called Hawaii, I work with the help of the community to save the population of sea turtles, but the challenge is big. We faced problems in protecting and saving the whole ecosystem, in consequence of the lack of resources and government interaction. I believe that helping the local communities have a better quality of life is the best solution for the protection of endangered species and ecosystems.
Hannah Shapiro– After spending the year working in Chicago and traveling through Southeast Asia, I am very excited to begin learning about the marine world once again. I studied marine geology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where I completed my thesis in the field of paleoceanography. With a strong background in marine science, I am eager to continue my education in marine conservation and management. I am particularly interested in the gap in knowledge between researchers and the general public, and I hope to focus on my work on educating coastal communities in sustainable practices.
James Tremlett– I was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, in the north of Aotearoa New Zealand, and I now make my home in Pōneke. My training is in marine science and geography from the University of Auckland, and I can usually be found on, in, or dreaming about salt water. I have worked on commercial fishing vessels as a scientific observer for the New Zealand government, as an analyst on New Zealand marine protection policy, and as a consultant for a number of local conservation projects in Aotearoa and overseas. My primary interest is in the maintenance of artisanal and indigenous fisheries for food security and socio-ecological resilience. I am also very fond of whales. Most recently I have been working with small island communities to establish and monitor locally-managed marine areas in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.
Devon McGhee– Originally from Long Island, New York and a graduate of Boston University, I have always had an appreciation for the ocean. After spending the past year in Kansas City, Missouri I am ecstatic to be returning to the coast. While studying abroad in Ecuador as an undergraduate I became interested in the relationship between coastal communities and the water. I would like to acquire the interdisciplinary skills necessary to work with local and global stakeholders to craft policies that preserve the biodiversity of coastlines affected by human actions.
Frederick Yeh– Frederick graduated from Johns Hopkins University with the aim of becoming a medical professional. However, his path in the U.S. took an unexpected turn upon a visit to China. Ever since Frederick witnessed first-hand that endangered sea turtles were being sold for consumption in China, he has been working for the conservation of turtles in Hainan Island, China. To expand public outreach, conservation research, and rescue efforts, Frederick established the non-profit organization Sea Turtles 911 and worked with the local fishing community to build a floating sea turtle hospital, which has rehabilitated and released 238 turtle patients back in the ocean. Since China is gaining unprecedented economic growth, the turtles around the world are being driven toward extinction to satisfy the insatiable demand and high prices offered by Chinese markets. As a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Frederick is interested in strengthening international partnerships with China to ultimately bring harmony between people and wildlife.
Sonnia Nzilani Musyoka – From Kenya. I work at South Eastern Kenya University where i Lecture marine conservation related course at the Department of Fisheries and aquaculture technology. My main marine conservation areas are coastal marine pollution, marine fisheries resources, aquaculture and climate change impacts on marine ecosystems.