Ocean Law and Policy Consultants and Experts
Margi Prideaux, Ph.D.
Senior Ocean Policy Expert
Margi Prideaux is a wildlife policy specialist, with a PhD on the development of international wildlife policy & law. Her ongoing research focus is on international policy relating to international species conservation, regional policy development, and the role of global civil society in ‘track one’ and ‘track two’ international diplomacy.
Over a period of 27 years, she has participated in 20 different international wildlife conservation processes, has worked with a number of conservation organisations and has served as Marine Policy Advisor to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). She has written dozens of non-governmental and intergovernmental reports, policy papers and presentations on international species conservation.
Margi is supporting OceanCare’s aquatic bushmeat project for 2017-2018. In addition she serves as the Policy and Negotiations Director with Wild Migration, is a Research Associate with the Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre and a Member of the Joint IUCN SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Taskforce, the IUCN WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group and the CMS Scientific Council Aquatic Mammals Working Group.
Lindy Weilgart, Ph.D.
Senior Ocean Noise Expert and Policy Consultant
Lindy Weilgart has been specialising in underwater noise pollution and its effects on cetaceans since 1994. She has studied whales since 1982, primarily sperm whales, and her M.Sc. (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Ph.D. (Dalhousie), and post-doctoral studies (Cornell) were all in the field of whale acoustic communication in the wild.
Lindy spent one year sailing 50,000 km across the Pacific and back in a 13 m sailboat following groups of sperm whales for her post-doctoral research on dialects. Her then 5 year old son and 10 months old daughter accompanied her. Lindy has served as invited expert on several panels, workshops, and committees concerned with underwater noise impacts (e.g. Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, International Whaling Commission, etc.).
She has met with members of NATO, the European Parliament, the European Commission DG Fisheries, the Convention on Biodiversity, and the United Nations to discuss ocean noise issues, given many lectures on this topic and others, and published numerous peer-reviewed papers. She is currently an Adjunct in the Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada, and was previously employed as Scientific Advisor by the private foundation Okeanos. She also serves as Scientific Advisor for the International Ocean Noise Coalition, and is a Scientific Expert on the German government’s Antarctic Commission.
Aquatic Wild Life Conservation Consultant, Western Africa
Maximin Djondo is Executive Director of Benin Environment and Education Society (BEES NGO). He has for the past fifteen years been implementing projects in the West Africa region to support national and international strategies and policies related to the sustainable use of wetland and coastal resources by maintaining their ecosystem services for local communities. He has a particular expertise in wetland ecosystem management including wetland biodiversity indicator development and assessment methodology, wetland monitoring, wetland ecosystem service valuation, and wetland ecosystem based adaptation actions.
In addition, Maximin is a member of the CMS Aquatic Wild Meat Working Group, the representative in Africa for the World Wetland Network, Coordinator of the Benin wing of Delta Alliance and member of the IUCN Regional Committee for Western and Central Africa. He has acted as an ecological consultant to a range of organisations including environmental consultancies, government agencies, local environmental groups and NGOs.
Maximin’s engagement with OceanCare is to support the organisation’s work on aquatic wild meat in the region, mainly the Abidjan Aquatic Wildlife Partnership aiming at increasing the awareness and action of governments, the private sector and local communities in West and Central Africa, in order to slow and reverse the over-harvesting of aquatic mammals, reptiles and birds for human consumption, trade, fishing bait or other uses.
Dr. Claire Petros, BA, BVSc, MRCVS
Marine Turtle Rescue Expert and Veterinary
As a biologist and a veterinarian, Claire has always had a passion for nature and has known from a young age that she had wanted to work with wildlife. After completing her undergraduate course in Biological Sciences at Oxford University she went on to complete her veterinary training at Bristol University with the Bristol Zoological Society Prize for Zoological Medicine.
During her time in Oxford Claire specialised in marine ecology, and undertook her final year dissertation studying coral bleaching in the Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia. It was during this time that she developed her love of diving, which inspired her desire to work closely with protecting marine life.
Whilst at Bristol Claire spent her final year elective in North Carolina State University (NCSU), she joined the exotic and Turtle Rescue team. During her time in NCSU, Claire witnessed a cataract surgery on a Loggerhead sea turtle! It was an invaluable experience that led to a deeper fascination in turtle medicine. After graduation Claire spent some time in Grenada working as a research assistant for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. It was here that her ambition to combine being a ‘sea turtle vet’ and marine wildlife conservationist began.
In November 2016 Claire joined the Olive Ridley Project and moved to the Maldives to open a Marine Turtle Rescue Centre for ghost gear entangled sea turtles, the first veterinary clinic in the country. Every day Claire would swim in the sea or paddle board around the island and would often encounter turtles, sharks and rays, sometimes even pods of dolphins! Having spent some time working as a small animal vet in London, she is now focussed full time on pursuing turtle conservation work for the Olive Ridley Project. She is also traveling to turtle rescue centres around the world to learn more about how best to medically treat and rehabilitate sea turtles and with the help and support of OceanCare plans to begin a PhD investigating turtle medical welfare at rescue centres in 2019.
Carlos Bravo Villa
Ocean Policy Expert
Carlos Bravo is a freelance consultant with almost thirty years of experience in planning and development of environmental strategies, strategic communication of campaigns and political advocacy. He has also wide experience in the management of NGOs.
He holds a Master Degree in Biology, major in Zoology, at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. He has carried out various research projects on mustelid ecology both on own initiative and through collaboration with the Spanish Society for the Conservation and Study of Mammals (SECEM).
Carlos worked at Greenpeace Spain from 1991 to 2012 where he reached the position of Coordinator of the Energy and Climate Change section. In 2013 he founded the environmental consultancy group “Salvia – Energy, Law and Environment”, focused on a socio-environmental dialogue approach. Since then he has been developing work for different entities like WWF Spain, WWF Greece, Greenpeace Spain, The Greens/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament, Fundación Renovables, Alianza Mar Blava, European Climate Foundation, and OceanCare, among others.
Firmly convinced that marine conservation is essential to effectively tackle the climate emergency, most of Carlos’ efforts in the last decade have been devoted to increasing the protection of the Mediterranean Sea, putting an end to the threat to both economy and environment by hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities, and moving towards a more sustainable energy system.
Carlos’ engagement with OceanCare is to support the organisation’s work on promoting measures and legislative changes for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea in relation to underwater noise pollution reduction and the avoidance of the risks arising from the activities performed by the oil and gas industry.
Ocean Policy Expert
Nadia Deckert is a French environmental diplomat specialized in multilateral biodiversity and ocean protection affairs. She is currently working for UNEP-WCMC as a Program Officer. From 2015 to 2020, she has been working as a French negotiator and policy advisor and was involved in several development aid project focused on marine biodiversity. Before that, she has been working for the Crisis center and the Press and Communication Department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nadia’s engagement with OceanCare is predominantly to support the organisation’s work on promoting measures to reduce noise emissions from the shipping sector and hydrocarbon exploration activities.
Environmental Policy Consultant
Growing up in Central Asia, with its pristine landscapes on the one hand and heavy exploitation of natural resources on the other, Polina has always been passionate about the protection of the environment, and wildlife in particular.
Polina is an environmental scientist by training and has been working in the field of international environmental policy since 2016. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science (Major in Water Resources) from the University of Guelph (Canada) and a M.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of Bremen (Germany). She previously worked at the Helmholtz -Center for Environmental Research (Germany) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP CMS), where she gained experience in organizing international meetings, drafting policy documents for international negotiations, working closely with Governments, NGOs and Academia.
Polina is currently supporting OceanCare’s work with the Secretariat of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtles MOU). She has gained an in-depth knowledge of the MOU through her work at CMS, during which she assisted, inter alia, with the preparation of the 8th Meeting of the Signatory States to the IOSEA Marine Turtles MOU 2019, in Da Nang, Viet Nam.