Research Associates & Consultants

Ocean Policy Consultants

Nicolas Entrup

Ocean Policy Consultant

Nicolas Entrup is CEO of Shifting Values. He has been serving as a professional consultant to OceanCare on ocean noise for many years. In a career spanning more than two decades of conservation work, Nicolas has been standing at the forefront of political advocacy for ocean noise mitigation in the last ten years, wading through international processes to build recognition of the issue and increase political commitment to its management and control. He has been serving as an expert advisor within a number of international ocean noise-related working groups and regularly meets with decision-makers in government and industry to progress this issue.

In addition, Nicolas Entrup is also part of the OceanCare team dealing with other issues, particularly efforts to end whaling. He has amassed deep experience in the process of international diplomacy and advocacy, having participated in more than 20 different international biodiversity forums for a wide range of conservation issues.

Margi Prideaux

Margi Prideaux, Ph.D.

Ocean Policy Consultant

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.

Johannes Müller

Johannes Müller

Ocean Policy Consultant

During his studies in political science and international relations, Johannes contributed to campaigns committed to the reduction of underwater noise in the Mediterranean. Johannes is currently undertaking his doctoral studies at the University of St. Andrews and continues to support measures aimed at mitigating underwater noise and reducing the impact of plastic pollution.

It is OceanCare’s warmth, endless conviction and efficient work ethic that has not only impressed Johannes, but has also convinced him to contribute to the workings of the organisation in any way possible. In the past few years Johannes has followed European and International decision-making of policy related to underwater noise and other ocean policy specific legislation, making him a valuable asset to the OceanCare team.

Lindy Weilgart, Ph.D.

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.

Joanna Toole

Maximin Djondo

Western Africa Aquatic Wild Meat Consultant

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.

Lora Reeve

Lora L. Nordtvedt Reeve, MS, MBA, JD

Ocean Law Consultant

Lora L. Nordtvedt Reeve is an authority on international marine conservation law. She is Principal and Senior Law & Policy Consultant at Global Ocean Consulting, LLC, a small private firm based in Hawaii. Lora represents OceanCare as the delegate to the United Nations negotiations for the development of an international legally binding instrument under the U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Growing up in the Hawaiian Islands, Lora has a lifelong interest in the ocean and the creatures that live there. She has conducted scientific fieldwork investigating cetacean ecology and acoustics, advised on environmental issues for marine projects, and published scholarly papers and book chapters on the law and policy of conservation issues in the high seas, including marine protected areas. Lora has worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) High Seas Task Force, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She is currently writing her Ph.D. dissertation in the Faculty of Law at University of Wollongong, in affiliation with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS). Her research proposes a new strategy for the management of anthropogenic underwater noise in areas beyond national jurisdiction. As an expert on the sources, impacts and regulation of noise in the ocean, Lora is a strong advocate for marine conservation and brings this passion and commitment to her work with OceanCare.

Research Associates

Giovanni Bearzi, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Pew Marine Conservation Fellow, holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Basel, Switzerland.

He has been conducting dolphin research since 1986, particularly in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. He founded and directed for a decade a dolphin research and conservation programme in Croatia, which was awarded the ‘Henry Ford European Conservation Award’ as best European project.

Board Member (1990—2010) and President (2000—2010) of the Tethys Research Institute. Contract Professor of Cetacean Conservation (2002—2006) at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Venice, Italy. Coordinator and Science Director of Dolphin Biology and Conservation (since 2011). Research Associate, Marine Mammal Behavioral Ecology Group, Texas A&M University (since 2011). Visiting Senior Scientist at the Institute of Marine Life Sciences, Texas A&M University (2011—2012). Faculty Member and Research Associate Scientist, Texas A&M University (since 2013). Research Associate, OceanCare (since 2014).

Giovanni has authored or co-authored over 150 scientific contributions of which more than 40 are peer reviewed, and has produced various other work intended to support marine conservation action.

Silvia Bonizzoni

Research Associate

Silvia Bonizzoni holds a degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Venice, Italy, with a thesis on bottlenose dolphin social organisation.

She got involved in dolphin research in 2000, and since 2006 she has been working as principal field investigator in various projects conducted by Dolphin Biology and Conservation, OceanCare and  Tethys Research Institute in Greece (Gulf of Corinth, Northern and Southern Evoikos Gulf, Argolikos Gulf, Amvrakikos Gulf, Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago) and Italy (in Sardinia and Apulia).

She took part in oceanographic cruises in the Adriatic Sea (in collaboration with ISMAR); participated in cetacean surveys off Los Angeles, California (in collaboration with Ocean Conservation Society); conducted a pilot project using photo-identification from shore to study bottlenose dolphins in the Galveston Ship Channel, Texas (in collaboration with the Marine Mammal Behavioral Ecology Group, Texas A&M University). Her main research tools include GLM/GAM habitat modelling and individual photo-identification.

Silvia is currently a Research Associate with OceanCare, a Research Associate with Dolphin Biology and Conservation, and a Ph.D. student in Marine Biology  at Texas A&M University (supervisor: Prof. Bernd Würsig).

Joanna Toole

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.

Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten

Research Associate

Since 1984 Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten, skipper and marine research program coordinator, has combined his passion for sailing and building tall ships with his lifelong dedication to the conservation of marine biodiversity.  Ric’s work has focused on developing marine apex predators monitoring surveys, designing and managing protected marine areas programs, and the conservation of endangered species and the sustainability of fisheries worldwide.

He specialises in coordinating international scale research and conservation programs and creating innovative technological measures to mitigate the risks to marine life linked to the fishing, defense, energy, transport and tourism industries.

After working with international environmental organisations, public administrations and academia, and becoming member of several scientific committees, he has created his own multidisciplinary approach to provide practical solutions for biodiversity conservation. Among his preferred formulas, Ric has used active education, citizen science and public volunteering as a tool for linking conservation strategies with the general public.

After founding and running the Spanish Cetacean Society, he co-founded ALNITAK Marine Research and Education center (www.alnitak.info) to generate novel environmental outreach strategies and forge a new tradition of cooperation between key international outfits. The success of the programs coordinated by Ric is largely due to having established schemes based on a positive and active involvement of all stakeholders in the search of win – win solutions. Following on this philosophy he later co-founded KAI Marine Services (www.kaiexpeditions.com) to provide full technical and scientific consultancy to policy makers aimed at making economic growth and biodiversity conservation compatible.

In 2014, Ric was elected as ASHOKA social entrepreneur fellow for his work in the Mediterranean, Africa and Latin America.

Ana Tejedor

Research Associate

Ana Tejedor is a founder partner of KAI Marine Services. Although specialised in marine management and international negotiation, as sailor and marine expedition coordinator, Ana approaches the world of policy with the perspective of those who are out at sea.

As a Senior Advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Spanish Government she has provided support for the monitoring and implementation of the main Multilateral Environmental Agreements for the protection of the marine environment in Spain since 2005. The main tasks include developing public policies for the conservation of marine biodiversity and representing the Spanish delegation at the main forums on conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment  (marine groups of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Convention on Biological Diversity,  OSPAR Convention, Barcelona Convention, Migratory Species Convention, Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization, European Commission Working Groups).

However, her comfort zone is not only in the arena of international policy negotiation and the integration of its outcome in national levels. In 2009 she created KAI Marine, a “think tank” of international interdisciplinary experts with which she has worked in projects in Europe, Africa and the Americas, in a wide range of environments, often in extreme living conditions both at sea and on land.

Ana won the European Entrepreneur Environmental Award for the development of the KAI Marine Expedition initiative and its Marine Science Programme in November 2012.

Bruno Claro

Research Associate

Bruno Claro holds a Master Degree in marine biology, with specialisation in Marine Ecology and Conservation, and a Post-graduation Degree in Advanced Geographic Information Systems, at University of Algarve.

As a Marine Ecologist and with a desire to diversify his skills, he has participated in a wide range of projects in the last 10 years. He studied the ecosystem metabolism of seagrass meadows in the south of Portugal, the spatial ecology of kelp forests in the Iberian Peninsula, was co-creator of an underwater video technique that improves surveys of fish assemblages, established a socio-economic profile for dolphin watching tourists in Portugal, and participated in several cetacean surveys in Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Bruno´s collaboration with OceanCare is mainly focused on the analysis of the impact of main environmental and anthropogenic drivers on the distribution of cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea.

Mariel Murazzi

Research Associate

Maria Elvira (Mariel) Murazzi holds a Master Degree in Marine Biology and a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Pisa. Her background has focused on natural resources sustainable management. She contributed to the collection and analysis of technical Northwest Atlantic fisheries data with NAFO (Canada) and she worked with legal aspects of fisheries international legislation at the Council of the European Union (Belgium). She has collaborated with non-profit associations based in different countries (Italy and Cape Verde), aimed at marine mammal and sea turtle conservation.

During her working experiences she has been involved in patrolling beaches, collecting samples, conducting marine surveys, raising awareness about plastic pollution throughout social networks updating, taking part in specific events and teaching activities on cetaceans and climate change topics in primary and secondary schools.

Mariel’s collaboration with OceanCare is mainly focused on the analysis of fishery activities in the Mediterranean Sea, encompassing different topics through a bibliographic research and an interview-based approach. Moreover, Mariel is involved in the implementation of a school programme on plastic pollution.