|In one sentence, describe why you're a #ConservationOptimist:||
Through storytelling of positive, inspiring, uplifting conservation initiatives we want to inspire and engage people into action.
I have a PhD in tropical ecology and am a dedicated ecologist and conservationist with over 15 years of field experience in both terrestrial and marine tropical ecosystems, mainly in developing countries and often in remote island settings. As an ecologist I like to work on biodiversity conservation through an integrated ecosystem-based approach by empowering those who depend on natural resources and ecosystem services for their daily livelihoods. Direct involvement of local communities is the only path to sustainable change, so they act as stewards in the long-term. I have been fortunate to call the Biospheres Principe (Sao Tome e Principe, Gulf of Guinee) and Socotra (Yemeni Archipelago) as well as the island of Madagascar home and have contributed to local community conservation efforts there. My experiences include biodiversity monitoring of cetaceans, sea turtles, sea birds as well as coral reefs assessments, protected area management, organising environmental awareness raising events, while also teaching and supervising international and local students. I have been involved in strengthening civil society networks to advocate for more inclusive environmental governance and recognition of customary community land and resource use rights while also promoting sustainable local livelihoods. I have experience in leading expeditions, liaising and communicating with a wide variety of stakeholders to get key messages across. As a certified PADI Dive Master with over 250 logged dives, I am passionate about the underwater world, a keen photographer and very much an outdoor nature-loving person. More recently I have taken an interest in storytelling and developing my filming and editing skills while exploring the value of using social media channels to change the conversation on conservation. I hope to create compelling stories in which communities are at the heart of conservation solutions while delivering key positive conservation messages and engage people as part of a wider movement.
Freelancing in conservation