LAMAVE would be nothing without its dedicated and passionate team.  United by their drive for conservation many of our team are experts in their field, with a focus on science and communication. Interested in joining the team? Click here for open vacancies.

 
  Dr Alessandro Ponzo    Executive Director   Dr. Ponzo began his career as an ethologist, completing his thesis on odontocete cognition. In 2002, he studied orca whales for a non-profit conservation organization in Alaska. In 2004, he was part of the first international expedition to search for the critically endangered Western Pacific Gray Whale along the Russian coast of the Bering Sea. In 2010, Dr. Ponzo founded the Large Marine Vertebrates Project in the Philippines, where he has been working tirelessly to conserve marine vertebrates in the Bohol Sea and throughout the country.   DVM, University of Perugia, Italy

Dr Alessandro Ponzo

Executive Director

Dr. Ponzo began his career as an ethologist, completing his thesis on odontocete cognition. In 2002, he studied orca whales for a non-profit conservation organization in Alaska. In 2004, he was part of the first international expedition to search for the critically endangered Western Pacific Gray Whale along the Russian coast of the Bering Sea. In 2010, Dr. Ponzo founded the Large Marine Vertebrates Project in the Philippines, where he has been working tirelessly to conserve marine vertebrates in the Bohol Sea and throughout the country.

DVM, University of Perugia, Italy

  Gonzalo Araujo    Executive Director   Originally from Argentina, Gonzo pursued his studies in the UK, initially with a lab-based degree in biotechnology (BSc Hons), and then a spreadsheet-based MSc. Today he oversees LAMAVEs strategy on the conservation of whale sharks and turtles. He and the team are using a combination of minimally-invasive techniques (e.g. photo-ID, focal follows) and new technologies (e.g. 3D tags) to understand habitat use and distribution of these endangered species. He works closely with project leaders to achieve conservation outputs.   MSc. Management Science & Operational Research, University of Warwick, UK    BSc. Biotechnology (Hons.), University of Nottingham, UK

Gonzalo Araujo

Executive Director

Originally from Argentina, Gonzo pursued his studies in the UK, initially with a lab-based degree in biotechnology (BSc Hons), and then a spreadsheet-based MSc. Today he oversees LAMAVEs strategy on the conservation of whale sharks and turtles. He and the team are using a combination of minimally-invasive techniques (e.g. photo-ID, focal follows) and new technologies (e.g. 3D tags) to understand habitat use and distribution of these endangered species. He works closely with project leaders to achieve conservation outputs.

MSc. Management Science & Operational Research, University of Warwick, UK

BSc. Biotechnology (Hons.), University of Nottingham, UK

  Jessica Labaja    Executive Director   Jess grew up in Iligan, Mindanao, before embarking on a degree and career in IT in Manila. Realising her passion for marine conservation, she quit her job and volunteered with LAMAVE in 2012. She never looked back and today she is the country's leading female whale shark researcher.  Jess plays a vital role in LAMAVEs in-country strategy.   BSc. Information and Communication Technology Management – De La Salle University Manila, Philippines

Jessica Labaja

Executive Director

Jess grew up in Iligan, Mindanao, before embarking on a degree and career in IT in Manila. Realising her passion for marine conservation, she quit her job and volunteered with LAMAVE in 2012. She never looked back and today she is the country's leading female whale shark researcher.

Jess plays a vital role in LAMAVEs in-country strategy.

BSc. Information and Communication Technology Management – De La Salle University Manila, Philippines

  Sally Snow    Executive Director   Both a Zoologist and a Filmmaker, Sally is incredibly passionate about science communication. She has worked with the BBC, National Geographic, PTS, S4C and was most recently a grantee of the Conservation Media Group.  Working with the communications team, she oversees LAMAVEs media output from print, online to film.   BSc. Zoology and Psychology, University of Bristol, UK

Sally Snow

Executive Director

Both a Zoologist and a Filmmaker, Sally is incredibly passionate about science communication. She has worked with the BBC, National Geographic, PTS, S4C and was most recently a grantee of the Conservation Media Group.

Working with the communications team, she oversees LAMAVEs media output from print, online to film.

BSc. Zoology and Psychology, University of Bristol, UK

  Ariana Agustines    Project Leader: Palawan & Souther Leyte Whale Sharks Project   Ariana was born in the Philippines where she learned to dive at the age of 13, which sparked her fascination for the colourful and diverse marine critters. She pursued a biology-based degree for her undergraduate course and later worked at Mote Marine Laboratories' Ecotoxicology and then Marine Microbiology lab. Her desire to help marine conservation efforts at home led her to join LAMAVE where she is currently the Project Leader for the Southern Leyte and Palawan Whale Shark Project.   MSc. Marine Biotechnology, Heriot Watt University, Scotland    BSc. Biology, Lafayette College, USA

Ariana Agustines

Project Leader: Palawan & Souther Leyte Whale Sharks Project

Ariana was born in the Philippines where she learned to dive at the age of 13, which sparked her fascination for the colourful and diverse marine critters. She pursued a biology-based degree for her undergraduate course and later worked at Mote Marine Laboratories' Ecotoxicology and then Marine Microbiology lab. Her desire to help marine conservation efforts at home led her to join LAMAVE where she is currently the Project Leader for the Southern Leyte and Palawan Whale Shark Project.

MSc. Marine Biotechnology, Heriot Watt University, Scotland

BSc. Biology, Lafayette College, USA

  Mary Jane Lamoste    Researcher   Originally from the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines, MJ graduated with a BSc major in Marine Biology at the Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte. She joined LAMAVE in 2015, initially on the Mobulidae fishery project in Bohol as a Research Assistant. She is incredibly passionate about the marine environment and now she is a Project Leader for the Apo Island Turtle Project.   BSc. Marine Biology – Visayan State University, Baybay City, Philippines

Mary Jane Lamoste

Researcher

Originally from the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines, MJ graduated with a BSc major in Marine Biology at the Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte. She joined LAMAVE in 2015, initially on the Mobulidae fishery project in Bohol as a Research Assistant. She is incredibly passionate about the marine environment and now she is a Project Leader for the Apo Island Turtle Project.

BSc. Marine Biology – Visayan State University, Baybay City, Philippines

  Sue Andrey Ong    Project Leader: Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project   Sue is Filipina marine conservationist. She came from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao. Sue was studying Biology at Xavier University located in her hometown. She is passionate about large marine mammals and she just joined LAMAVE as a Project Leader of Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project.   BSc. Biology – Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Sue Andrey Ong

Project Leader: Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project

Sue is Filipina marine conservationist. She came from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao. Sue was studying Biology at Xavier University located in her hometown. She is passionate about large marine mammals and she just joined LAMAVE as a Project Leader of Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project.

BSc. Biology – Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

  Joshua Rambahiniarison    Project Leader: Ray Fisheries   Josh grew up in the French Alps, though his roots are in Madagascar. A biology graduate with a passion for diving, Josh went on to study a masters in Sustainable Development, which included a year at the University of Reunion Island studying Biodiversity and Tropical Ecosystems. Josh's' main interest is elasmobranchs; he leads LAMAVE research on Mobulidae in the Bohol Sea.   MSc. in Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, University of Perpignan, France    BSc. Biology of Organisms and Populations, University of Lyon, France

Joshua Rambahiniarison

Project Leader: Ray Fisheries

Josh grew up in the French Alps, though his roots are in Madagascar. A biology graduate with a passion for diving, Josh went on to study a masters in Sustainable Development, which included a year at the University of Reunion Island studying Biodiversity and Tropical Ecosystems. Josh's' main interest is elasmobranchs; he leads LAMAVE research on Mobulidae in the Bohol Sea.

MSc. in Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, University of Perpignan, France

BSc. Biology of Organisms and Populations, University of Lyon, France

  Christine “Tin” Legaspi    Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project   Christine grew up in the busy and polluted Metro Manila, where she earned a degree in environmental science and pursued a career in environmental consultancy. Her passion for marine research and conservation made her leave the corporate city life. She is now based by the sea, leading LAMAVE’s Cebu whale shark research project.   BSc. Environmental Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

Christine “Tin” Legaspi

Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project

Christine grew up in the busy and polluted Metro Manila, where she earned a degree in environmental science and pursued a career in environmental consultancy. Her passion for marine research and conservation made her leave the corporate city life. She is now based by the sea, leading LAMAVE’s Cebu whale shark research project.

BSc. Environmental Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

  Ryan Murray    Project Leader: BRUVS   Originally from Ireland, Ryan has more recently acquired the nickname "Honorary Ranger" for his work studying sharks and rays with the rangers of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Ryan leads LAMAVEs work in both Tubbataha Reef Natural Park and Apo Reef National Park.   BSc. Zoology, National University of Ireland, Galway

Ryan Murray

Project Leader: BRUVS

Originally from Ireland, Ryan has more recently acquired the nickname "Honorary Ranger" for his work studying sharks and rays with the rangers of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. Ryan leads LAMAVEs work in both Tubbataha Reef Natural Park and Apo Reef National Park.

BSc. Zoology, National University of Ireland, Galway

  Jia Dollano    Project Leader: Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project   Jia Dollano graduated with a bachelors degree in Biology at Ateneo de Naga University. She has strong will and drive to contribute good science for her country to safeguard its rich biodiversity. She also finds interest working with community, children, and schools to raise more awareness about the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.   BSc. Biology, Ateneo de Naga University

Jia Dollano

Project Leader: Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project

Jia Dollano graduated with a bachelors degree in Biology at Ateneo de Naga University. She has strong will and drive to contribute good science for her country to safeguard its rich biodiversity. She also finds interest working with community, children, and schools to raise more awareness about the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.

BSc. Biology, Ateneo de Naga University

  Steve De Neef    Conservation and Documentary Photographer   Steve is an award-winning conservation and documentary photographer with a keen interest in anything related to the oceans and seas. His images have been published worldwide (Asian Diver, Asian Geographic Guide to Great Photography, FOCUS Italy, DUIKEN, National Geographic Traveller, Sportdiver...) he is currently the assistant of renowned National Geographic Photographer Brian Skerry. Through photography and video, Steve tries to create more awareness about environmental issues while also showing the beauty of our planet. He has been working with LAMAVE since 2012.

Steve De Neef

Conservation and Documentary Photographer

Steve is an award-winning conservation and documentary photographer with a keen interest in anything related to the oceans and seas. His images have been published worldwide (Asian Diver, Asian Geographic Guide to Great Photography, FOCUS Italy, DUIKEN, National Geographic Traveller, Sportdiver...) he is currently the assistant of renowned National Geographic Photographer Brian Skerry. Through photography and video, Steve tries to create more awareness about environmental issues while also showing the beauty of our planet. He has been working with LAMAVE since 2012.

  Jarra Chapman    Research Assistant Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project   Growing up in waters of east-coast Australia, Jarra has always held a great passion for exploring and conserving the marine environment. Initially travelling to the Philippines to complete her Divemasters, she is now working for LAMAVE on Apo Island, assisting in turtle conservation research.   BSc. Marine and Wildlife Biology, Griffith University, Australia

Jarra Chapman

Research Assistant Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project

Growing up in waters of east-coast Australia, Jarra has always held a great passion for exploring and conserving the marine environment. Initially travelling to the Philippines to complete her Divemasters, she is now working for LAMAVE on Apo Island, assisting in turtle conservation research.

BSc. Marine and Wildlife Biology, Griffith University, Australia

  Jose Daniel “Jordan” Santos    Research Assistant Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project   Jordan started freediving in 2013. This sparked his passion for the ocean, its creatures and its conservation. He wants to increase the awareness about the importance of marine conservation in the hopes of preserving its wonders for the future generations. He is currently working with LAMAVE on its Apo Island turtle research.   BSc Life Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

Jose Daniel “Jordan” Santos

Research Assistant Apo Island Turtle Research and Conservation Project

Jordan started freediving in 2013. This sparked his passion for the ocean, its creatures and its conservation. He wants to increase the awareness about the importance of marine conservation in the hopes of preserving its wonders for the future generations. He is currently working with LAMAVE on its Apo Island turtle research.

BSc Life Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

 

Collaborators