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 odontecete 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 odontecete 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 countries 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 countries 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

 

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

Josh Rambaniharison 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. Joshs' 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

Josh Rambaniharison

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. Joshs' 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

Mary Jane Lamoste Project Leader: Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project Originally from the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines, MJ graduated with a Bsc major in Marine Biology at the Visayan 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

Project Leader: Apo Island Turtles Research and Conservation Project

Originally from the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines, MJ graduated with a Bsc major in Marine Biology at the Visayan 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

 

 

Emer McCoy Project Leader: Donsol Whale Sharks A Zoology graduate from London, Emer started her career working on humpback whales in the Dominican Republic. She currently leads LAMAVE Donsol whale shark project and is focusing on buidling the countries national database. BSc. Zoology, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Emer McCoy

Project Leader: Donsol Whale Sharks

A Zoology graduate from London, Emer started her career working on humpback whales in the Dominican Republic. She currently leads LAMAVE Donsol whale shark project and is focusing on buidling the countries national database.

BSc. Zoology, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Migen Krisette D. Catog Project Leader: Donsol Whale Sharks Project Migen is Filipina diver and marine conservationist from General Santos City. Migen studied Electronics Engeneering. Her awareness of marine life grew when she started to free-dive. Now Migen works with LAMAVE as a project leader of Donsol Whale Sharks Project and has a huge desire to contribute a positive impact to ocean conservation. BSc Electronics Engineering Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City Philippines

Migen Krisette D. Catog

Project Leader: Donsol Whale Sharks Project

Migen is Filipina diver and marine conservationist from General Santos City. Migen studied Electronics Engeneering. Her awareness of marine life grew when she started to free-dive. Now Migen works with LAMAVE as a project leader of Donsol Whale Sharks Project and has a huge desire to contribute a positive impact to ocean conservation.

BSc Electronics Engineering Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City Philippines

Summer Grundy Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project Summer is a passionate marine biologist from Gosport, UK. She holds a masters degree of Marine Biology (Bangor University, UK). She is particulary interested in whale sharks and now she works with LAMAVE as a Project Leader of Cebu Whale Shark and Turtle Project. MSc. Marine Biology Bangor University, UK BSc. Marine Vertebrate Zoology Bangor University, UK

Summer Grundy

Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project

Summer is a passionate marine biologist from Gosport, UK. She holds a masters degree of Marine Biology (Bangor University, UK). She is particulary interested in whale sharks and now she works with LAMAVE as a Project Leader of Cebu Whale Shark and Turtle Project.

MSc. Marine Biology Bangor University, UK

BSc. Marine Vertebrate Zoology Bangor University, UK

Kathryn Burdett Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project Kathryn is a marine biologist from Wirral, UK. She is interested in the whale sharks and she works with LAMAVE as Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project Leader. MSc Marine Biology, Bangor University, UK BSc Marine Biology, Bangor University, UK

Kathryn Burdett

Project Leader: Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project

Kathryn is a marine biologist from Wirral, UK. She is interested in the whale sharks and she works with LAMAVE as Cebu Whale Sharks and Turtles Project Leader.

MSc Marine Biology, Bangor University, UK

BSc Marine Biology, Bangor University, UK

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.

Diana Scalfati Communications Diana specialized in cinematography and camera operating in film at University but she realized after graduating that her true drive was towards documenting the interaction between people, nature and conservation. Her aim is to use the medium of film and photography to tell human and environmental stories from all over the world. Diana works closely with Sally on all LAMAVEs media output. BA Media Arts (Hons) – Royal Holloway University of London

Diana Scalfati

Communications

Diana specialized in cinematography and camera operating in film at University but she realized after graduating that her true drive was towards documenting the interaction between people, nature and conservation. Her aim is to use the medium of film and photography to tell human and environmental stories from all over the world. Diana works closely with Sally on all LAMAVEs media output.

BA Media Arts (Hons) – Royal Holloway University of London

Rimante Balsiunaite Communications Originally from Lithuania, Rimante spent her recent years studying and working with international marketing communications in Europe, Asia, and Australia where she got interested in marine life while taking care of little blue penguins. Now she works with LAMAVEs media team. Her aim is to increase awareness of ocean conservation through communication. BC Creative Industries – Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

Rimante Balsiunaite

Communications

Originally from Lithuania, Rimante spent her recent years studying and working with international marketing communications in Europe, Asia, and Australia where she got interested in marine life while taking care of little blue penguins. Now she works with LAMAVEs media team. Her aim is to increase awareness of ocean conservation through communication.

BC Creative Industries – Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

 

Collaborators