The GWSP is comprised of a small group of scientists and volunteers whose common interests are the marine environment, diving and conservation.
All have been inspired
by Whale Sharks.
Jonathan R. Green is a sciences graduate of the University of North London. He has worked for nearly three decades in the Galapagos Islands and has several thousand dives in the surrounding waters. An early fascination with whale sharks let to the founding of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project with a view to better understanding the part Galapagos plays in their life cycle.
He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London and when not in the Galapagos works on expedition vessels in the Polar Regions. He also teaches photography workshops in destinations around the world and has won several international awards.
Dr. Alex Hearn is one of the lead scientists on the Galapagos Whale Shark Project. He is a Researcher and Professor of Biology at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and a founding member of the MigraMar network of scientists studying the movement patterns of threatened migratory marine species in the Eastern Pacific.
He has over 15 years of experience working in research, conservation and fisheries management in the Galapagos Islands, and also at neighboring Cocos, Malpelo and Revillagigedo Islands. Currently he is also a Board Member of the Fundacion Megafauna Marina del Ecuador, and Turtle Island Restoration Network in California, USA. His main research interest is connectivity of migratory sharks in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
Dr. Simon Pierce founded MMF’s flagship research program on whale sharks, and is now studying these gentle giants in seven countries. His work on the population ecology and management of this iconic species has made him the world’s top whale shark conservation biologist. In 2016, Simon led a research team whose efforts resulted in whale sharks being recognized as globally endangered for the first time on the IUCN Red List. He is also a scientific advisor to the online global whale shark database (www.whaleshark.org), regional co-chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, and supervising multiple PhD students working on threatened marine species.
Chris got his PhD from the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2013 for his study on whale sharks in Mozambique. Since then, he has been working with the Marine Megafauna Foundation on various projects around the world, with whale shark research still as the main focus. His major projects at the moment are on the movement & feeding ecology of large marine animals, and he also likes biochemistry and oceanography. Apart from whale sharks, some of his other research is on billfish, sea turtles, and mobula and manta rays. Chris also shoots & edits underwater videos from his research trips. For non-science times, he likes the hammock & ukulele and hiking around remote mountains.
Jenny Waack is a native of Germany. She studied business administration, graduated as Certified International Investment Analyst and worked many years in Investment & Retail Banking in Germany. Her passion has always been traveling and discovering the world. On her travels she fell in love with the underwater world of Galapagos, particularly Wolf and Darwin Islands. She is supporting the Galapagos Whale Shark Project in media and communication work as well as in participating in field research. When not helping with the project she is working on an expedition ship in remote polar regions and continues to work in the financial sector in Germany. She speaks fluent German and English and has a working knowledge of Spanish. She resides in Ecuador, where she completed her dive master qualification. She enjoys diving, hiking, yoga, skiing and any kind of outdoor activities.
Sofia M. Green Iturralde grew up between the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador. She is a graduate in Conservation Biology and Equine Sciences and is volunteering for a year in the Galapagos Islands before continuing post grad studies in Marine Biology. A keen diver this is her first field trip with the Galapagos Whale Shark Project team. She is currently working with Marine Invasive Species at the Charles Darwin Research Station. She loves to travel, is passionate about nature and in particular the Oceans and their future.
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