Fellows

MATIAS ALCALDE

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Currently living in: El Cerrito, California, USA

Current position: Representative before the Chile California Council

Biography: Matias Alcalde studied Civil Engineering with a specialty in Hydraulics, from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago. He lived for five years in a coastal city called Pichilemu, where he was general manager of Hotel Alaia and later Executive Director of the Punta de Lobos Foundation, whose mission was to protect the coastal area of ​​Punta de Lobos in perpetuity and extrapolating the Conservation model throughout Chile. He is a member of the Environmental Philanthropy Network of Chile; whose purpose is to facilitate the political-technical discussion aimed at achieving an Environmental Philanthropy and Donations Law for Chile. He was one of the founders of the NGO Costa Sur in the post-earthquake / tsunami that hit Chile in 2010, and is currently a board member of the GiveSurf Foundation, which establishes extra-curricular educational programs in coastal communities throughout Chile. At the moment, he lives with his family in San Francisco, California, leading a public-private organization called Chile California Council, which strengthens relationships between Chile and California, where Nature intersects with People, Science and Technology.

INES AYOSTINA

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Currently living in: Jakarta, Indonesia

Current position: Researcher, World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia

Biography: Ines Ayostina is a researcher at Wahana Riset Indonesia program at World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia. She is also part of the pioneering oceans team that is currently expanding the oceans program with the main strategy of new ocean economy, marine pollution, and sustainable coastal management, where she facilitates development of proposals, program concept, and research on the subject. As a youth born and raised in the largest archipelagic nation, she imagines a society where humans and its oceans thrive together at the nexus of environment, social well-being, and economic development. She is a sustainability interdisciplinary practitioner both by passion and profession specializing in coastal, oceans, and climate issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Institut Teknologi Bandung and will continue her graduate studies at Yale University.

JUAN BUTTAZZONI

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Currently living in: Santiago, Chile

Current position: Partner at FS Law Firm/Co-Founder and Director Fundación Rompientes

Biography: Co-founder and director of Fundación Rompientes and Partner at FS Abogados, a boutique law firm strongly committed with sustainability and innovation (B-Corp certification pending). Attorney from Universidad Católica of Chile with an MS in Environmental Management and Sustainability from Monash University, Australia whose work has recently focused on environmental management and compliance, water management counselling and coastal conservation projects. Juan has been working over the past 6 years in the private sector, 2 years in the public sector in institutions such as General Directorate of Water (Chile) and Melbourne Water (Australia). He also has been involved with urban planning and sustainability, entrepreneurship, community relations and is an avid surfer. Additionally, Juan is the Project leader of Fundacion Rompientes in the recently approved Marine and Coastal Sanctuary “Piedra del Viento” in the Central Coast of Chile in alliance with local stakeholders and the Marine Conservation Institute, which for the first time in Chile recognizes Surf breaks and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Coastal inhabitants as objectives of protection. Additionally, he has been involved in the discussion to develop a Coastal Bill Act in Chile.

AGUSTIN CAPRIATI

Hometown: Sekayu, South Sumatra Province (Western Indonesia)

Currently living in: Ambon, Maluku Province (Eastern Indonesia)

Current position: Training, learning network, and program support specialist at Coral Triangle Center (CTC)

Biography: Agustin Capriati is a marine ecologist and conservationist focusing on the coral reef and marine protected areas. She is currently working with Coral Triangle Center (CTC) as the Training, Learning Network, and Program Support Specialist. She has been working on projects related to conservation issues and coastal communities in Indonesia. Her love for the ocean and marine species inspired her to continue her master’s degree at Wageningen University. Capriati then joined a program committee at Wageningen’s Aquaculture and Marine Resources Management Department. Since then, she has conducted an ecological study focusing on community composition in the mangrove and coral reefs ecosystem. After her study, she returned back to her home country, the tropical paradise of Indonesia. Upon joining CTC, she has been able to support work related to the establishment of marine protected areas in the eastern part of Indonesia, actively deliver training and learning activities to local communities and write curriculum/modules, support field learning site teams to collect reef health monitoring data, and develop scientific/technical reports.

GRACE CHAU

Hometown: Hong Kong

Currently living in: Hong Kong

Current position: Project Manager, Hong Kong Marine Ecological Association

Biography: Grace has been serving in the field of environmental education and conservation for nearly 5 years. She started as an educator in a marine conservation theme park accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Building on this experience and the knowledge gained through her MSc degree in Environmental Management, she is now collaborating with researchers, aquaculture communities, schools, and other stakeholders to establish an NGO that aims to conserve Hong Kong’s marine environment through ecological restoration. She is committed to search for effective ways in educating and mobilizing the public to protect Hong Kong’s marine environment.

JING (JANE) CHEN

Hometown: Beijing, China

Currently living in: Beijing, China

Current position: Ocean Program Officer / GoalBlue

Biography: I was born in an inland city, but I have always loved to go to the beaches and enjoy the seaview. That's why I chose to go to Australia and studied marine science as my major, and study scuba diving. I have been to many islands in Queensland to conduct field trips, and scuba dived in many different sites. The beautiful views and fantastic marine species underwater keep me lingering. However our ocean environment is facing a critical situation now due to pollution, overexploitation and other human activities, therefore I joined an NGO in Beijing in order to use my knowledge to protect the ocean environment and ecosystem. I hope I can contribute to a more sustainable and better future.

DAVID CUTLER

Hometown: Seattle, Washington, USA

Currently living in: La Honda, California, USA & Albay, Philippines

Current position: Co-Founder & CEO, Fortuna Cools

Biography: David co-founded Fortuna Cools in 2018 to improve fishery supply chains in Southeast Asia. Working alongside a small-scale fishing community in the central Philippines, David designed a cooler that's made from agricultural waste, reduces post-harvest spoilage, and promotes ocean stewardship. Prior to Fortuna, David managed agricultural data and design projects throughout Asia. David studied politics at Middlebury College and received a Master’s in Environmental Policy from Stanford University.

GRACE HADIWIDJAJA

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Currently living in: Jakarta, Indonesia

Current position: Senior Research Specialist / The National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), Office of the Vice President of Indonesia

Biography: Gracia is a researcher and policy practitioner based in Indonesia. She has spent more than 10 years working across sector boundaries with the World Bank, ERIA, Stanford University, and the Government of Indonesia to lead and implement development initiatives. She is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and wants to use her experiences working on poverty reduction, international trade, and environmental policies to change the way people think about tradeoffs between economics and environmental protection. More than anything, her biggest passion is to be under the water and witness the grandiosity of marine life. She studied Mathematics and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, and Public Policy at KU Leuven.

TIMOTHY KLUCKOW

Hometown: n/a

Currently living in: Tanzania / Zimbabwe

Current position: Technical Director - Full Circle Aquaculture / Shamba Bahari Tanzania

Biography: I work with coastal fishers across Africa and the West Indian Ocean, building community-led aquaculture enterprises that reduce reliance and pressure on wild ecosystems. I have specialised in the low intensity and regenerative aquaculture of a particular sea cucumber known as the sandfish, a longtime resident of the IUCN red list that is threatened by decades of overfishing. The “earthworms of the ocean", sandfish are critical ecosystem engineers within the seagrass meadows they inhabit, enhancing the productivity, carbon sequestration and overall health of these threatened marine habitats. Reintroduction of these animals to areas where their populations are threatened or already locally extinct, has proven and meaningful ecosystem benefits, and the sustainable harvest of mature animals brings productive revenues into communities that were often entirely dependent on extractive fishing. I believe that the regenerative aquaculture of sandfish, when integrated into coherent marine resource management strategies, can greatly benefit the sandfish, coastal ecosystems, and the humans that depend on them both. Community-led sandfish aquaculture has the potential to become a global and massively transformative industry for thousands of vulnerable fishing communities from East Africa all the way to Samoa. My mission is to make this a reality as soon as possible, and with the greatest triple bottom line benefit.

JESSICA LABAJA

Hometown: Iligan City, Philippines

Currently living in: Puerto Princesa City, Philippines

Current position: Executive Director, Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines

Biography: Jess grew up by the coast in the north of Mindanao, the 2nd largest island in the Philippines, where she spent many weekends at the beach beguiled by and being curious about the sea. Although she finished a degree in information technology and worked in the industry thereafter, she satisfied her marine dreams by getting certified to dive and being underwater whenever she could. Not long after joining the corporate world, she decided to align her passion for the marine environment with her daily involvements. She quit her job and started volunteering with Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE) in its Whale Shark Research and Conservation Project. Quickly, she realized that there is more than meets the eye in marine conservation, and that ensuring the health of the marine environment – especially in a global marine biodiversity hotspot like the Philippines – requires ethical, inclusive, and interdisciplinary solutions. Eight years after her foray into the field of marine conservation, she is now primarily engaged in LAMAVE’s Rapid By-catch Assessment Project, whilst serving as one of the NGO’s executive directors. Jess continues to learn extensively from her work and her peers.

SIN CHING LAW JASMINE

Hometown: Hong Kong

Currently living in: Hong Kong

Current position: Project Coordinator - A Plastic Ocean Foundation

Biography: I am an experienced communication specialist in different fields, with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry and Inter-governmental Organisation. These brought me insight for words and lives. The background of journalists fuel me with ideas that drive me to explore social and international affairs.

"I Voyage, I live."

Voyaging makes a course in my works. I absorb the nutrients from different cultures and narrow the media content to fit its own target. Never afraid of challenging and experiencing new things. They will make you great. That's the reason I went for a Master of Arts - MA focused in Philosophy from The Chinese University of Hong Kong after I finished my work in the United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh, to explore a new room for inspiration. I am moving on to become a better media production and communication specialist with a new start as an illustrator ,an UX/UI designer and a business developer with a community mindset.

JULIA LEUNG

Hometown: Hong Kong SAR, China

Currently living in: Hong Kong SAR, China

Current position: Marine Science Programme Coordinator, Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Biography: I am Julia Leung from Hong Kong. I studied Ocean Science (BSC) at the University of Plymouth (UK) and Biodiversity and Tropical Ecosystem at University of Reunion Island (France). After having worked in a school and a NGO that focuses on raising awareness on marine plastic pollution, I have recently joined the Hong Kong Maritime Museum as Marine Science Programme Coordinator. It is a very exciting position for me where I will participate in developing engaging education programmes and exhibition content for school children and the public. During this course, I hope to become more resourceful, learn how to catalyse collaboration and equip myself to be a better public educator on marine conservation.

YONGLONG LIU

Hometown: Ningxia Province, China

Currently living in: Shanghai, China

Current position: Founder & Director, Shanghai Rendu Ocean NPO Development Center

Biography: As a law student who graduated from Fudan University, Yonglong Liu spent 11 years in state-owned enterprises as an investment manager. Since June 2000, Mr. Liu has started engaging in public affairs. As a volunteer, he has launched GRASSROOTS COMMUNITY in Shanghai in 2000 and Rendu Ocean in 2007, acting as the legal representative of the two organizations. He became a full time NPO staff member in November 2008, as secretary-general of GRASSROOTS COMMUNITY. In 2013, he became a full time staff member of Rendu Ocean. Yonglong Liu is the founder and director of Shanghai Rendu Ocean NPO Development Center, the initiator of the China Ocean Philanthropy Forum & the China Ocean NPO Capacity Development Network, and the ICC coordinator of China. As an expert on the marine debris and zero waste issue, he worked as a supervisor of China Zero Waste Alliance & a member of the council of Plastic Free China.

YIMING LUO

Hometown: Jingzhou, Hubei, China

Currently living in: Hainan, China

Current position: Program Manager, China Blue Sustainability Institute

Biography: I had my bachelor’s from Shanghai Ocean University and Masters from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. I spent 3 years on board ships doing research on fish eggs and larvae trying to help identify the spawning ground, studied fisheries management to know how to deal with fishers through hanging out with small-scale fishers. Besides, as a beer lover, I rode a bicycle along the east and west coast of Straya, and I reckon I did drink all different Aussie beers you could find on both sides of this country.

IVAN MARTINEZ-TOVAR

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Currently living in: Portland, Oregon, USA

Current position: Fisheries Scientist, Ocean Outcomes

Biography: I am a fisheries biologist with more than 10 years of experience working directly with stakeholders including fishers, academics, seafood buyers and managers to design and implement sustainable fisheries projects. For several years I worked with local fishing communities and cooperatives in the Gulf of California, Mexico, empowering them to increase the sustainability of their fisheries and livelihoods. Prior to joining Ocean Outcomes in 2015, I lived in Washington DC, where I worked as an independent fishery management consultant for organizations such as WWF, developing several reports and fishery assessments on rights based management and fish conservation in Latin America­ and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, working on assessments for U.S. and Mexican fisheries. I love the ocean, the seafood and the balance that can be found working together.

DYLAN MCDOWELL

Hometown: Yachats, Oregon, USA

Currently living in: Salem, Oregon, USA

Current position: Deputy Director, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators

Biography: Dylan McDowell works at the intersection of science and policy. Originally trained as a science communicator, he is now Deputy Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, where he supports state lawmakers across the country on a range of conservation and environmental policies. Dylan lives in Salem, Oregon, where he serves as Chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and can often be found hiking, running, or doing any activity that involves water.

RETNO K NINGRUM

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Currently living in: Bogor, Indonesia

Current position: Marine Species Conservation Assistant - World Wildlife Fund Indonesia

Biography: Retno is a Marine Species Conservation Assistant with a focus on protecting Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) marine species. She holds a B.Sc. Marine Science from Padjadjaran University since 2016. After she graduated, her interest in ETP Marine species led her to join a bycatch mitigation of mobula ray project with MantaWatch in Banyuwangi for 1 year. In 2018, she joined the Marine Species team of WWF Indonesia and supports the dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project. At the same time, she was also in charge of assisting the project leader in implementing conservation efforts for marine mammals and sea turtles in Indonesia. Her passion in protecting ETP Marine species and enthusiasm to become the future ocean leader in Indonesia led her to become an awardee of the 2018 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Sea and Earth Advocates (SEA) Camp in Bohol, Philippines.

GABRIELA OCHOA

Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Currently living in: Roatan, Honduras

Current position: Program Manager at the Roatan Marine Park

Biography: Gabriela is currently a Program Manager for the Roatan Marine Park (RMP). She oversees the organization’s conservation and research programs. Prior to her position at the RMP, she was the Country Coordinator for Honduras with MarAlliance, where she worked specifically with sharks and rays on the Mesoamerican reef system. Through this work she completed the first marine megafauna baseline monitoring in the country. Prior to working with MarAlliance, Gabriela worked for the GEF Small Grant Programme working on different developmental projects with strong conservation emphasis. There she had the opportunity to work alongside artisanal fishers on the pacific coast of Honduras to standardize sea turtle monitoring methods for Olive Ridleys. Gabriela graduated from Texas A&M university with a degree in Marine Biology and a Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter in England. She has also been a fellow for the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL) program and the Conservation Leadership Program (CLP).

LYDIA PANG

Hometown: Hong Kong

Currently living in: Hong Kong

Current position: Project Manager, Oceans Conservation WWF-Hong Kong

Biography: Lydia is committed to nature conservation and environmental education. She has been fortunate enough to have opportunities for devoting over 10 years time in WWF-Hong Kong on conservation and education initiatives across a broad discipline of issues, such as wetland, oceans and climate change. Since 2018, Lydia has taken up a leading role to localise a conservation tool in Hong Kong to encourage sustainable use of marine resources. At one of the project sites, she aims to actualise community-based management to conserve the marine ecosystem, which is a crucial spawning and nursery site for Tachypleus tridentatus (Tri-spine Horseshoe Crab) in Hong Kong.

VATOSOA RAKOTONDRAZAFY

Hometown: Madagascar

Currently living in: Madagascar

Current position: National Coordinator - MIHARI Network

Biography: Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy has a particular interest in ocean governance, indigenous communities and small-scale fishers rights defense. In 2014, she was awarded the United Nations-Nippon Foundation fellowship program with the UN-DOALOS (Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea) in New York. She did her research at the University of British Columbia - Vancouver that focused on strategies to be implemented to ensure the sustainable management of the coastal and marine resources of Madagascar. Convinced that small-scale fishers are the future of the fisheries in Madagascar, she presented an implementation of a tool that will enable them to manage the country’s resources, with the support of the government and the ONGs that work with them. She currently coordinates Madagascar’s LMMAs (Locally Managed Marine Areas) Network called: MIHARI Network. This network enables LMMA communities to exchange experiences, enhances capacity building in terms of management, represents their voices and evaluates the options to ensure their financial security. From 2012 to 2014, she worked with the Ministry of environment and Forests in her country on a climate change project. She holds a Masters degree in Geography.

ENDANG RETNOWATI

Hometown: Tegal, Central Java, Indonesia

Currently living in: Jakarta, Indonesia

Current position: Ocean Program Public Engagements and Communication Associate

Biography: Endang Retnowati was born in Tegal, a small city on the eastern coast of Java Island. She spent her childhood in her hometown and graduated from Diponegoro University, majoring in Strategic Communication Science. She loves to swim and adventure in nature. It shaped her passion for scuba diving and led her to be the Tourism Ambassador for Central Java province and selected as the Miss Scuba Indonesia. She continued her passion on ocean issues particularly on marine and coastal issues by joining a research study team with The Indonesia Coral Reefs Foundation or Yayasan TERANGI and worked as a research associate in the study of coastal community vulnerability to climate change. She also helped in fundraising and proposal development. Previously, she had worked in various NGOs in Semarang and Jakarta on the education and public awareness on marine conservation and management, climate change, ecotourism, and local community resilience. Currently, she is working in EcoNusa as the Ocean Program Public Engagements and Communications Associate.

FRIDA CISNEROS SOBERANIS

Hometown: Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Currently living in: Mexico City, Mexico

Current position: Technician at Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos

Biography: I'm Frida Cisneros. I'm from Zihuatanejo, a little town on the Mexican Pacific coast. I graduated with an M.S in Marine Ecology, studying small-scale fisheries in the northwestern of Mexico. I am interested in developing creative and pragmatic solutions to promote social justice and the resiliency of coastal communities.

SONGQIAO YAO

Hometown: Shandong, China

Currently living in: Beijing China

Current position: Founder & Chief Explorer, WildBound

Biography: Songqiao Yao is the founder of WildBound (www.wildbound.earth), an innovative sustainability and education venture that empowers sustainability leadership through expeditions, advocacy and creative expressions. Prior to founding Wildbound, Songqiao has gained her interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experience as a researcher, activist and entrepreneur working on global issues such as food, water and climate change. She has worked on China-EU, China-US projects on climate change and water protection, and has consulted for agriculture and private sector development in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Songqiao received her Mphil in Geography from Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and her MBA from Oxford as the first Skoll Scholar from China. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College.

LUN YIN

Hometown: Kunming

Currently living in: Kunming

Current position: Center for Ecological Civilization, School of Geography and Ecotourism, Southwest Forestry University; Director, Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge

Biography: Dr. Lun Yin is Ethno-Ecologist of Bai ethnic minority background, born in 1974 in Kunming, Yunnan Province. Dr. Lun Yin received his M.A. in Social Anthropology Studies at the Ecole Des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociale in Paris, and PhD in Minzu University of China in Beijing. He is Professor of the Southwest Forestry University in China, Branch Director of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences – Ecology and Nature Conservation. He is also the Director of Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge (CBIK). His major field of interests is the Indigenous Knowledge among the mountain ethnic groups in Yunnan which links with watershed management, environment and biodiversity, his work is dedicated to the adaptation and resilience of climate change in support of sustainable livelihoods of the mountain indigenous peoples in Yunnan province and Eastern Himalaya Mountain, China. He undertakes action and scientific research together with indigenous people’s communities which focus on climate change, and in partnership with other governmental, non-governmental and research agencies, and is committed to serving as a bridge between local communities and policy makers in order to improve decision-making that affects climate change adaption and biodiversity conservation. His work stresses the importance of basing conservation and development interventions on the indigenous knowledge and cultural assets of mountain indigenous peoples.

XINYI ZHAO

Hometown: Hunan Province, P.R. China

Currently living in: Nanning, Guangxi, P.R. China

Current position: Project manager, Guangxi Biodiversity Research and Conservation Association

Biography: I'm Xinyi, working as a project manager at Guangxi Biodiversity Research and Conservation Association, mainly responsible for combating marine wildlife illegal trade project, illegal fishing tools research project, tidal flats biodiversity research project, fishery village development project and generalizing the methodology o f citizen science project. I've studied plant sciences at the University of Amsterdam and did ecology research on an invasive plant at UC Davis. The topics that I am now curious about are the human-nature relationship, threats to marine wildlife, talent cultivation for biodiversity conservation.