Our team really is the heart and soul of our organisation and if it was not for their dedication and passion, we really would not be able to achieve anything! Therefore, we do our best to support our team, through good leadership and management but also through training opportunities.
Kelly Martin is the CEO of the Conservation Education Society, which was founded in March 2019. Kelly’s main focus and passion is education that teaches respect and appreciation for the natural world. Previous to this, Kelly managed a Primate Conservation Rehabilitation Centre, Colobus Conservation in Kenya. Kelly studied Zoology at Liverpool John Moore’s University, obtaining a BSc with honours in 2010. Kelly later obtained a MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University in 2015. Kelly has travelled and worked in several African countries and Indonesia on a variety of conservation projects, relocating to Diani, Kenya in 2015.
Fatma Manyenze joined Conservation Education Society in June 2019. Previously, Fatma worked as an intern for the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. She obtained a BSc at the University of Nairobi in 2013 and her MSc at Pwani University in Fisheries in 2019. In July of 2019, Fatma attended the 11th WIOMSA symposium in Mauritius. Fatma’s MSc thesis contributed to a regional project Estuarize-WIO entitled “Characterization of the fisheries resources of the Tana Delta ecosystem, north Coast of Kenya”. Her general interest is in the biodiversity that lies within the coastal and marine ecosystems.
Jenni Choma has been at the Marine Education Centre since it’s opening. Prior to this she worked in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, and the Maldives. Jenni studied Biology at Newcastle University in the UK obtaining a BSc with honours in 2010. She started diving in 2012 and became a Divemaster by 2013. Jenni’s aim is to use both marine education and research to bring about conservation of the marine environment
Pauline Mukila joined the marine team in November 2019. She studied Applied Biology receiving her diploma from Kenya National Examination Council in 2015. She studied ecological monitoring and environmental assessment, conservation education and community conservation. Pauline’s interest lies in community conservation programmes and developing educational material to aid in marine conservation.
Dempsey Mai joined the marine team on behalf of Local Ocean Conservation as the Manager for Diani Turtle Watch in November 2019. Previous to this he worked as a research assistant at Colobus Conservation on primate behavior and human-wildlife interactions. He obtained his BSc at Egerton University in 2012 graduating with a degree in Biological Sciences. Dempsey’s keenness to protect, preserve and conserve the sea turtle species that are on the verge of extinction is what prompted him to take up his role as the Diani Turtle Watch Manager
Nevil Agesa joined Local Ocean Conservation as the Project Coordinator for Diani Turtle Watch in December 2018. Prior to this he volunteered at Kitale Nature Conservancy and Colobus Conservation. He obtained a Diploma in Wildlife Management with Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute in 2016. Nevil oversees the turtle nest relocation sites in Diani and also works with the local communities. Nevil loves nature and enjoys monitoring species and their habitats, as well as educating communities on wildlife.
Joana Hancock was the Sea Turtle Biologist for the Olive Ridley Project in Kenya from November 2018. Since November 2019 Joana is the Project Manager and will be focusing on furthering sea turtle research in Kenya. Joana started working as a sea turtle biologist in 2002 and has since been based in Greece, Costa Rica, and Panamá on projects with leatherback, green, and hawksbill turtles. She completed her MSc thesis in Cape Verde in 2011 and most recently her PhD in São Tomé and the Príncipe Islands. Joana is also a member of Central Africa’s sea turtle conservation network (RASTOMA), collaborating with projects throughout Africa.
Leah Mainye joined the marine team in December 2019. Prior to this, she worked as an intern at several conservation organisations; namely, A Rocha Kenya and the REEFolution Foundation. She obtained her BSc in Marine Biology from the University of San Carlos, Philippines, where her enthusiasm for marine conservation led her to focus on by-catch species in crab fisheries as part of her undergraduate thesis project, which she successfully completed in 2018. As a sea turtle monitoring assistant, she dives almost daily to monitor the sea turtle population via a photographic identification project along Diani’s coastline.
Our team meets fortnightly to receive in-house training. Each team member takes it in turn to present a topic they feel passionate about; this provides a great opportunity to learn something new but also practice our presentation skills. Our team also participate in national training in the marine field, including workshops and meetings, which keeps us up to date with what is happening in Kenya. We support our staff through external training, this could either be through online resources which our staff dedicate time to each month, or training from external trainers.
In 2020, we will also be financing training in advanced diving for members of our diving team!