Scientific, Technical, and Conservation Advisory Board
|Dr. Deborah Brosnan
Tui De Roy
Dr. Birute Galdikas
Randall H. Hayes
Dr. Herbert Henrich
Dr. Jennifer Hopper
Captain Jet Johnson
|Dr. Sidney Holt
Dr. Louise Leakey
Dr. Joe MacInnis
Dr. Godfrey Merlen
Dr. Deborah Brosnan
Founder and President of SEI, Dr. Brosnan is passionate about science and the oceans. She is a scientist on the front lines, as a strong advocate for the use of science in ecological decisions, and as a catalyst for scientists to participate in the global forum. She founded SEI as the conduit for scientists to outreach to all stakeholders and to help find science-based solutions to ecological problems. She believes strongly that scientists must fulfill a new social contract , and assume a greater leadership role in conservation and natural resource issues.
Born in Ireland, she grew up on the shores of the wild Atlantic coast where the tidepools and kelp forests were her playground and where she learned to dive. Always a trailblazer, as a young undergraduate she became the first woman ever to qualify as a scuba diver at the University.
She graduated with an honors degree from the National University of Galway Ireland, and went on to her Ph.D. with Jane Lubchenco and Bruce Menge at OSU. She holds professorships at Lewis and Clark College and Portland State. Author of scientific and popular articles, she is known for her work on the ecology and conservation of marine life.
Dr. Brosnan's own research and conservation range from tropical Caribbean where she directs a major SEI marine science program, to the Pacific shores of North America where she is involved in whale and coastal conservation. Her ground breaking research into human impacts on rocky shores was the backbone of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan, and has been used to protect coasts worldwide.
Her adventurous spirit and love of science has taken her diving under active volcanoes to study how eruptions affect coral reefs and fisheries, and onto hostile seas in pursuit of greater understanding of the ocean. But she is equally at home bringing her message into the boardroom or the school room.
Tui De Roy
Tui De Roy is an award-winning wildlife photographer, naturalist, and author of many books on wildlife themes around the world. She is also an ardent conservationist who has combined her life’s three passions — Wildness, Photography and Conservation — into a successful career as a world communicator striving to sensitize her audiences to take better care of our natural planet. With this conviction at heart, she is a Founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), http://www.ilcp.com.
Tui is Belgian by birth, but grew up in the Galapagos Islands, where her parents took her to lead a pioneering lifestyle when she was two years old. She never attended school, being home taught, and is fluent in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German. After more than 35 years in the Galapagos Islands, Tui relocated to the South Island of New Zealand 20 years ago. She runs The Roving Tortoise Nature Photography together with business partner Mark Jones, working freelance under the logo ‘Images of Wildlife and Wilderness from Our Planet's Most Pristine, Uninhabited Regions’.
Published in more than 40 countries, Tui’s first articles appeared in major U.S. nature magazines when she was 19, followed a few years later by her first book, GALAPAGOS: ISLANDS LOST IN TIME (Viking 1980). Many subsequent volumes cover not only the Galapagos Islands, but other natural wonders of the world, notably Antarctica, the Andes Mountains, and New Zealand. Her most recent books include ALBATROSS: THEIR WORLD, THEIR WAYS, an in-depth celebration of the world’s most endangered multi-species bird family, and GALAPAGOS: PRESERVING DARWIN’S LEGACY, which represents a compilation of 50 years of science and conservation work since these islands were declared Ecuador’s first national park. This latter effort won Tui an ‘Honorary Park Warden’ medal from the Galapagos National Park when it decided to publish a Spanish translation of the book as a closure of its 2009 half-century anniversary events.
New Books in progress include PENGUINS: THEIR WORLD, THEIR WAYS, sister volume and sequel to ALBATROSS, whose purpose is to draw attention to the increasingly beleaguered status of these charismatic aquatic birds, and another book on a wildlife-rich region of Kenya, a little-known area of tremendous conservation value. For more on Tui’s life and work, visit http://www.tuideroy.com.
As I grow older my hopes that we can still save the wild integrity of this planet are dwindling, yet Sea Shepherd revives that vision through the uncompromising defense of the inherent rights of pristine nature to exist, and the philosophy that all life on earth must remain our brethren. I particularly admire Capt. Paul Watson's unwavering energy in placing action where words aren't enough, harming no life, but defending so much of it. Untold numbers of living organisms, which are our kin in this complex web called the biosphere have benefited, and are benefiting, from that action.
Dave Foreman is a radical American environmentalist. He is one of the founders of Earth First!, a group noted for consisting of ecological saboteurs, or ecoteurs. To defend the environment, members of this group practice various destructive acts against both humans and machinery.
Foreman was born in 1947, the son of a United States Air Force employee. As a young man, he was the chair of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative organization; in the 1970s, he worked for the Wilderness Society.
Eventually, Foreman developed the idea that, while they are often well-meaning, government agencies, as well moderate private organizations, could not and would not stand up to the powerful forces attempting to destroying America's environment.
Inspired by Edward Abbey's book, The Monkey Wrench Gang, Foreman set about to from a group of radical environmentalists to engage in "monkey-wrenching," including such acts as "spiking" trees so that they could not be cut down, "munching" logging roads by the use of nails, toppling high-voltage power lines, as well as other subversive practices that resulted in protecting the environment.
Thus Earth First! was born -- along with its motto: "No compromise in defense of Mother Earth." This very unconventional organization operates without rules or officers. As Foreman intended, it is simply a group of people who are passionate about the environment; along with ecotage, members use self-deprecating humor to mantain sanity and oppose fanaticism.
Dr. Birute Galdikas
Biruté Galdikas was born in London, Germany, on May 10, 1946, while her parents were en route from Lithuania to Canada. She grew up in Toronto, Canada.
When Biruté was 12 years old she loved to go into the wilder sections of High Park in Toronto. She would spend hours like this, quietly and secretly observing the wild animals in the park.
When she went to university, she combined her love of nature with her curiosity about the great apes and studied psychology and anthropology.
At 22, while she was working on her masters degree in anthropology at the University of California in Los Angeles, Biruté met Dr. Louis Leakey, who is famous for discovering fossils of early humans in Africa. Leakey and the National Geographic Society helped her to set up a research camp in Borneo to study orangutans.
Biruté arrived in Borneo with her husband, Rod Brindamour, in 1971. They had to live in primitive conditions. Within a few years, she gave birth to a son, Binty, who was raised among the orangutans and dubbed "the child of the rain forest". Biruté had to make difficult choices in the years that followed. She made the agonizing decision to remain in the rain forest when her marriage ended. Her son Binti returned to Canada with her ex-husband. Later she remarried and had two more children.
From March 1996 through the end of March 1998 under a special decree, Biruté served as a senior advisor to the Minister of Forestry on orangutan issues. In June 1997 she won the prestigious "Kalpataru" award, the highest award given by the Republic of Indonesia for outstanding environmental leadership and activity. Biruté Galdikas was the first person of non-Indonesian birth and one of the first women to be so recognized by the Indonesian government.
Biruté is uncompromising in her defense of wild orangutans and the preservation of tropical rain forests, which constitute the orangutan species' only natural habitat. She has always had grassroots support and the continued support of the Indonesian government, even in transition, in her pioneering research and effort to conserve and protect orangutans and rain forests as well as the support from numerous conservation groups around the world. Many of these organizations have honored Biruté with environmental awards.
Founder: Orangutan Foundation International
Randall H. Hayes
Hayes, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, founded RAN in 1985 and, with bold direct action campaigns, built it into the primary American advocate not only for tropical rainforests, but also for its temperate cousins in places like the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Alaska. In its first year, RAN took on no less a target than the World Bank, fighting to reform its environmentally destructive loan practices.
When polite meetings wouldn't work, RAN staged civil disobedience actions, CEO confrontations and boycotts. San Franciscans soon got used to the sight of Hayes in handcuffs. The boycott list rapidly expanded, to include Burger King, Scott Paper, Conoco and Texaco.
"The environmental movement is full of reasonable people," says Hayes, making it clear that he is not one of them. Direct action works, he says, pointing to $2 billion in rainforest contracts in the Amazon and Indonesia that have been stopped through RAN's work.
After a decade of effective pressure on the lumber lobby, however, RAN is broadening its approach with a new campaign aimed at the Big Three corporate logging companies-Mitsubishi, MacMillan-Bloedel and Georgia-Pacific. Mitsubishi, hasn't yet mended its ways, but it was concerned enough about the boycott to arrange a meeting between Hayes and its CEO, Minouri Makihara.
RAN has also developed a practical, four-page 500-Year Plan that outlines how, over time, the world could, by international agreement, protect all remaining primary forests (providing economic compensation to the host countries), allow secondary forests to mature, and restrict sustainable logging to special commercial zones.
The plan encourages alternative fiber development, and advocates a reduction in wood and paper use by 7.5 percent a year. Hayes says the plan "gets us closer and closer to the root causes of the social and ecological crises at the end of the industrial era."
Dr. Herbert Henrich
Dr. Herbert A.E. Henrich is a German economist engaged in the field of agro-inustrial development of eastern Africa, and much involved in animal welfare issues there.
He is acting as Sea Shepherd's representative in the effort to establish the first seal rescue and care center in South Africa.
Dr. Sidney Holt
Dr Sidney Holt is a British fisheries scientist who became involved with whales and whaling when he was invited by the International Whaling Commission in 1960, with two other independent scientists, to advise on what would be the sustainable catches of blue, fin, humpback and sei whales in the Southern Ocean that would also permit those extremely depleted populations to recover towards their former abundance. The other members of the Committee of Three, or 3 Wide men, as it was called, were Prof. Douglas Chapman, a mathematician at the University of Washington and Dr K Radway Allen. who was then working for the Government of Australia. Chapman and Allen both later served as Chairmen of the IWC's Scientific Committee; Holt continued to work for, and represent. FAO of the UN, UNESCI/IOC, UNEP and the UN until his retirement in 1979. The IWC had committed itself to an unprecedented act - to adopt the Committee of Three's advice by 1964. The advice was for such huge reductions in catches that it got fully implemented only a few years later, but by the end of the 1960s the pelafic factory-ship whaling in the Southern Ocean dor all the baleen whale species except the small minke whale had ceased. (Exploitation of the minke by Japan and the USSR did not begin until 1970.)
Sidney was, with Dr Lyell Watson, the principle architect and motor of the successful operation by the Government of the Republic of Seychelles that year to persuade the IWC to declare the Indian Ocean as a whale sanctuary in perpetuity. That was quickly followed by other Seychelles initiatives, declaring a moratorium on the hunting of sperm whles and then, in 1982 a general indefinite moratorium on all commercial whaling, coming into effect in 1986. Sidney's last scientific/political involvement was working with the Government of France (and with some others, especially Italy and Chile, and much help from Greenpeace, IFAW and WWF) to achieve the declaration of the entire Southern Ocean as a sanctuary for whales, in 1994.
Throughout his 'retirement' Sidney continued, until 2011 to attend and be active in IWC affairs. He is now re-engaged in fisheries research and management, while serving as one of SSCS's advisers.
Why I support SSCS on the whaling issue.
Although I have long had, and continue to have, informal and sometime formal advisory relations with several NGOs that consistently and persistently oppose commercial whaling, I am looking to SSCS for two special reasons:
1. SSCS is not afraid to speak out against cruelty to, and mistreatment of, sentient non-human beings, and
2. SSCS more than any others is clear about the fact that commercial whaling, especially that by Japan in the guise of scientific research, is driven solely by business/financial considerations and is best opposed through disrupting those imperatives, both on the supply and the demand sides.
I am also impressed by the clarity and unambiguity with which Paul Watson expresses his views and defines the SSCS strategy. And I applaud the dedication and bravery of those who crew the SSCS ships. Lastly, I tend always to support those who try to persuade or even force Governments and other "Authorities" to honour the commitments they have made by being party to international agreements. rather than merely by paying lip-service to them.
Dr. Jennifer Hopper
Dr. Hopper began her undergraduate studies by specializing in Zoology and Wildlife Biology and received her B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1991. She continued her education and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1999. While attending university, Dr. Hopper was deeply involved with environmental enrichment programs for laboratory animals, specifically research dogs, and was honoured with the Roy S Moore Award for excellence in laboratory animal care and welfare. She remains steadfast in her belief that animal research should not be condoned but recognizes that it does continue and more effort is needed to improve the quality of research animal's lives.
Upon graduation Dr. Hopper worked at the London Ontario Veterinary Emergency Clinic and presently sits on their Board of Directors. She purchased a small animal hospital in 2001 where she is currently a single practitioner. She was the London Humane Society Board veterinarian for 2 years and currently sits on the London Veterinary Association Board. Dr. Hopper is heavily involved with a feral cat spay/neuter program and works with a local animal rescue group (Animal Outreach) on a daily basis.
Dr. Hopper's passion for animals has spanned the globe with many traveling excursions including a 3 month trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Back in London, Ontario she shares her home and heart with 5 dogs, numerous cats, 4 rabbits, 2 cockatiels, 3 rats and an elderly horse with attitude.
Captain Jet Johnson
Al "Jet" Johnson was the founder of Greenpeace USA in 1975. Al joined Captain Paul Watson's Greenpeace seal campaign in 1975 and was Paul's deputy leader for the Greenpeace seal expeditions of 1976 and 1977.
Jet was one of Greenpeace's most colourful activists. Trained as a fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Airforce, he later worked as a DC-10 Captain for American Airlines. Despite his status as a professional airline pilot, Jet courageously defended wildlife at both the risk to his life and his job security -- dropping parachutists into nuclear power plants, flying recon for Greenpeace seal and whale campaigns, and organizing the very first Greenpeace national office in San Francisco.
Jet was the first to support Captain Paul Watson when he left Greenpeace and founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, both financially and actively. Captain Johnson joined Captain Watson in 1978 in an investigation of elephant poaching in East Africa, running dangerously close to an encounter with Ugandan president Idi Amin and ducking poacher's bullets in Kenya.
Jet Johnson sailed on the first Sea Shepherd and was arrested on the Sea Shepherd II in 1983 for protecting baby harp seals. Over the years he has stood side by side with Captain Watson defending seals, whales, dolphins, and elephants.
Whenever Sea Shepherd has needed a pilot, Jet Johnson has been ready. In 1982, Captain Johnson flew Paul Watson and Carroll Vogel on a successful paint-bombing mission of a Soviet spy vessel off Washington State. The flight was a campaign against illegal Russian whaling activities.
Although retired from American Airlines, Jet still is active with Sea Shepherd and joined the crew to deliver the Ocean Warrior from Europe to North America.
Jet Johnson is without a doubt the world's foremost conservationist pilot. In addition to his legendary exploits with Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, Jet flew Chief Paiukan's plane for the Kaiyapo nation in the rainforests of Brazil in 1990.
Jet Johnson is the father of three girls and the grandfather of one boy. He lives in British Columbia and is one of the most respected figures in the Canadian conservationist community.
Dr. Louise Leakey
Louise Leakey was brought up in Kenya and spent much of her youth in the remote deserts of northern Kenya at Lake Turkana accompanying her parents, Richard and Meave, on their paleontology field expeditions. Louise received her PhD from University College London, and is currently an Assistant Research Professor of Anthropology at the University of Stony Brook, and is a director of Public Education and Outreach of the Turkana Basin Institute. Louise is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence in recognition of the long-term support of the National Geographic Society for the Leakey family paleontological work in East Africa. Continuing this tradition, she co-leads the paleoanthropological expeditions in Kenya with her mother Meave, focusing their efforts on the fossil deposits going back four million years.
Lake Turkana has been the focus of paleoanthropological research over the past 50 years by the Leakey family and their colleagues. This research has made significant contributions to the understanding of human origins and behavior, and has been documented in hundreds of publications including nine covers in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
Louise has recently been involved in an initiative with Autodesk, to bring the fossil collections housed in the National Museums of Kenya and at Lake Turkana online, to make them more accessible to the pubic and teachers worldwide. The website Africanfossils.org, is a virtual paleontology lab in which digitized models of various skulls are placed and can be explored by all. It will be possible to 3D print and download the templates for building models of these fossils in an effort to make them accessible and to engage the public. Louise also heads the Leakey family vineyards, and is a bush pilot, educator and lecturer. She is an alumni of the Young Global Leaders, she sits of the advisory board of the Fund for Wild Nature, and a long-time member of Sea Shepherd board of advisors, as well as on the board of the Centre for Communicating Science. She is married to Emmanuel de Merode, who is the Warden-in-Chief of Virunga National Park in the war torn Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They have two daughters Seiyia and Alexia, who live with Louise outside Nairobi and frequently join her on expeditions to northern Kenya.
Dr. Godfrey Merlen
English biologist Dr. Godfrey Merlen has lived in the Galapagos Islands for more than 40 years. He was originally drawn to the islands because unlike other places in the world, it was still possible to see and feel nature’s patterns of sustainability in these unique ecosystems. Godfrey works independently with the Ministry of Agriculture (Agrocalidad-Sicgal), the Ministry of the Environment (Galapagos National Park), the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), and several NGOs including Sea Shepherd Galapagos to fight illegal fishing, protect the marine reserve and control unsustainable development.
Merlen’s decades-long encounter with whales, especially the sperm whale, have convinced him of the infinite value of the oceans, without which we will, as has been said, "Die of a great loneliness of spirit."
In 1991, Merlen was deeply involved in the creation of the Galapagos Whale Sanctuary. For ten years, he worked with the Galapagos National Park in defense of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. He now works on introduced species on the islands that present the greatest risk to Galapagos. Godfrey’s findings have been published widely on issues related to the islands including three books on Galapagos wildlife.
Grant has been involved in conservation work for more than 30 years, and lives by the philosophy of "getting his feet wet and hands dirty." In Singapore, he has an ongoing program to replant mangroves at coastal shores to encourage the return of native fauna and flora.
Grant has been very active in the anti-sharkfin campaign, heading up a marketing and educational campaign to stop the brutal slaughter of sharks for their fins. He has created, marketed and widely distributed postcards and posters which illustrate the devastation of the shark-finning practice, the dolphin slaughter in Japan and captive dolphin shows in Asia.
In 2000, Grant was awarded the Greenleaf Award, which is the highest environmental award given to an individual in Singapore.
Presently, Grant is the head of the Green Volunteers Network of the Singapore Environment Council, which is the most active environmental organization in Singapore.
Entrepreneur, filmmaker, conservationist and activist, Omar has overseen the development and growth of a group of start-up companies in the digital media and technology sectors over the past 20 years. He also has completed several stints consulting with some of the world's largest technology companies, including Microsoft and Cisco. He is currently a Council member of the International Cyber Threat Task Force (www.icttf.org) an organisation that deals with current and future security implications to the Internet. Omar is also the Global Technical Director (CTO/CIO) of Sea Shepherd and more recently he is a founder of the new WikiLeaks Political Party in Australia and serves on its National Council (www.wikileaksparty.org.au).
Omar met Captain Paul Watson in 2008 at a speech given by Paul and despite being a committed entrepreneur, Omar always had a love of animals and was moved by Captain Paul Watson's talk about the plight of Whales and our Oceans. Over the next few years he become more involved in the organisation and donated his skills until he was made Cyber Director (Communications & Social Media Director) by Captain Paul Watson and Omar has grown with Sea Shepherd since then and he is currently Technical Director (CIO/CTO).
With extensive knowledge of network design, internet management and security, web design and complex project management, Omar's role takes him around the world and sometimes on to the ships as well. He is a natural leader, recruiting, training and managing skilled teams of engineers and programmers, demonstrating excellent communication skills and possessing an ability to negotiate confidently at all levels.
Omar brings forward thinking, analytical, creative and innovative resolutions to complex I.T. problems which remain commercially focused whilst adhering to conservation principles in demanding environments. He specialises in budget control and he is an ambitious and proactive professional, responding to new challenges with drive and a commitment to succeed. Omar currently is working very hard on improving Sea Shepherd's Information Infrastructure and he is building up a team to assist with the support of the CEO, Jeff Hansen. From time to time he also does VIP liaison and gives speeches and talks about Sea Shepherd. Omar considers his Sea Shepherd role to be by far his most satisfying ever and despite his other responsibilities, he puts his Sea Shepherd work first and foremost.
Some websites with more information on his personal views and work are:
Dr. Benjamin Zuckerman is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has co-edited six books, including "Extraterrestrials, Where Are They?" (Cambridge University Press 1995), "The Origin and Evolution of the Universe" (Jones & Bartlett 1996), and "Human Population and the Environmental Crisis" (Jones & Bartlett 1995). Dr. Zuckerman's interest in other planets has not outweighed his concerns for this one, and to that end he is a member of the Board of Directors of Californians for Population Stabilization and was on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club 2002-2005. Dr. Zuckerman is a Guggenheim fellow, and has received the Bok Prize from Harvard University, the Helen B. Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and the Muhlmann Prize of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.