We are Trinbagonian scientists, conservationists, and communicators who wish to make positive changes to the way the ocean is used and managed in our country, our region and our world.
Dr. Diva Amon – Director
Diva is a marine biologist focused on the little-known habitats and animals of the deep ocean, and how our actions are impacting them. Since gaining her PhD from the University of Southampton, UK, she has positioned herself at the nexus of science, policy and communication. She has a deep desire to see stewardship measures applied to the deep ocean as well as the engagement of a broader group of global stakeholders towards this effort. Diva has participated in research cruises around the world and has been featured on global outlets, including Disney+, National Geographic, BBC, and CNN International. Diva is also a researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a 2020 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a World Economic Forum Friend of Ocean Action.
Follow Diva on Twitter @divaamon and Instagram @diva_amon, or visit her website https://divaamon.com/.
Dr. Michelle Cazabon-Mannette – Director
Michelle is the local expert on sea turtle biology and conservation in Trinidad and Tobago, with a PhD in Environmental Biology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Her PhD research on sea turtles offshore Tobago was the first study of its kind locally, where research and conservation efforts have previously focused on nesting beaches. She investigated issues critical for management and conservation through the application of diverse disciplines such as ecology, population genetics and environmental economics. Michelle began her professional career as a research officer at a sea turtle NGO, and she currently works at an environmental consultancy as a Project Manager where she has gained significant experience conducting Environmental Impact Assessments and ecological studies in a variety of habitats. She continues to be actively involved in sea turtle conservation through her voluntary role as Technical Advisor to Save Our Sea turtles (SOS) Tobago. While Michelle’s research has largely focused on sea turtles, she is driven by a broader interest in marine ecology and is passionate about closing the gap between research and the management of our natural resources.
Follow Michelle on Twitter @turtlegirl_TT.
Dr. Anjani Ganase – Director
Anjani is a coral reef ecologist. Her work focuses on identifying spatial patterns in coral reef health and resilience in Tobago and understanding the drivers of these changes for the purpose of marine conservation and management. She did her PhD at the Global Change Institute, Healthy Oceans Programme at the University of Queensland, Australia, working on a global coral reef mapping project, the XL Catlin Seaview Survey. 360-degree coral reef image records and benthic classifications from over 25 countries around the world can be found on the Global Reef Record. Anjani is passionate about communicating ocean science to broader audiences to influence appreciation and sustainable use of the marine world. She writes a weekly column for the Tobago Newsday collected in the blog, Wild Tobago. Anjani is also the Project Operator of The Maritime Ocean Collection, the first online collection of Tobago’s coral reefs.
Follow Anjani on Twitter @AnjGanase and Instagram @AnjGanase. Also follow her weekly blog posts on Instagram @wildtobago.
Mr. Ryan Mannette – Director
Ryan is a marine scientist and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist with a MSc in Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management from the University of Trinidad and Tobago and over fifteen years of experience employing GIS in a diverse range of applications from utility management to ecological modelling. One of his main goals is to encourage the use of GIS in the management of our coastal and ocean environments to enhance the decision-making process and lead to more sustainable use of our natural resources. He has volunteered with several research projects, providing GIS expertise, technical advice and fieldwork assistance, including conducting ecological surveys using both SCUBA and sonar technology. From 2003 to 2016, Ryan was a key member of the team involved in the planning and management of the NIHERST Caribbean Youth Science Forum. As a Chaperone/Coordinator at the forum, he got the opportunity to interact with young scientists and act as a mentor helping to guide them along their chosen career path, or helping those who were yet to decide to choose a path. He is passionate about science, especially marine and environmental science, and working with students to help prepare them for their future careers.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanMannette and Instagram @rev_photo_tt.
Dr. Farahnaz Solomon – Director
Farahnaz is a marine biologist with BSc and MPhil degrees in Zoology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and a PhD degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal. Her professional career spans over ten years during which she has worked for both governmental and non-governmental organisations including the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, and the Buccoo Reef Trust, Tobago. Her work has focused on the management of coastal and marine resources, including extensive engagement with stakeholders to increase management of these resources. She has a special interest in the science and management of tropical biodiversity and would like the average citizen to understand the relationship between biodiversity and the ecosystem goods and services they provide, especially with respect to livelihoods. It is only through this appreciation that positive changes can be made to sustainably manage our coastal and marine resources. Her other areas of interest are the fisheries management of pelagic species, the effects of climate change on fisheries, and the design and implementation of marine protected areas.
Follow Farahnaz on Twitter @FarahnazSolomon and Instagram @farahnaz.solomon.
Dr. Jahson Alemu I – Associate Member
Jahson is a marine ecologist with over a decade of experience in coral reef ecology, marine conservation and ecosystem service provision. Jahson works mostly with coral reefs, but his interests also include seagrass and mangrove ecosystems in the Caribbean and Pacific. Before joining SpeSeas, Jahson was at the frontier of coral reef science in Trinidad and Tobago exploring opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, but you may know him best for his work on the lionfish, coral bleaching and the International Year of the Reef campaign (IYOR2018). His other areas of interest include science communication, climate change adaptations using nature, and ecosystem modelling.
Follow Jahson on Twitter @jahson_alemu.
Mrs. Kelly Mannette-Camejo – Associate Member
Kelly is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine’s MSc in Management of Tropical Environments and a BSc in Biology and Environmental and Natural Resources Management. Kelly also possesses a Diploma of Education and served as a Biology 111 Secondary School teacher, an adjunct lecturer at COSTAATT Tobago campus, and an educator for private and homeschooled students at various levels. Kelly has been involved from the inception of the NIHERST Caribbean Youth Science Forum as a participant, then as a Chaperone. Kelly recently contributed to the work at the Buccoo Reef Trust as the Environmental Education Officer responsible for the education and outreach activities at all educational levels. With over fifteen years of experience in science and education, and a passion for marine and environmental science, she strives to improve the awareness, management and sustainable use of the delicate marine environment in Tobago, Trinidad, and the wider Caribbean region.
Ms. Jesica Sadler – Associate Member
Jesica is a full-time artist and ocean lover. She is currently pursuing her BA (Hons) in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at University of the Arts, London College of Communication. She shares her photojournalistic work and documentary projects via her Instagram, and is the designer and creator of ‘Dark n Gold’, a local jewellery brand founded in 2019. Although she does not have a science background, Jesica is interested in applying her talents to marine and environmental science, which drove her to create “Rescue D Reef”. This is a creative project raising awareness about Trinidad and Tobago’s coral reefs in the form of a T-Shirt, with all proceeds donated to SpeSeas.
Follow Jesica on Instagram @jesicasadler.jpg.
Ms. Suzanna Mohammed – Social-Media Manager