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Dr. Pierre GALLEGO

President

Pierre is a veterinarian specialised in marine mammal medicine. He has been working in the field of marine biology for 16 years, and has been organising marine mammal research internships around the world since 2004. He represents the Government of Luxembourg as scientific advisor and alternate commissioner at the International Whaling Commission and works with numerous international NGOs to promote marine mammal conservation and to fight cetacean captivity. He is currently carrying out his PhD with the Oceanology Lab of the University of Liege, Belgium. His PhD thesis deals with pollutants and stable isotopes in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off Ecuador and Mozambique, where we co-organise volunteer programmes as well. The ocean is his passion, and the water is his element!

Contact: pierre.gallego@odyssea.lu

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Anna SCHLEIMER

Vice-President

After graduating as marine biologist from the University of Plymouth, Anna completed a Master’s in Research in Marine Mammal Science at the University of St. Andrews with overall distinction. She spent six months in the Philippines studying the behaviour of whale sharks and the effects of provisioning with the Large Marine Vertebrates Institute. Since 2010, she organises introductory field courses in Tarifa to give students an insight into research techniques and the biology of marine mammals in the Strait of Gibraltar. She is currently doing her PhD on fin whale population genetics and demographics with the University of St. Andrews (UK) and Groningen (NL)  in collaboration with the Mingan Island Cetacean Study. Her work focuses on the estimation of abundance, habitat use, and genetic population structure of fin whales in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.

Contact: anna.schleimer@odyssea.lu

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Félix FEIDER

Treasurer

Félix is a conservationist who has been an active member of Odyssea since 2017, when he first participated in a two-week research adventure at the Cetacean Research Station in Mingan, Canada. His passion for the ocean and marine ecosystems however started at an early age after watching Cousteau’s “Le Monde du Silence”, and he has been working towards being part of the solution to conserve the planet’s natural beauty ever since. He completed a BSc (Hons.) in Marine Science at the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He then went on to study a MSc in Conservation at University College London. Félix has gathered experience in international conservation and conservation policy during his internships at the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He strongly believes that Luxembourg and its people, within the European Union, have the potential to play a  leading role in fighting global climate breakdown and to ensure the conservation of the world’s oceans.

Contact: info@odyssea.lu

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Sarah BONARIA

Secretary

Passionate about the ocean since an early age, Sarah quickly fell in love with scuba diving. Scuba diving gave her a whole new perspective on the importance of marine conservation. As an intern, Sarah participated in Odyssea’s marine mammal field course in Tarifa, Spain. The species that truly left a mark on her were the killer whales, which she was fortunate enough to encounter during several up-close sightings. Within a few days she could recognise different individuals based on the shape of their dorsal fin and rejoiced at each sighting of the large male Pingu. The encounters with killer whales, their majestic movement through the waters and tightly knit family networks, made it clear to her that these animals do not belong into captivity. Those experiences led her to become more involved with Odyssea and its outreach and conservation work.

Contact: info@odyssea.lu

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Sören SALVATORE

Outreach Officer

Sören is currently finishing his biology degree at the University of Kaiserslautern, where is about to start his thesis with the department of ecology. He will be analysing the effects of climate change on plankton and role of plankton in the functioning of oceanic ecosystems. In 2018 Sören got his first hands on field experience while an internship with the Mingan Island Cetacean Study in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada)which focuses on the study of large whales. As Odyssea’s outreach officer, his main goal is to raise awareness and inform the public about the simple things each one of us can do to help preserving and protecting our marine ecosystems.

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Kianna GALLAGHER

Communications Officer

Kianna graduated from the University of Alberta with an undergraduate degree in conservation biology. Despite growing up and studying in the very landlocked city of Edmonton, Canada, she first discovered her love for the oceans after volunteering as a research assistant for a marine conservation organisation in Honduras. It was here where she first learned to scuba dive and it quickly became somewhat of an obsession. After this experience she shifted her focus towards marine biology and has since been working for various marine conservation organisations around the world including Iceland, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Canada. It was while working in Canada as a team member for the Mingan Island Cetacean Study where she first met members of the Odyssea team. She is now starting an MSc in marine biological resources with a focus on global ocean change. She wishes to share her passion for the ocean with others through creative, engaging, and interactive outreach initiatives.

~~~~ Active members ~~~~

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Paul MARCEUL

Paul has been working for the maritime sector since 2006. Paul is passionate about oceans and marine life. With that said his encounter with the Odyssea team in 2010 was decisive. He regularly organises events related to environmental issues at sea and gives the floor to renowned conservationists. He strongly believes that Luxembourg and its people may and have to play a crucial role when it comes to stopping plastic pollution or fighting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing to name but a few.

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Jeanne WAGNER

Jeanne Wagner is a marine biologist with a specialisation on ecology and animal behaviour. Since she completed her studies in 2010, she has been actively involved in marine conservation programmes in Mayotte. Located in the Mozambique channel, this small tropical French island is surrounded by one of the world’s largest closed lagoons. Through her job and involvement with NGOs, Jeanne studies iconic marine species and habitats, such as coral reefs, turtles and marine mammals in order to protect and manage them efficiently within the context of growing human pressures linked to the development of the island. She currently works as a marine biologist in the Parc natural marin de Mayotte and is the secretary of the association Oulanga na Nyamba (literally “environment and turtles”).

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Amandine GILLET

Amandine completed her Master in Biology of Organisms and Ecology at the University of Liège (BE) in 2014. The same year she participated in an internship on humpback whales in the Dominican Republic with Pierre and got involved with Odyssea. She then spent three months in the Philippines studying delphinids ecology with the University of Hong Kong and the Silliman University. She started a PhD about the ecology and morphology of cetaceans at the University of Liège in 2015. Her work involves spending a lot of time in various natural history museums to study cetaceans skeletons in order to understand their swimming abilities and their evolution. Besides her PhD she assists Pierre in the organisation of a marine biology internship in Mozambique. She is convinced that raising awareness about marine life is the best way to protect our oceans.

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Livia GAVARD

Currently in veterinary school, Livia has found that combining her passion for veterinary medicine and research, and her love for the oceans and their inhabitants is not only possible, but brings her great joy as well. Since the beginning of her studies she has looked for ways to get involved with marine research, and has been a member of Odyssea since 2014 when she first got involved during a school field trip. She has since been involved in several internships both as an intern and a coordinator in Spain, Florida and Mozambique. Her hope is that one day marine biologists can focus on learning more about the ocean critters without having to simultaneously worry about them going extinct and their habitat being destroyed.

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Mel COSENTINO

Mel Cosentino is a conservation biologist with a special interest in the impact of human activities on marine mammals. She earned her Biology Degree in Spain and her MRes in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology in the UK. She has been involved in several projects related to human impact for almost 20 years. These include live captures for commercial display purposes, consumption, whale watching, and anthropogenic noise. This involvement is both in the scientific aspect as well as education and outreach. Mel collaborates with many researchers and NGO’s from around the world, and has conducted both land and boat-based cetacean research, with several publications in conferences and scientific journals. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde, UK, studying the acoustic behaviour of harbour porpoises in the Firth of Clyde, in West Scotland. She is a truth seeker and a citizen of all of the seven kingdoms.