Dr. Pierre GALLEGO
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 water is his element!
Paul has been working for the maritime sector since 2006. As of 2011 he was appointed Manager of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster and Secretary-General of the European Network of Maritime Clusters and still holds these positions. 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.
After graduating as marine biologist from the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, Anna completed the Master in Research in Marine Mammal Science at the University of St Andrews with overall distinction. Under the supervision of Prof Philip Hammond, she wrote a masters thesis on the distribution of fin whales in the North Atlantic in relation to environmental variables using generalised additive models (GAMs). She spent six months in the Philippines studying whale shark behaviour and the effects of provisioning with the Large Marine Vertebrates Project. Since 2010, she organises introductory marine research internships with Pierre in Tarifa to give students an insight into the biology and ecology of marine mammals in the Strait of Gibraltar. She is currently doing her PhD with the University of St Andrews (UK) and Groningen (NL) on fin whale genetics and demographics. Her interests include photography, scuba diving, and travelling.
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”).
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.
As the team’s youngest member, Livia doesn’t have as much experience as the others (yet). She is about to start her studies in veterinary medicine and plans to specialize in marine mammal biology. She has discovered marine biology during an internship in Tarifa with Pierre, and has since been involved in Odyssea’s activities such as preparation of internships in Crystal River (FL), and the sensibilisation of young people through presentations in schools. She loves travelling, food, and discovering new things.
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.