To promote the long-term conservation of the world’s Syngnathiform (seahorses, pipefishes, and their relatives) and Gasterosteiform (sticklebacks and their relatives) fishes through the illumination and alleviation of threats to wild populations and their ocean habitat.
Who We Are
As the recognized global authority on seahorses, pipefishes, sticklebacks, and their relatives, we are dedicated to the conservation of these important fishes.
The IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group provides independent technical and scientific advice to governments and other groups to improve the conservation status of these species. We regularly assess the threat of extinction for these animals, we undertake and publish research that supports the survival of wild populations, and we develop conservation action plans for threatened species.
The SPS SG is managed by Project Seahorse, a global marine conservation organization with expertise in seahorses and their relatives.
The group is currently made up of 15 members from 9 countries worldwide. We plan to broaden our scope to include more experts from other regions in the coming year. If you have suggestions or would like to find out how you can get involved, please get in touch.
Dr. Amanda Vincent (Chair)
Amanda Vincent is the co-founder and Director of Project Seahorse and a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre, Canada. She has a PhD in marine biology from the University of Cambridge and was Darwin Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford from 1994 to 1996. She is considered the leading authority on seahorse biology and conservation, and in 2000 was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. She also serves as a Marine Representative on the IUCN Red List Committee and is a member of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Subcomittee. Twitter: @AmandaVincent1
Dr. José-Pedro Andrade
J. Pedro Andrade is Full Professor at the University of the Algarve and Head of the Fisheries Biology and Hydroecology (FBH) research group of the Center for Marine Sciences (CCMar). He graduated in Biology (University of Lisbon, 1982). His research focuses on fisheries resource management, studying the age, growth, reproduction and diet of several fish and cephalopod species. As member of the teaching staff of the University of the Algarve, he has continuous teaching activity in Marine Biology and Fisheries (since 1983) and Aquaculture and Fisheries (since 2005).
Lindsay is the lead field investigator for Project Seahorse’s work supporting the Thailand Department of Fisheries to implement CITES recommendations. Lindsay’s research interests include detection rates, occupancy modeling, and geospatial analysis, specifically to address seahorse conservation, threats and management. Lindsay holds a MSc. in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University, where she studied bycatch in Pacific Island fisheries and a BSc. from Georgetown University, where she explored illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of the Patagonian toothfish. Twitter: @L_Aylesworth
Paula Branshaw Carlson
Paula Branshaw Carlson is Director of Husbandry at The Dallas World Aquarium, in Dallas, Texas. She is a 1986 graduate of Texas A&M University and possesses a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. She earned her Master of Arts in Zoo and Aquarium Leadership from George Mason University in 2010. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Marine Fishes Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Her aquarium passions are syngnathids – especially seadragons, and elasmobranchs. She frequently shares her work on the husbandry of Leafy seadragons, Phycodurus eques, and Ribbon pipefish, Haliichthys taeniolatus, with industry professionals at national and international conferences. @Ppsharkpaula
Dr. David Harasti
David Harasti is a marine scientist who works for Fisheries NSW in Australia. He conducts research on marine protected areas and threatened marine species (sharks, seahorses and turtles). His primary passion is seahorse research and conservation and in 2014 he completed his doctorate on “The biology, ecology and conservation of the White’s Seahorse Hippocampus whitei.” He has been diving for 20 years and in that time he has developed a passion for marine life and underwater photography which can be seen through his website, www.daveharasti.com.
Dr. Sarah Foster
Sarah is a Research Associate with Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. Her research and conservation work spans the areas of trade and bycatch — specifically the listing of marine species on the international trade convention CITES, and the issue of small fish species in bycatch. She holds a BSc and an MSc in marine biology from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and a PhD from the University of British Columbia, where she studied bycatch in tropical shrimp fisheries. Twitter: @sjanefoster
Dr. Heather Koldewey
Heather Koldewey is the Section Head for Global Programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the co-Founder and Field Programs Manager at Project Seahorse. She holds a BSc from the University of Plymouth and a PhD (Genetics) from the University of Wales, Swansea. Heather was previously the Senior Curator for Aquarium Projects at ZSL. Twitter: @HeatherKoldewey
Dr. Heather Masonjones
Heather Masonjones is a marine biologist specializing in behavioural ecology and reproductive physiology of seahorses and related fish species. Her research focuses on the evolution and diversification of male parental care in fishes, sexual selection and reproductive behaviour of fish, and the ecology and distribution of syngnathid fishes (seahorses and pipefishes) in Tampa Bay, the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.
Dr. Nuno Monteiro
Nuno Monteiro graduated in the University of Porto in 1996, where he also earned a MSc (2000) and a PhD (2005) as part of the GABBA Program. He moved to Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO) in 2009, where he helped establish the Behavioural Ecology Group. He has been working mainly in animal behaviour, mating systems and sexual selection-related topics. Primarily using syngnathids as model species, he is currently addressing the mechanisms of post-copulatory sexual selection and its implications on species evolution.
Riley Pollom (Red List Authority Coordinator)
Riley Pollom is a research biologist at Project Seahorse and the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. His undergraduate degrees in ecology and geography from the University of Calgary were complemented by field studies in Mediterranean Europe, the west coast of Vancouver Island and in Kenya. In 2011 he began an MSc project at Memorial University of Newfoundland studying seasonal population dynamics in freshwater fish through the use of hydroacoustics. Riley has worked extensively with government bodies, academia, industry and NGOs to further conservation efforts. Twitter: @RileyPollom
Dr. Richard Smith
Richard Smith, a British marine biologist, underwater photographer and writer, aspires to promote an appreciation for the ocean’s inhabitants and raise awareness of marine conservation issues through his images. A marine biologist by training, Richard’s pioneering research on the biology and conservation of pygmy seahorses, led to the first PhD on these enigmatic fishes. Over the past decade, Richard’s photographs and marine life focused features have appeared in a wide variety of publications around the world. Richard leads marine life expeditions where the aim is for participants to get more from their diving and photography by learning about the marine environment. Website: www.OceanRealmImages.com Twitter: @Rich_Underwater
Dr. Lucy Woodall
Lucy Woodall completed her PhD in 2009 on the population and mating systems of European seahorses. She works within the field of marine biology, addressing questions of conservation, biodiversity, taxonomy and pollution in coastal and deep-sea ecosystems. Twitter:@water_nomad
|Peet Joubert||South Africa||Nature Management Services|
|Dr. Parichart (Jaeb) Laksanawimol||Thailand||Lecturer, Faculty of Science, Chandrakaseam Rajabhat University|
|Dr. Ierece Rosa||Brazil||CCEN/Depto. De Sistematico Universidade Federal da Paraiba|
|Dr. Mohammed Reza Shokri||Iran||Professor, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University|
Click here for the directory of other fish specialist groups and Red List authorities on the IUCN website.