We were excited to host a wide range of experts from around the world.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Associate Professor Daniel Yon: York University
Daniel Yon, filmmaker and anthropologist, is Associate Professor at York University, Toronto, jointly appointed to the Faculty of Education and the Department of Anthropology. He is the author of Elusive Culture (SUNY 2000) and a number of related articles dealing with urban youth, race, identity, globalization. His two films, 100 Men and Sathima’s Windsong, respectively, reflect an interest in migrations, displacements, memory and the Atlantic World. His third film, in post-production, based on st Helenian workers in the Copper Mines of Namaqualand, South Africa. He is a former Director of York’s Graduate Programme in Social Anthropology. His scholarly work and teaching includes the anthropology of race and racism; power and violence; ethnography of education and youth; cosmopolitanisms and belonging. Prior to graduate studies, he was a history teacher and then Curriculum Development Officer in postindependent Zimbabwe. He was a founding member of the St Helena Heritage Society and now a life-member.
Dr Cilla McDaniel: University of East Anglia
Cilla McDaniel, credits her academic foundation to the well-rounded education she received as a child in St Helena, delivered mainly by teachers who were not UK qualified and the encouragement from her parents. Tertiary education came later, resulting in a Doctorate in Social Policy (University of Bristol), Master of Education (University of Bristol) and a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy (University of East Anglia).
Her professional career spanned teaching and training whilst bringing up her son. Later she moved into social policy planning and more recently psychotherapy. As a resident islander, who has experienced both lives of the transnational villager, and with more than thirty years of working with children and families, she is in an ideal ethnographic position to research island life. She utilises a phenomenological approach in her research into sociological and psychological aspects of transnational lives. Cilla embraces transnationalism, and believes that outward migration is the natural way of island life.
Professor Stephen Royle: Emeritus Professor of Island Geography, Queen’s University Belfast
Stephen Royle was educated in England, studying geography at St John’s College Cambridge and then taking a PhD at the University of Leicester. He became a lecturer in geography at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1976 and 40 years later retired as Emeritus Professor of Island Geography, following which he became Visiting Professor at the Kagoshima University Research Centre for the Pacific Islands in Japan. He also held visiting positions at the University of Iowa, the University of Prince Edward Island and Taiwan Normal University.
His books on islands are A Geography of Islands (2001); The Company’s Island: St Helena, Company Colonies and the Colonial Endeavour (2007); Doing Development Differently: Regional Development on the Atlantic Periphery (edited with Susan Hodgett and David Johnson) (2007); Company, Crown and Colony: the Hudson’s Bay Company and Territorial Endeavour in Western Canada (2011); Islands (2014) and Anglo-Korean Relations and the Port Hamilton Affair, 1885-1887 (2017).
Royle was Treasurer of the International Small Island Studies Association; Deputy Editor of Island Studies Journal; President of both the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies and the Geographical Society of Ireland. Stephen Royle is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.
Professor Alasdair Edwards: University of Newcastle
As a PhD student at Cambridge (working on cockroaches!) I became fascinated by marine biogeography, diving at remote islands and discovering new species of tropical reef fish. In late 1977 my fellow student Roger Lubbock visited Ascension Island and discovered that seven fish species there were new to science. In 1979 we visited St Paul’s Rocks, just north of the Equator off NE Brazil, where we discovered and described a further four new species. Finally I was able to visit St Helena in 1983 to complete the trio of tropical mid-Atlantic islands. This last trip led to three papers on the fish fauna of Saint Helena and the Bonaparte Seamount (with descriptions of two new species) and a book on The Fish and Fisheries of Saint Helena Island published in 1990 and funded through Education Department of the Government of Saint Helena. Since those far-off and fondly remembered days my research interests have diverged somewhat and current research focuses on spatial and temporal patterns of recovery of coral reefs from human impacts and mass bleaching events, and how reef restoration technologies can assist natural recovery processes in the face of climate change.
Professor Quentin Cronk: University of British Colombia
Quentin Cronk gained a BA and PhD in Botany from the University of Cambridge. He has worked at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is currently Professor in the Botany Department of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where he has an active research program in evolutionary genomics. His book “Plant Invaders: the threat to natural ecosystems worldwide” (1995) has inspired many invasive plant control programs, and he has consulted on invasive plants to the WWF and the Government of Madeira. He has worked on many island ecosystems including Madeira, Canary Islands, Ascension Island, St Helena, Socotra, Mauritius, Hawaii and Tahiti. However, he retains a primary affection for the most fascinating of all: St Helena.
Dr Al Dove: Vice-President of Research and Conservation – Georgia Aquarium
Dr. Dove is a broadly trained marine biologist and conservationist and a leading authority on the biology of whale sharks. As Vice President of Research and Conservation, Dr. Dove is responsible for overseeing all research and conservation activities for Georgia Aquarium and administering collaborative partnerships with other institutions; he also supervises the staff and activities at the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station near St Augustine, Florida. Dr. Dove obtained a 1st class Honors degree in Zoology and Parasitology in 1994 and a University Medal for his PhD in Parasitology, both from the University of Queensland, Australia. Since joining the Georgia Aquarium team in 2006 his research interests have continued on the theme of “health and diversity in aquatic animals” from individuals to ecosystems, with a current focus on the biology of whale sharks. He has published over 50 scientific articles and several book chapters and is currently editing a book on whale shark biology and conservation. He is an adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia.
Elizabeth Clingham – St Helena Fisheries Corporation
Elizabeth has recently assumed the position of General Manger of the St Helena Fisheries Corporation since July of this year. Prior to this for seven years Elizabeth held the position of Marine scientific and later marine conservation officer for the St. Helena Government.
Elizabeth’s has had a varied career which has facilitated her evolvement into her current position. The general manager of the St. Helena Fisheries Corporation has the responsibility for the strategic, financial and business direction of the organisation which includes the ensuring product management, systems and processes and other supporting systems ensure that the organisation is run as efficiently as possible.
As Marine Conservation Officer Elizabeth wrote and project managed a recent Darwin Plus funded project entitled “the Sustainable development of St. Helena Marine Tourism and Fishing during which time she was deployed as a fisheries observer, undertook collection of scientific fisheries data and biological sampling and supported in the development of St. Helena’s Fisheries Sector strategy with various local and international stakeholder. Elizabeth was part of the team that wrote St. Helena’s Marine Management plan which was the bases in declaring St. Helena’s Category Six Marine Protected Area.
Elizabeth has enjoyed a working career spanning some 18 years only four of which were spent aboard all academic achievements have been attained on island or via distance learning. Prior to employment in the marine industry Elizabeth worked as an retail mercantile manager for local private sector, a Business Advisor for the then St. Helena Development Agency now (ESH) and a legal assistant for the SHG and has been employed on the Falkland islands for a brief period.
Elizabeth is a self-proclaimed water baby and has from a very young age been a proactive member of the St. Helena scuba diving, yachting and recreational fishing community. Elizabeth is a mother of two and has been married for almost 9 years much of her free time is spent generally on or by the sea with her family.
Confirmed Plenary Speakers
Dr Alan Gray: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Alan Gray is an ecologist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology with a long-term interest in conservation and island ecology. He has been lucky enough to work on the ecology of Ascension Island, St Helena, the Seychelles and the Canary Islands on a broad range of research topics including plant physiology, autecology, population genetics, island biogeography and most recently taxonomy. Other research interests include peatland ecology and hydrology, and the interactions between vegetation, land use (e.g. fire), biogeochemistry and climate change.
Adam Baske: International Pole and Line Foundation, Director, Policy & Outreach
Adam brings over 15 years of ocean-related experience to the IPNLF, with specialties in global tuna fisheries, international environmental policy bodies, and marine education. Adam has worked in diverse fields across the spectrum of marine conservation and management, including as a fisheries observer in Alaska, as an educator on-board a state-of-the-art sailing school vessel, and as a manager for an international campaign aimed at reforming the world’s largest tuna fisheries.
Adam has attended multiple international tuna treaty meetings, including the annual meetings, compliance meetings, and scientific meetings of the WCPFC, IATTC, and ICCAT with the aim of reforming the management of tuna fisheries around the world. Adam has worked with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including governments, industry, researchers, and NGOs to build momentum for change at domestic, regional, and international levels. In recent years, Adam has played a role in the adoption of international management measures on science-based catch limits, eliminating IUU fishing, and the management of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in tuna fisheries. Previous to joining the IPNLF team, Adam managed the Global Tuna Conservation program with the Pew Charitable Trusts and served as a fellow in the Office of International Affairs with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, DC. Adam holds a Masters in Marine Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Duke University.
Daniela Baigorri: Best 2.0 Administrator – SAERI
Dani has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from the Universidad CatÓlica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile. During the last years of her studies and for 3 years after, she worked in physical oceanography projects in the north of Chile. From 2014 until the beginning of 2016 she worked in the National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SERNAPESCA) in the Environmental Department at the beginning and then she was reassigned as the officer-in-charge of the Statistics and Customer Service Department. Dani came down to the Falkland Islands in June 2016 and joins SAERI in September on a part-time basis as the BEST 2.0 project officer for the South Atlantic region.
Dr Daniel van Middelkoop and Dr Maarten Hogenstijn – Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
Daniel van Middelkoop and Maarten Hogenstijn are human geographers from the Netherlands, both holding an MA and Ph.D from Utrecht University. For their joint Master’s thesis, they spent three months on Saint Helena to do research on ‘Spatial identities of the citizens of Saint Helena’, reporting in a thesis (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46650305_Saints_Spatial_identities_of_the_citizens_of _Saint_Helena) and a journal article (https://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/11333).
Since then, they have done a joint Ph.D. study on ‘established and outsiders’ before going separate ways for a few years. Daniel specialized in educational projects and products centered on global (citizenship) education. Maarten pursued a career in journalism, before returning to science. They now both work at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in the Netherlands. Daniel is working fulltime as head lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Economics and senior researcher on professional autonomy, professional development, study succes and diversity in teacher teams in higher education. Maarten works parttime at Amsterdam UAS as senior researcher on social entrepreneurship, and also parttime at Hanze UAS in Groningen, as senior researcher on talent development programs in higher education.
Tara Pelembe: Deputy Director – Innovation – South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute
Tara’s role as Deputy Director of SAERI focuses on developing new partnerships and projects to expand the scope of work that SAERI undertakes. She also oversees the implementation of a number of these new initiatives including regional and multi-territory programmes of work and is collaborating with other Overseas Territories to promote the establishment of ‘sister’ environmental research institutes. Tara was previously the Head of the Conservation Department on Ascension Island and the Director of the Environmental Management Department on St. Helena. Tara’s interest and experience covers the whole spectrum of environmental management from conservation and biodiversity to waste management and climate change. She has considerable experience in the management of both small-scale and larger scale multi-disciplinary projects and 9 has led and/or contributed to a large number of programmes and projects that range from on-the ground implementation initiatives to multi-party partnership working platforms. She is also is an experienced in communication, networking, stakeholder engagement, workshop organisation and facilitation, project and programme management. Tara has an MSc from the University of Exeter in Conservation and Biodiversity and a BSc. (Hons) in Geography from the University of St. Andrews.
Professor Martin Collins, OBE – Principal Marine & Fisheries Advisor
Martin Collins is an experienced marine & fisheries scientist who joined the UK’s Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (CEFAS) in January 2017 to work on the Overseas Territories Bluebelt Programme and is leading the CEFAS work in St Helena, Tristan, Ascension, BIOT and Pitcairn.
Martin has extensive experience of living and working in the Overseas Territories, having spent 6 years as the Chief Executive and Director of Fisheries with the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) and 7 years with the British Antarctic Survey. Martin spent 2015/16 supporting SHG establish a fisheries science programme and prepared the Fisheries Sector Strategy.
During his time with GSGSSI Martin oversaw the creation of the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands MPA, managed the MSC certified toothfish and icefish fisheries and the eradication of reindeer from South Georgia.
Martin is an author of over 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is an adjunct professor at University College, Cork (Ireland).
Kirsty Joshua – Enterprise St Helena
With a background in private sector development in specific, strategy, business management and training and development combined with experience in an economic development environment. Kirsty has spent the last 10 years working on behalf of Enterprise St Helena (ESH) to improve the economic and social well-being for the people of St Helena. Kirsty has led on the development of ESH as a professional body representing economic development in working to achieve ‘Economic Excellence’ to become on par internationally. Positively impacting on the overall efficiency and effectiveness of ESH and enhancing the customer/stakeholder experience and the management of performance, progress and principal risks whilst taking a holistic strategic perspective. Kirsty has a Global MBA from Durham University Business School and is currently writing a Teaching Paper in Strategy/Economic Development to be published with Ivey Publishing, entitled – St Helena: Landing a future for a South Atlantic Island.
Jeremy Harris – St Helena National Trust
Jeremy Harris has been running the St Helena National trust since April 2014. Before then he worked at IUCN as the Development Director for the Species Survival Commission which, among other things, looks after the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Jeremy has lived around conservation his entire life as the child of parents who founded an international conservation organisation. At university, he studied the Built Environment, and before getting into environmental conservation professionally, he had a successful few years in Marketing and Sales. The balance between preserving things and allowing progress has always fascinated him. Questions surrounding the ‘why’ of conservation are what keep him up at night (when his small children aren’t doing that for him).
Nicole Shamier – St Helena Government
Nicole Shamier is an economist, holding an MSc Economics from London Metropolitan Business School and a BA Economics and Economic and Social History from the University of Manchester. For her Master’s thesis, she wrote a paper entitled ‘Does deriving more information lead to better decision making?’ which compared results of resource intensive versus ‘quick and dirty’ economic valuations of changes in the water environment and the decisions made as a result.
Nicole worked as an environmental economist for England’s Environment Agency, Ricardo and Capita, focusing on flood risk and water quality economics and then expanding out to work on the economics of climate change, air quality and pollution. She is the author of England’s ‘Water Appraisal Guidance’ and co-author of the ‘Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) cost-benefit analysis tool’.
She now works as an economist for the St Helena Government, where she co-manages the St Helena renewable energy procurement project, as well as helping set the Minimum Wage, Revenue Collection policy and St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan.
Bryony Walmsley – Basil Read, St Helena
Bryony has two Masters degrees in Geography (from the University of St Andrews and University of Alberta) and has amassed more than 37 years’ experience in environmental consulting. She has managed the South African office of the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment since 2004. She has extensive experience in all aspects of EIA practice, including participating and managing large EIAs for infrastructure and mining projects throughout southern Africa, guiding and reviewing EIAs, due diligence audits and compliance monitoring, and conducting training in environmental management. She has authored several books and publications.
She has been part of the Basil Read team for the St Helena airport project since the tendering stage in the mid-2000s and has had the roles of environmental advisor (2011 to 2013) and Construction Environmental Management Plan Coordinator since 2013. She is responsible for ensuring compliance with the EMP for construction via 6-monthly audits, the annual reports, environmental quality control and providing ongoing input and advice to the on-site Contractor’s Environmental Control Officer.
Annina Hayes – Basil Read, St Helena
Annina has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Archaeology from the University of Cape Town and 7 years’ experience in environmental management. She will be completing her honours in Archaeology in 2018 through the University of South Africa (UNISA)
She has been the CECO (Contractor’s Environmental Control Officer) since the start of construction of the Airport Project in January 2012. She is responsible for implementing the CEMP (Contractor’s Environmental Management Plan) and monitoring environmental management on site via inspections, environmental monitoring, providing environmental input into design and construction methodology and liaising with local stakeholders and communities.
She also provides environmental advice to the Airport Operations (since 2016) and Connect Saint Helena Ltd (since 2017). She has devoted her personal time to raising awareness on the protection of the ‘Liberated’ African Burial Grounds on Saint Helena (ABG-SH) and she plays a crucial role in ‘A Story of Bones’, a feature length documentary on the ABG-SH, co-produced by BAFTA nominated production company Archers Mark, to be released in 2019.
Kirsten Pritchard – Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP), St Helena Government
Kirsten is a project manager with more than 15 years’ experience working on a range of projects for local government. With a background in ecology and environmental education projects have varied from conservation and sustainability based fields to schools and adult education, and have involved working with a range of stakeholders and partners. Currently Kirsten works within the Environmental and Natural Resources Department of the St Helena Government managing the LEMP project and is involved with habitat restoration and conservation activities to mitigate the construction of St Helena’s airport.
Stephen Coates – Prince Andrew School, St Helena
Steve is currently teaching Biology and Marine Science at Prince Andrew School on St. Helena, having only been here for just over three months has most of a two year contract to complete. However, there has already been some discussion of extending this to facilitate teaching A’ level Marine Science over a two year duration from September.
Having studied Environmental Analysis \at the University of Huddersfield and Natural Sciences through the Open University; Steve has a genuine interest in environmental issues and conservation and is eager to get involved with some of the active groups on the island.
“It will be a great opportunity for my students to speak about their island and what is important to them, but also to see and hear from the perspectives of other presenters at the conference”.
He has a record of working with young people concerning environmental issues.
A key motive for Steve in his teaching is the increasingly important role of science to provide an education that develops citizens’ awareness of, and respect for, the environment in which they live. In the words of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) : “education for sustainable development (ESD) aims to help people to develop the attitudes, skills, perspectives and knowledge to make informed decisions and act upon them for the benefit of themselves and others, now and in the future.” This is particularly important at this time on St. Helena with so many new developments and opportunities emerging.
Barry Hubbard – Connect Saint Helena
Barry Hubbard arrived on St Helena in August 2009. Originally he was recruited as a ‘Technical Cooperation Officer’ working for St Helena Government as their ‘Head of Energy’. A Chartered Electrical Engineer by trade he was responsible for the development and management of St Helena’s electrical infrastructure and played a pivotal role in the creation of Connect Saint Helena Ltd. In 2013 St Helena Government divested electricity, water and sewage activities to Connect where Barry has been the Chief Executive Officer since the business was formed. After eight years living on this beautiful island, having overseen significant investment in renewable energy and the islands water security he is ready for the next challenge which is to further reduce the islands reliance on diesel through continued investment in renewable energy.
Julie Thomas – International Pole and Line Foundation, St Helena
Julie has been involved in the existing commercial fishing industry on St Helena Island for over 10 years. Her exposure to the fishery includes practical and theoretical knowledge as she is an executive committee member of the St Helena Commercial Fisherman’s Association (SHCFA) and also represents the fishermen and the industry as a member of the St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) Board. The SHCFA objectives are to promote, represent and protect the collective interests of its members, by providing input into Government Legislation, circulating commercial information relevant to the Association’s interest, promoting sustainable fishing within the local fishing industry and opposing fishing ventures that could affect the balance and wellbeing of the industry. It is also responsible for encouraging and supporting the economic, professional and social interests of its members. The objective of the SHFC is to engage on a commercial basis in the business of fishing and fish marketing in St Helena and internationally. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Management, who exercises the functions and powers of the Corporation and subject to directions given by the Government, determines the policy and direct and control the officers of the business.
Dr Joe Hollins MRCVS – Department of Agriculture Tristan da Cunha & ANRD St Helena
A UK qualified veterinary surgeon with many years of general practice experience both in the UK and Africa. For the last few years, work has concentrated mainly on the South Atlantic Overseas Territories of the Falkland Islands, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha and St Helena. More recently 6 years were spent on St Helena, followed by a year of humanitarian work fighting the devastating and disfiguring disease of leishmaniasis in war-torn Syria, then 9 months with the Department of Agriculture on Tristan da Cunha. Island vetting is multi-disciplinary and cuts across many aspects, including public health, conservation, pest control and biosecurity. All of these require setting up prevention protocols and coping with the established introductions of the previous centuries.
Nicholas Mallos – Ocean Conservacy
Nicholas is Director of the Trash Free Seas® Program at Ocean Conservancy. Nick oversees Ocean Conservancy’s work on marine debris, including its annual International Coastal Cleanup, ocean plastics science research, and the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, a co-operative group of businesses, leading environmental organizations and scientists focused on reducing plastic inputs into the ocean by 50% by 2025. Nick has extensive field experience researching ocean plastics – his debris-related assignments have taken him from the North Pacific Gyre to the remote coastlines of Alaska and the Philippines. He has testified before the U.S. Senate on the sources and impacts of plastic debris in the ocean, and participates in international policy discussions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, United Nations Environment and other global fora. Nick received his master’s degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and serves as a subject matter expert for CNN. He is based at Ocean Conservancy’s office in Portland, OR.
Natasha Timm – Ascension Island Government
Natasha is a Conservation Assistant with Ascension Island Government, Conservation. After spending 12 years with the organisation, Natasha currently works with endemic plants, birds, sea turtles, public outreach tours and youth groups (Ascension Explorers).
Ascension is home to 7 unique endemics, and her time spent with plants consists of endemic plants census around the island. During her time with Ascension Island Government, Natasha has worked with Kew Botanical Gardens in London on the endemics of Ascension, sending seeds and exchanging advice on preserving the island’s endemic flora.
With Sea turtle, Natasha monitors their nesting beaches during the season, (November to July), and assists with tours for locals and visitors hoping to catch a peak at the island’s sea turtle nesting.
A large part of Natasha’s role is working with the public and youth and raising awareness of Ascension conservation aspects and protecting the island’s endemics and sea turtle populations.
Charles Clover – Blue Marine Foundation
As an environment journalist with 30 years’ experience, Charles covered virtually every issue that arises out of man’s treatment of nature. It was his powerful and revealing book The End of The Line (2003) and the award-winning documentary film that it inspired (2009) which brought the problems of overfishing and the impact it is having on life in the oceans into public focus. He is now the executive director of the charity that film engendered, the Blue Marine Foundation. He has written for the Sunday Times but was Environment Editor of The Daily Telegraph for 20 years. Before taking a full-time interest in the sea, he was the author, with HRH the Prince of Wales, of ‘Highgrove: Portrait of an Estate’ (1993).
Dr Marina Costa – South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)
Marina Costa’s research interests focus on marine mammal’s science and conservation. She worked on marine benthos (molluscs) from 1996 and 2001 and moved to cetaceans in 2002. Marina worked primarily on dolphins’ abundance (line transect and capture-recapture methods), and distribution and habitat use (GLMs and GAMs) in Italy, Greece, Egypt, Djibouti and Scotland. Since 2016 she has been the Project Manager of the ‘Dolphins of the Kelp’ project, focusing on genetic diversity, abundance and distribution of Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins at the Falkland Islands. Marina holds two MSc degrees in Biology and in Environmental Policy and Economy (at the ‘Statale’ University of Milan, Italy), and a PhD in Marine Biology (at the University of St Andrews, Scotland).
Dr Jason Yon – University of Bristol
Jason grew up on St Helena and, he firmly credits his multidisciplinary engineering instincts on his island childhood. Jason left St Helena in 2002 to study at the University of Bristol in the UK. He gained the MEng degree in Avionic Systems Engineering in 2007 and a PhD in Aerospace Electrical Systems in 2012. After this he held a number of research and teaching positions focusing on green electrical systems for aerospace and automotive applications. He is now a Lecturer in Electromechanical Systems at the University of Bristol. His research covers a broad range of topics including renewable energy systems.
Dr Sam Williamson – University of Bristol
Sam is a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Bristol, where he obtained his PhD in 2014. Prior to this, he worked as a systems engineer in the aerospace sector. His main research interests are in microgrids and how they can be used to intelligently integrate distributed renewable generator into electrical grids, small-scale hydropower for use in rural electrification, and energy technology for international development. Sam lived for a year in Nepal where he learnt the local language and worked for an energy-based NGO. He is keen on living a life of minimum impact, and so renovated his house to reduce the energy consumption by around 50%, where he now lives with his wife and two cats.
Shayla Ellick – St Helena Environment and Natural Resources Directorate
Shayla has worked within the St Helena Government’s environment department for the past five years, since her return to the island following completion of a BSc (Hons) degree in Environmental Management with the University of Hertfordshire. During her undergraduate programme she also spent a year working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, within the UK Overseas Territories team.
While working on St Helena she has gained considerable experience in a diverse range of environmental areas, with a focus on terrestrial conservation. During this time she also gained an MSc by Research from the University of York, researching the potential of the Island’s endemic Gumwood tree in sequestering carbon in an island community restoration site (http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/9337/). Shayla currently works on a largescale local conservation project which provides essential environmental mitigation for the airport construction through habitat creation, restoration and compensation.
Shirley Whaler – St Helena Government, Education
As Director of Education and Employment since 2015, Shirley is responsible for managing education provision and leading educational improvement on St Helena. A major strategic focus of her work over the past three years has been human capital development for the island. This resulted in the establishment of the St Helena Community College in 2016, greatly expanding and encouraging educational opportunity on the island.
Shirley came to St Helena from a sister Overseas Territory, having previously served as the Chief Education Officer for the Cayman Islands for more than seven years. Originally trained as a secondary English and Mathematics teacher, she has worked as a teacher, head teacher, college lecturer and administrator in range of settings, but her consistent career focus has been on school improvement and system transformation. Having undertaken studies in both the US and the UK, Shirley earned a Master’s degree in Education from Durham University. In 2006, she was awarded the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour in honour of her contributions to education.
Annalea Beard – St Helena Environment and Natural Resources Directorate
Annalea Beard, Marine Conservation Officer for St Helena Governments Marine Section. Annalea has been working in marine conservation on St Helena for over seven years. Soon after completing an MSc degree in Wildlife Management and Conservation at Reading University she came to St Helena to work. Over the last seven years whilst working for the St Helena Government’s Marine Section she has led and managed several externally funded research projects and has gained a breath of marine research experience. She has particularly interest in seabird ecology, establishing the Seabird Ringing Scheme and Seabird Tracking Programme to enhance our knowledge of seabird ecology locally and globally.