Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (2024)

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (1)

Our mission

To promote the long-term conservation of the world's Syngnathiform (seahorses, pipefishes, seadragons, and their relatives) fishes through the illumination and alleviation of threats to wild populations and their ocean habitat.

Who we are

Asthe recognized global authority on seahorses, pipefishes, seadragons, and their relatives, we are dedicated to the conservation of these important fishes.

The IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group(SPS SG) provides independent technical and scientific advice to governments and other groups to improve theconservation status of these species.We regularlyassess the threat of extinction for these animals,undertake and publish research that supportsthe survival of wild populations, and develop conservation action plans for threatened species.

The SPS SG is hosted by Project Seahorse, a global marine conservation organization with expertise in seahorses and their relatives.

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (2)

Group members

The groupis currently made up of 43 members from 23 countries worldwide.We plan to broaden our scope to include more experts from other regions in the coming years. If you have suggestions or would like to find out how you can get involved, please get in touch.

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (3)

Chair - Amanda Vincent
Red List Authority Coordinator - Riley Pollom

Thematic Focal Points
Climate Change/Future Proofing - Nuno Monteiro
Communications - Richard Smith
Conservation Planning - Healy Hamilton
Ex Situ - Paula Carlson
Field Conservation - Miguel Correia
Global Trade and Fisheries - Sarah Foster
Taxonomy and Evolution - Graham Short
Tourism - Maarten De Brauwer

Regional Focal Points
Africa - Louw Claassens
Australia/Oceania - David Harasti
East Asia - Xiong Zhang
South America - Tacyana Oliveira
Southeast Asia - Chai Apale
Europe - Tamara Lazic

Focal Points for Key Taxa
Ghost pipefishes - Maarten De Brauwer
Pygmy seahorses - Richard Smith
Seadragons - David Booth

Focal Points for Key Species of Conservation Concern
Syngnathus watermeyeri (CR) - Louw Claassens
Hippocampus capensis (EN) - Louw Claassens
Hippocampus whitei (EN) - David Harasti
Hippocampus comes (VU) - Adam Lim
Hippocampus ingens (VU) - Joanna Alfaro
Hippocampus kuda (VU) - Adam Lim
Hippocampus patagonicus (VU) - Diego C. Luzzatto
Hippocampus trimaculatus (VU) - Tanvi Vaidyanathan
Hippocampus reidi (NT) - Tacyana Oliveira

Amanda Vincent (Chair) | Joanna Alfaro |José-Pedro Andrade |Chai Apale | Lindsay Aylesworth | David Booth | Elsa Camins Martínez | Paula B. Carlson | Louw Claassens | Miguel Correia | Maarten De Brauwer | Sarah Foster | Nguyen Manh Ha |Healy Hamilton |David Harasti | Peet Joubert | Vinod Kavungal | Heather Koldewey | Ting-Chun Kuo | Parichart Laksanawimol |Tamara Lazic | Adam Lim | Qiang (John) Lin | Patrick Louisy | Diego C. Luzzatto | Heather Mason | Leslee Matsushige | Thomas Mkare | Nuno Monteiro | Arumugam Murugan | Tacyana P.R. Oliveira |Francisco Otero-Ferrer | Miquel Planas | Riley Pollom (Red List Authority Coordinator) | Masayu Rahmia Anwar Putri | Emily Rose |Helen Scales |Mohammad Reza Shokri | Graham Short | Nuno Simoes | Richard Smith | Atsushi Sogabe |Lily Stanton | Tanvi Vaidyanathan | Lucy Woodall | Xiong Zhang

Dr. Amanda Vincent (Chair)

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (4)

Amanda is the co-founder and Director of Project Seahorse and Professor at The University of British Columbia's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, 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. In 2000 she was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and in 2020 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is the Chair of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Committee and also serves as a Marine Representative on the IUCN Red List Committee.

Dr. Joanna Alfaro

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (5)

Joanna studied Biology at Universidad Ricardo Palma in Lima, Peru and worked at IMARPE, as the marine mammal coordinator. She co-founded the NGO ProDelphinus in 1995 and was a Global fellow at the Duke Marine Laboratory in 2001. In 2002, Joanna became a member of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the IUCN SSC and since then has continued to work as Pro Delphinus President, extending its work to other marine species including seabirds, sharks and marine otters. Joanna obtained her PhD at University of Exeter, UK in 2012 where she received the Whitley Award for Nature from Princess Anne in London. In 2015, she received the Marsh Award for Marine Conservation Leadership in Latin America. Joanna is a Faculty Member of Universidad Científica del Sur, where she continues to mentor the new generation of Peruvian marine researchers.Joanna has authored and collaborated on over eighty peer reviewed publications on Peruvian aquatic biodiversity in collaboration with an international research community.

Dr. José-Pedro Andrade

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (6)

J. Pedro 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 onfisheries 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).

Chai Apale

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (7)

Charity (Chai) is a marine biologist and biodiversity conservationist with experiences working and leading projects in marine protected areas and local terrestrial conservation area establishments, illegal wildlife trade and species conservation management. She is currently the Program Leader for the Philippines Seahorse Program (ZSL-Philippines). Chai has worked on various Project Seahorse ventures in the Philippines over the years (through ZSL), including leading a huge effort on iSeahorse community science, supporting trade research, and guiding development of a national action plan for seahorses. She has an MPhil from the Conservation Leadership Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Dr. Lindsay Aylesworth

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (8)

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

Dr. David Booth

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (9)

David is Professor of Marine Ecology at head of the Fish Ecology lab at University of Technology, Sydney. He has been researching ecology, behaviour and population biology of pipefishes and seadragons for several decades, and seahorses more recently. He also researches coral-reef fishes, climate change fish ecology and deep sea fishes, and is a strong advocate for marine conservation and sustainable fisheries.
Twitter: @David_J_Booth

Elsa Camins Mart&iacutenez

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (10)

Elsa holds a BSc in Marine Science from the University of Barcelona and an MSc in Oceans and Fisheries from The University of British Columbia. Her master's thesis explored the potential of using community science to study seahorse species, with a focus on the iSeahorse community science project. During her BSc, she initiated a citizen science project aimed at monitoring microplastic pollution in the coastal waters of Barcelona, a project that continues to thrive. Currently, Elsa is a Research Assistant with Project Seahorse, The University of British Columbia, where she is conducting Red List assessments for syngnathid species and providing valuable support to the iSeahorse project.

Paula Branshaw Carlson

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (11)

Paula is Director of Husbandry at The Dallas World Aquarium, in Dallas,Texas. Sheis a 1986 graduate of Texas A&M University and possesses a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. Sheearned 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 Associationof Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Her aquarium passions are syngnathids - especially seadragons, and elasmobranchs. She frequently sharesher work on the husbandry of Leafy seadragons, Phycodurus eques, and Ribbon pipefish, Haliichthystaeniolatus, with industry professionals at national and international conferences.

Dr. Louw Claassens

Louw is Director of the Knysna Basin Project, an environmental NGO based in Knysna, South Africa, (www.knysnabasinrpoject.co.za) and holds a Masters Degree in Aquatic Health from the University of Johannesburg. She recently completed her PhD through Rhodes University on: "Aspects of the population ecology, habitat use and behaviour of the Endangered Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis Boulenger, 1900) in a residential marina estate, Knysna, South Africa: Implications for conservation."
Twitter: @ClaassensLouw

Dr. Miguel Correia

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (13)

Miguel is a Research Associate with Project Seahorse at The University of British Columbia, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. His research has been focused in several aspects of syngnathid’s biology, ecology, and aquaculture. Miguel holds a PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Algarve, a MSc. in Biology and Management of Marine Resources from the University of Lisbon, and a BSc. in Marine Biology from University of Algarve.
Twitter: @MiguelJTCorreia

Dr. Maarten De Brauwer

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (14)

Maarten is a researcher and National Geographic Explorer based at the University of Leeds. His research uses methods such as environmental DNA, network analysis, and classic surveys techniques to better understand the functioning of coastal ecosystems. Maarten is passionate about soft sediment habitats, which provide a home for many syngnathid and other cryptobenthic species. His syngnathid research includes projects in Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, and the Philippines. The focus of Maarten’s work is on improving methods to detect, understand, and protect seahorses and their relatives.
Twitter: @DeBrauwerM

Dr. Sarah Foster

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (15)

Sarah is a Research Associate with Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. 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. Nguyen Manh Ha

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (16)

Ha has a doctoral degree in biology and is a well-known biologist in Vietnam and the Indochina region on protected area and wildlife conservation. He has provided extensive support for endangered wildlife species and counter wildlife crimes in the region for both terrestrial and marine species. In the last 20-years, he was intensively involved in the planning and management of Vietnam’s protected area system and was involved in the development of Vietnam key laws and policy on biodiversity and forestry in the country. He has lead more than 20 research and conservation projects focused on endangered species such as small rhinoceros, elephant, cats, primate, pangolins and endangered ungulates. He also works with Vietnam Administration of Fishery to monitor harvest and trade of threatened marine species such as the sea turtles, and seahorses, shark and other CITES listed marine species. Ha also actively participates in graduate program of the National University, Hanoi as a lecturer in biodiversity and protected areas management and supervisor for graduate students.

Dr. Healy Hamilton

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (17)

Healy is currently Chief Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at NatureServe. She is a biodiversity scientist with broad interests in the evolution and conservation of the diversity of life. Her current research focus is global change biology, with an emphasis on forecasting the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems for natural resource management and conservation. Healy also has deep interests in marine conservation, which she explores through study of the taxonomy, evolution and conservation genetics of seahorses and their relatives. She obtained her masters degree at Yale University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, and for both degrees she conducted extensive fieldwork in South America. She is President of the Society for Conservation GIS, a Fellow of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and serves on the Science Committee of the National Park Service Advisory Board. She is a Switzer Foundation Environmental Leadership grantee and a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
Twitter: @DrHeals

Dr. David Harasti

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (18)

David 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.
Twitter: @daveharasti

Dr. Vinod Kavungal

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (19)

Vinod is a Principal Scientist at the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin, India. His research is focussed on marine biodiversity and conservation, developing conservation plans for ecologically and biologically significant areas and carbon sequestration in blue carbon ecosystems. Vinod is a graduate in Zoology from the University of Madras, India and holds a Post-graduate and Ph. D. degree in Marine Biology from the Karnatak University, Dharwad, India.

Dr. Heather Koldewey

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (20)

Heatheris Senior Technical Advisor at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), UK and co-Founder of Project Seahorse. She is Associate Professor at Exeter University, UK. She holds a BSc from the University of Plymouth and a PhD (Genetics) from the University of Wales, Swansea. Heather was previously the Section Head for Global Programmes, as well as Senior Curator for Aquarium Projects at ZSL.
Twitter: @HeatherKoldewey

Dr. Ting-Chun Kuo

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (21)

Ting-Chun (Ting) is a fisheries scientist with research interests spanning from bycatch issues, mixed fisheries, fisheries ecography to wildlife trade. She has conducted research on the local and international trade of seahorses. Ting is currently an Assistant Professor at National Taiwan Ocean University. She also serves as an endangered marine wildlife advisory committee in the Ocean Affairs Council, Taiwan and a scientist delegate of Taiwan for ecologically related species in tuna-RFMOs. She holds a PhD from the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Parichart Laksanawimol

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (22)

Parichart is a lecturer at Faculty of Science, Chandrakaseam Rajabhat University in Bangkok. Her research focuses on trade, aquaculture, histology, behavior and environmental factors affecting seahorses in Thailand. Currently she is studying temporal and spatial distribution, and life history of seahorses along the coast of Gulf of Thailand. She has studied Thai seahorses since 2002. Her Masters thesis was on “Histology of testis and brood pouch of brooding and non-brooding male seahorses, Hippocampus kuda” (Mahidol University, 2001-2004) and her PhD thesis focused on “Distribution, population dynamics and habitat preference of seahorses in the Eastern Gulf of Thailand” (Kasetsart University, 2007-2013).

Dr. Tamara Lazic

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (23)

Tamara is currently a researcher in Zoology at the University of Bari, Italy where she teaches General and Systematic Zoology. Her PhD is in Molecular and Structural Genetics and Evolution. Her research is focused on the conservation and ecology of seahorses and pipefishes in Italian waters. Currently, she is studying population genetics, trophic ecology by traditional and DNA metabarcoding means, distribution and species-environmental relationships. She is a part of the Italian research group on Syngnathids, composed of University of Bari, National Council Research (Palermo, Italy) and Anton Dohrn Zoological Station. She also researches other benthic organisms inhabiting confined areas including both native and alien species.

Dr. Adam Lim

Adam is a member of Save Our Seahorses Malaysia (SOS Malaysia). He studies syngnathid fishes extensively in Malaysian waters, focusing on various aspects of their biology and ecology, which provides a basis for their conservation. As part of his doctoral research, he studied the sound production mechanism and the acoustic signatures of various syngnathid species. Adam is also a member of the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy (Malaysia) alumni. He is currently a Research Associate of the Institute of Ocean and Earth Science (IOES), University of Malaya.He has aBachelor of Science (Marine Biology) from the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and recently completed his Doctoral studies from the University of Malaya.
Twitter: @Adamlimco

Dr. Qiang (John) Lin

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (25)

Qiang is a professor at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). His current focus is on the physiology, genome biology and evolution of fish in the syngnathid family (seahorse, pipefish, pipehorse and seadragon). He holds a PhD from the Sun Yet-san (Zhongshan) University on seahorse population genetics and conservation along China’s coast. As the director of International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams and vice director of the CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, Qiang and his research group continue to research syngnathid fishes, as well as their conservation throughout southeast Asia.

Dr. Patrick Louisy

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (26)

Patrick has been working on seahorse andpipefish biology and ecology for more thanten years. He is AssociateResearcher at laboratory ECOMERS - Nice University, France, and is Scientific Managerof the French NGO Peau-Bleue which he founded in 1995. Patrick and Peau-Bleue have pioneered communityscienceprograms in France, including the Hippo-ATLAS project. Patrick is a well-knownunderwater photographer and a professional aquarist. He has published tens of booksabout marine life, on aquaria, aquarium husbandry and diving, including the notableEurope and Mediterranean Marine Fish identification guide and a wonderful newbook on seahorses called Hippocampes, une famille d’excentriques.

Dr. Diego C. Luzzatto

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (27)

Diego graduated in 1999 and earned his PhD in Biological Sciences in 2007 from Buenos Aires University (UBA). During that time he worked on population ecology of several species of marine invertebrates but also got involved in the description of the Patagonian Seahorse. Since he achieved his PhD he has been working for The National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET). His research project focuses on the genus Hippocampus in the Argentine Sea: Taxonomy, population ecology and guidelines for its management and conservation.

Dr. Heather Mason

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (28)

Heather is a marine biologist specializing in behavioural ecology and reproductive physiology of seahorses and related fish species. Her researchfocuses 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.
Twitter: @Drmasonjones

Leslee Matsushige

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (29)

Leslee is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and is an Associate Curator at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego since 1992. Herspecialty is in the husbandry of syngnathids, mainly with seahorses and seadragons.She instituted a very successful seahorse propagation program in 1996 and a seadragon propagation program in 2012. The successful propagation of syngnathids has been a vital part of the Birch Aquarium's conservation programs. She has made contributions to the Syngnathid Husbandry Manual, collaborated in syngnathid research, and given many presentations at aquarium conferences.

Dr. Thomas Mkare

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (30)

Thomas is a marine scientist based at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa, Kenya. He has a broad research interest spanning from fisheries genetics, conservation genetics, biodiversity assessment and monitoring. He is also actively involved in the conservation of seahorses along the Kenyan coast. He holds a PhD in Zoology from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, where he pursued his research on the conservation genetics of three syngnathid fishes, including Hippocampus capensis, Syngnathus watermeyeri andS. temminckii. Mkare has an MSc Zoology from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and a BSc Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, from Moi University, Kenya.
Twitter: @KalamaMkare

Dr. Nuno Monteiro

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (31)

Nuno graduated from 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 the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO) in 2009, where he helped establish the Behavioural Ecology Group. He has been working mainly on 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.
Twitter: @Mr_Pipefish

Dr. Arumugam Murugan

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (32)

Arumugam is an Associate Professor at Vivekananda College, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, India. He obtained an MSc in Coastal Aquaculture and earned PhD in Marine Biology from Annamalai University, India. His research interests include: taxonomy, systematics, exploitation and captive breeding of syngnathid fishes; breeding and rearing of coral reef fish, including syngnathids; and the taxonomy and systematics of fishes of the Tamil Nadu coast.

Dr. Tacyana P.R. Oliveira

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (33)

Tacyana is an Assistant Professor at the State University of Paraíba (UEPB), Brazil, where she studies fish ecology, bioacoustics and conservation, primarily focusing on seahorses. She holds a BSc in Biology from the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), and an MSc and a PhD in Zoology from the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB). Tacyana has conducted research on population characteristics, habitat use, fisheries and trade/uses of seahorses to assist conservation initiatives in Brazil. During her PhD, she studied seahorse acoustic communication and, since then, has been assessing sound production and behaviour in these syngnathids, including their responses to human activities (i.e. boat traffic), particularly in estuarine ecosystems.

Dr. Francisco Otero-Ferrer

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (34)

Francisco completed his Marine Sciences PhD at the University of Las Palmas (ULPGC, Spain), where he combined Ecology and Aquaculture methods to study seahorse populations in Gran Canaria Island (Spain). His research focused on the reproductive biology of seahorses and the effects of nutritional factors. Currently, as a postdoc at IU-ECOAQUA (ULPGC), he is investigating the functioning of various 'ecosystems engineers', such as rhodolith seabeds and black coral forests, and examining the impact of environmental drivers on the benthic communities associated with these ecosystems. He is also actively involved in developing tools for mapping, assessment, and restoration of marine ecosystems. Throughout his professional career, he has contributed to research and professional activities in diverse fields, including aquaculture, marine biodiversity, technical diving, and public aquariums. He has worked on projects spanning multiple European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, and Monaco.

Dr. Miquel Planas

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (35)

Miquel is a marine biologist in charge of projects related to seahorses at the Institute of Marine Research (IIM-CSIC) in Vigo, Spain. He began his research on marine biology in 1984, focusing particularly on the larval rearing of marine fish. Over the past 25 years, he has primarily carried out projects related to seahorses, both in the rearing of several species and in the ecology of wild populations, especially in trophic studies from a stable isotope approach. Miquel has extensive experience in seahorse cultivation and the development of rearing technology. Currently, he is leading Hippo-DEC project (commissioned by the Spanish Government), which focuses on the assessment of seahorse populations along the Spanish coast. He is also responsible for seahorse observations on the citizen science platform seawatchers.net. Miquel has also written a popular science book (in Spanish) about seahorses and produced the feature documentary SyngDoc: The unknown world of Syngnathids.

Riley Pollom (Red List Authority Coordinator)

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (36)

Riley has worked in the field of biodiversity conservation for more than 10 years. With degrees in geography and ecology from the University of Calgary, he has worked across Canada with businesses, NGOs, academia, and provincial and federal governments towards the conservation of diverse taxa, including burrowing owls, leopard frogs, cougars, and prairie dogs. Riley earned a MSc degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he studied freshwater fisheries and the infamous Atlantic cod through hydroacoustic field surveys. Recently he has broughthis expertise to the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Shark Specialist Group, where he worked to coordinate the efforts of ~130 international experts into a coherent global conservation agenda for over 1200 species of chondrichthyans. He remains as the Red List Authority for the SPS SG and is active in synganthid research and conservation. He is currently the Species Recovery Program Manager at the Seattle Aquarium, USA.

Masayu Rahmia Anwar Putri

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (37)

Masayu is a scientist for the Research Center for Conservation of Marine and Inland Water Resources, National Research and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Indonesia. She holds a Msc. in Biology from The Bandung Institute of Technology, and a BSc. from the Marine Science of Sriwijaya University. Masaya has conducted research on seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) in several waters in Indonesia. She is currently involved in various activities of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia to monitor seahorse populations, audit seahorse breeding activities, and provide guidance on seahorse identification in several regions in Indonesia.

Dr. Helen Scales

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (38)

Helen is a marine biologist turned author and documentary-maker based in Cambridge, England. Her work aims to nurture readers’ and listeners’ fascination in the natural world, especially the oceans. Her first book, Poseidon’s Steed (Penguin 2010), examined the curious lives of seahorses and the threats they face today. In Spirals in Time (Bloomsbury 2015), Helen explored the world of molluscs and their shells. Her stories about science and the ocean have appeared in the Guardian, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Natural History Magazine, Hakai and National Geographic News. Among her BBC radio documentaries, she’s explored the enduring dreams of living underwater and conquering the waves. Her latest book (Bloomsbury 2018) Eye of the Shoal dives into the wonders of fish. Website: www.helenscales.com
Twitter: @helenscales

Dr. Emily Rose

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (39)

Emily is an Assistant Professor at Valdosta State University in Georgia, USA. She began her research focused on the effects of anthropogenic impacts, including habitat disturbances and endocrine disruptors, on mating system evolution in seahorses and pipefish while pursuing her BSc at The University of Tampa and throughout her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. Her research group is currently investigating the impact of pollutants, such as synthetic estrogen, and algal turbidity on the mating system of seahorses and pipefish by integrating a variety of approaches, including behavioural and molecular techniques, sexual selection theory and evolutionary ecology.

Dr. Mohammad Reza Shokri

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (40)

Mohammad is a marine biologist with research and teaching interests in fish ecology, coral reef ecology, marine conservation, and marine environmental management. His particular research interests include testing the surrogacy value of biotic and abiotic features of marine ecosystems, selecting and designing marine protected areas, coral reef molecular ecology, reef fish ecology, and the management and conservation of marine biodiversity. His work on seahorses and pipefishes began with university studies leading to a doctorate from University of Newcastle (Australia) where he tested the efficacy of seahorses and pipefishes as a flagship group to evaluate the conservation value of estuarine seagrass beds in estuaries in south-east Australia. After coming back to his home country Iran, he continued studying the Caspian Sea pipefish. He loves working on these creatures because of their fascinating way of reproduction, and because most of them are listed internationally as Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List and their protection could enlist public attention for their coexisting species and associated ecosystems.

Graham Short

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (41)

Graham is a research associate at the Australian Museum, Burke Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences. His research interests are focused on the taxonomy and systematics of fishes in the Syngnathidae family. He combine several lines of research involving considerable field and lab work in collaboration with fellow international syngnathid researchers, including phylogenetic studies based on multi-gene and next generation sequencing to resolve the evolutionary relationships of these unique fishes; the collection of syngnathids in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and South Africa; and the description of new species of syngnathids based on genetic and morphological characters, the latter being examined by powerful CT scans. Graham holds a MSc.in Molecular Biology from University of Hawaii.

Dr. Nuno Simoes

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (42)

Nuno is a broadly trained marine biologist and ecologist with a particular interest in marine invertebrate species diversity and distribution, as well as the Marine Aquarium trade and sustainable aquaculture of marine ornamental species. Nuno currently works in the Coral Reefs and coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Caribbean, as well as with the fauna and management of fresh water sink holes (cenotes) of the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico.

Dr. Richard Smith

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (43)

Richard, 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, his pioneering research on the biology and conservation of pygmy seahorses, led to the first PhD on these enigmatic fishes. Over the past decade, his 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: OceanRealmImages.com
Twitter: @Rich_Underwater

Dr. Atsushi Sogabe

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (44)

Atsushi is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University. He holds BSc (2001), MSc (2003) and PhD (2007) from Ehime University. His research focuses on the diversity of mating systems in syngnathid fishes, especially concerning the life-long pair bonding in a monogamous pipefish. He is also currently working on the phylogeography and conservation genetics of syngnathid fishes in Japan.

Lily Stanton

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (45)

Lily holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria and an MSc in Biology from Acadia University. Focusing on conservation genetics, her master’s thesis examined the population genetic structure, taxonomy, and phylogeography of freshwater mussels in Atlantic Canada. She worked as Invertebrate Research Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and was involved in developing survey protocols, researching life history characteristics, identifying threats, and implementing the conservation management of aquatic species at risk. At Project Seahorse, she provided technical and biological support to iSeahorse and the IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon Specialist Group.
Twitter: @LilyMStanton1

Dr. Tanvi Vaidyanathan

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (46)

Tanvi has a PhD from The University of British Columbia. Her research focused on the fisheries and trade of seahorses in India, and in understanding how existing policies and management measures work for their conservation. She is interested in marine conservation and coastal resource management, with a focus on marine protected areas. She holds a BSc in Zoology and a Masters in marine sciences from Goa University, and Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Her previous work focused on fisheries and integrated coastal zone management in India.

Dr. Lucy Woodall

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (47)

Lucy is a marine biologist based at the University of Oxford and is funded by Nekton. Her current research focuses on elucidating the processes that drive biodiversity in the marine biome and understanding the resilience of the ocean. She seeks to understand the impacts of human activities on the marine environment. In particular she has led deep sea research into microplastics and marine litter, and continues to engage and consult on these issues with national and international bodies. She has worked across the globe focusing on Syngnathidae and related fish, from seahorse conservation genetics in the shallows of the Mediterranean, to the biogeography bellowfish from remote Indian Ocean semounts.

Dr. Xiong Zhang

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (48)

Xiong completed his PhD at The University of British Columbia where he studied seahorse biology and conservation with Dr. Amanda Vincent (supervisor) at Project Seahorse. A major interest of his PhD program was understanding seahorse distribution patterns and conservation issues, and providing scientific findings and conservation strategies to advance marine conservation, especially in China. During the last three years, he has conducted many field surveys along China's coast to determine seahorse taxonomy, distributions, fisheries, and trade in the country. His work has mobilized conservation action plans in governments, NGOs and raised awareness of seahorses in China. Xiong received his Masters degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Bachelors from Chongqing University, China.
Twitter @Harry01301

Other Members

Peet Joubert, Nature Management Services,South Africa

Click here for the directory of other fish specialist groups and Red List authorities on the IUCN website.

Banner image of Kulbicki’s pipefish (Festucalex kulbickii) by Richard Smith / Ocean Realm Images[Updated 1 November 2023]

Who we are — IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish & Seadragon (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Chrissy Homenick

Last Updated:

Views: 5918

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Chrissy Homenick

Birthday: 2001-10-22

Address: 611 Kuhn Oval, Feltonbury, NY 02783-3818

Phone: +96619177651654

Job: Mining Representative

Hobby: amateur radio, Sculling, Knife making, Gardening, Watching movies, Gunsmithing, Video gaming

Introduction: My name is Chrissy Homenick, I am a tender, funny, determined, tender, glorious, fancy, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.