Our Team
around the globe

Committed to Conservation

Using evidence to maximise conservation impact.

DR. CHRIS R. SHEPHERD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Chris has spent over two decades in Southeast Asia, investigating, researching and motivating solutions to combat the illegal wildlife trade. He has worked on a range of species threatened by trade, including the Critically Endangered Ploughshare Tortoises of Madagascar, Sumatran Tigers in Indonesia, Asian Elephants in Myanmar and Sun Bears in Malaysia. Chris played a major role in catalysing many of the conservation interventions for newly emerging threats to Asia’s wildlife, putting the spotlight on issues such as the massive illegal trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles in Southeast Asia, the songbird trade crisis in Indonesia, and the laundering of wild-caught reptiles through bogus captive-breeding facilities from Asia to Europe and North America. Chris has a PhD from Oxford Brookes University and is an active member of many IUCN SSC specialist groups, and has published numerous papers on wildlife trade, and on solutions to mitigate trade as a threat.

Jordi Janssen, Programme Officer

Currently pursuing his PhD on the underlying dynamics and drivers of the live reptile trade, Jordi has over a decade of experience in reptile husbandry and keeping of reptiles in captivity. In the last few years, Jordi’s expertise in reptiles evolved into a focus on the trade in live reptiles and issues of fraudulent captive breeding. Bearing witness to the supply side of the reptile trade in Southeast Asia in combination with the extensive experience of keeping reptiles in captivity provides him a unique understanding and perspective of both the supply and demand of the live reptile trade. Jordi believes that because the majority of trade in wildlife is either very poorly documented, or not at all, the reality that trade is a threat for certain species may escape our attention, and by the time that realisation comes, it might be too late. He is a firm advocate for sharing information across institutional boundaries towards the common goal of saving species at risk.

LALITA GOMEZ, PROGRAMME OFFICER

Lalita specialises in field and online trade research and analysis, as well as legislative reviews with the aim of raising the profile of species exploited by illegal trade, supporting law enforcement actions and identifying measures needed to enhance protection for species. She assesses the impacts of illegal trade on a wide variety of species including bears, pangolins and serow exploited for the traditional medicine, marine turtles for their meat and shells, otters for the pet trade and lesser-known reptile and bird species. Lalita also has a decade of environmental consulting under her belt, managing and delivering environmental related projects such as environmental impact assessments, ecological studies, environmental management plans, enabling her to analyse and present wildlife trade data from an added technical perspective.

Boyd Leupen, Programme Officer

As a young adult, Boyd experienced the splendour and richness of the Malaysian wilderness as a traveller. The intense connection he felt with the rainforest sparked a desire to choose the path of conservation biology. Boyd embarked on his conservation career based in Southeast Asia, investigating wildlife trade dynamics of many different taxa and species groups. An avid birdwatcher, his primary focus currently is on bird-related trade issues. With birds continuously traded in enormous numbers around the world, his goal is to ensure that such trade is conducted in a sustainable matter, with respect for nature and local communities. Boyd’s academic background is in political science, providing a unique and important dimension to Monitor’s efforts to reduce the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. He strongly believes that in order to reach conservation goals, a multi-disciplinary approach must be applied, as the complexity of conservation issues demands the combination of academic and local knowledge and a profound understanding of political and social dynamics.

External Directors

Bringing experience, expertise and opportunities for professional partnerships and more.

Dr. Vincent Nijman

Vincent is a Professor in Anthropology and Postgraduate Research Tutor for Biological Anthropology, Primatology, Physical Geography and Archaeology at Oxford Brookes University, UK. A trained biologist, he leads the Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group and is biodiversity consultant for many leading international NGOs in Asia, the Caribbean and Europe. For 12 years, he was a member of the CITES Scientific Authority of the Netherlands. Apart from facilitating research, together with his team, he disseminates results of ongoing research to a wide audience, liaises with NGOs and governments, participates in collaborative projects, and works to increase the quality of research and monitoring, with the ultimate aim of improving the regulation of the global wildlife trade to sustainable levels.

Dr. PHILL CASSEY

Phill leads the Invasion Science & Wildlife Ecology Group at The University of Adelaide. As a global change biologist, he brings critical analytical techniques to the study of applied ecology, wildlife conservation, and biosecurity risk management; areas characterised by complexity and uncertainty. He has published extensively on the conservation, transport and trade in animal species, leads a research intensive laboratory at the University of Adelaide and teaches extensively in ecological research and conservation research methods.

SARAH STONER

Sarah is keen for illegal wildlife trade to be examined from a criminal perspective and to be treated as a serious, transnational crime, and advocates for the greater use of intelligence analysis to tackle wildlife crime. She was professionally trained at UK’s Greater Manchester Police, working on serious and organised crime, including a Counter Terrorism Unit deployment. She developed an interest in conservation issues whilst working at the UK’s Wildlife Crime Unit in Scotland, which led her to an analytical position with TRAFFIC, based in Malaysia working on regional wildlife trade related issues. She currently leads the Intelligence Development Unit at the Wildlife Justice Commission.

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