WCS Gabon

Staff

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Oliver Griffin
Proected Area Management Advisor
Olly's first involvement in conservation was in Madagascar as part of a student-led expedition to the little-studied Mahamavo region, then later as field assistant for a program to protect and understand the critically endangered Greater Bamboo Lemur in the eastern rainforest. Following an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London, he started working with WCS Gabon, running a remote and logistically challenging research station in the heart of the forest. Research focused on forest elephants, with more than a thousand individually identified, and western lowland gorillas. At the beginning of 2016 he started work with WCS Cambodia based in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.
Alexis Obiang
Technical Assistant : LEM
Angela Formia
Sea Turtle Partnership Coordinator & Regional Sea Turtle Coordinator
Angela Formia has been working on sea turtle research and conservation in the Gulf of Guinea since she began her PhD work in 1998, which focused on the conservation genetics of green turtles in the region. Since 2003 she has been involved with WCS' efforts to strengthen the sea turtle projects in Gabon (as well as in Equatorial Guinea, Congo and Ivory Coast), and has been coordinating the Gabon Sea Turtle Partnership since its creation in 2005. Dr Formia's work is focused particularly on describing and protecting Gabon's nesting leatherback population, as well as the olive ridleys, green turtles and hawksbills occuring along Gabon's coastline. Study of the spatial and temporal overlap between sea turtle distributions and the threats to which they are vulnerable is helping inform management strategies and establishment of protection measures for these endangered species. Since 2003 she has been involved with WCS' efforts to strengthen the sea turtle projects in Gabon (as well as in Equatorial Guinea, Congo and Ivory Coast), and has been coordinating the Gabon Sea Turtle Partnership since its creation in 2005. Dr Formia's work is focused particularly on describing and protecting Gabon's nesting leatherback population, as well as the olive ridleys, green turtles and hawksbills occuring along Gabon's coastline. Study of the spatial and temporal overlap between sea turtle distributions and the threats to which they are vulnerable is helping inform management strategies and establishment of protection measures for these endangered species.
Charleine Abayi
Director : Operations
Charleine gained a Masters 2 in Project Management in 2009. She was first recruited by WCS Gabon in 2009 as a Technical Assistant on the Marine Program (Congo Basin Coast), where she assisted researchers on whale surveys around Pongara National Park. She subsequently held the position of Project Director on the Marine Program, over-seeing project management and administration. Since February 2014, she is Director of the Operations and Logistics Department of WCS Gabon, where she manages day-to-day operations, equipment purchasing, infrastructure maintenance and construction, and development and control of standard procedures in the Operations Department.
Diane Savarit
Technical Assistant : Gabon coast and marine
After obtaining a Masters in Water and Aquatic Systems Management from the University of Aix-Marseille III in France, Diane worked on a number of aquatic system projects for both the private and public sector. She came to Gabon in 2013 as Technical Assistant on WCS' Mayumba project, where she provides technical support in developing and/or overseeing several projects, including whale and marine mammal monitoring, and the assessment of hydrocarbon pollution from off-shore petroleum platforms and pipelines.
Emmanuel Chartrain
Technical Assistant : Commerical Fishing
Eric Arnhem
Senior Technical Advisor: Forest landscape
Eric arrived in WCS Gabon's team in 2014 where he currently manages activities across the Terrestrial Landscsape Conservation Program. With a background in biology, Eric was awarded a Ph.D. thesis on the impact of logging on large mammals in Central Africa. Eager to put theory into practice, since 2007 he worked on wildlife management issues in logging concessions. Within the program, he applies the saying « we protect only what we love and we love only what we know » by working on the three strategic themes of WCS Gabon that are: 1 Scientific Research, 2 Law Enforcement Monitoring and 3 Environmental Education and Capacity Building.
Fiona Maisels
Surveys and Monitoring Advisor
Dr Maisels studied the feeding ecology of mouflon in Cyprus for her PhD (Edinburgh University) and has since worked in Central Africa for over 20 years. She is the advisor for the Wildlife Conservation Society's wildlife survey and monitoring programmes in Central Africa. Her expertise covers survey methodologies, wildlife abundance and distribution, wildlife ecology and protected area management. Dr Maisels is on the Scientific Commission of UNEP-GRASP (Great Apes Survival Partnership), and is a member of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group. She is also a Fellow of the Society of Biology. She has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Stirling since 2008, specifically in the African Forest Ecology Group.
Floriane Cardiec
Technical Assistant : Community Fishing
In 2007 Floriane completed a Masters degree in France in Aquatic and Marine Environment Management. Since then, she has worked in Gabon, first as a marine turtle conservationist for the Partenariat pour les Tortues Marines du Gabon (PTMG), dealing with threats on turtles, such as artificial light impacts on nesting and the issue of beached logs (2008-2011). In 2012, she joined the marine team at WCS, working on several aspects including whales monitoring, Marine Protected Areas and fisheries management. She is currently involved in the governmental initiative Gabon Bleu, with an emphasis on fisheries.
Gaspard Abitsi
Country Program Director

Born in Mounana (south-east Gabon, Central Africa) in 1976, Gaspard studied biology at the Université de Sciences et Techniques de Masuku (Gabon) and Université Claude Bernard de Lyon (France). He also attended the International Seminar on Protected Area Management with University of Montana and US Forest Service in 2009.

Gaspard is particularly interested in understanding how various land use strategies, such as logging, mining, palm plantation and protected area management, differentially impact wildlife, habitats and livelihoods of forest-dependent people. He also strengths in building consensus between local communities and conservationists on sustainable management of natural resources and; human and elephant conflict mitigation strategies.

Gaspard ABITSI has worked for WCS in Gabon for ten years and he is now the Country Director for WCS programme in Gabon.

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