Meet the Team
Dr. Shaya Honarvar is the Founder and Director of the Bioko Marine Turtle Program, a Research Associate at Purdue University Fort Wayne, and affiliate graduate faculty at the University of Hawai'i. She is an ecologist and conservation biologist with more than a decade of experience working on Bioko Island. Dr. Honarvar's research focus includes sea turtle and primate ecology, population biology, and conservation. She received her Ph.D. from Drexel University, a M.Sc. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a masters degree in biotechnology and engineering from the Hogeschool Utrecht in The Netherlands. She has more than 15 years experience working with marine turtles and primates in remote areas throughout Central America and Africa.
Gertrudis Ribado Meňe (MS) is the In-Country Manager for the Bioko Marine Turtle Program and a professor of environmental science at Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE) in Malabo. Gertrudis oversees all education, outreach, and artisanal program both on Bioko Island and on mainland Equatorial Guinea. She coordinates all in-country events and programs, as well as public relations. Gertrudis earned her Masters degree from el Instituto Internacional de Formacion Ambiental in Spain and a baccalaureate degree from the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Lisa Sinclair (MS) is the Program Manager for the Bioko Marine Turtle Program. Lisa manages Bioko Marine Turtle Program's research camps, research activities, and assists with on-island activities during the sea turtle nesting season each year. She has been working with Dr. Honarvar on the sea turtles and drills of Bioko Island since 2012. Lisa received her Masters degree from Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana and her baccalaureate from George-Mason University. Her masters degree and ongoing research focus on how development and increased forest access affects endangered wildlife in Bioko's protected areas. She is currently focusing on the ecology and conservation of the Bioko drill.
Macarena Oki Tobileri is the Education and Artisanal Program Coordinator for the Bioko Marine Turtle Program. She leads education outreach projects for children and jewelry workshops with women on Bioko and on mainland Equatorial Guinea. Macarena earned her Baccalaureate from the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Dr. Frank Paladino is an Advisor to the Bioko Marine Turtle Program, the Jack W. Schrey Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Biology Department at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is also the Director of the Goldring-Gund Marine Lab in Costa Rica and President of the Leatherback Trust (NGO). Dr. Paladino is an internationally renowned sea turtle expert who earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University, A masters degree from State University College at Buffalo, NY, and his Baccalaureate from State University College at Plattsburgh, NY.
Past Research and Program Assistants who have helped to make our work possible.