Rhett Butler founded Mongabay.com in 1999 where is serves as editor-in-chief and president of Mongabay.org, Mongabay's non-profit arm.
Rhett also runs WildMadagascar.org and Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access academic journal. He speaks regularly on topics surrounding forests and the environment, and advises a wide range of organizations, including governments, multilateral development agencies, media outlets, academic institutions, foundations, and private sector entities.
He is a trusted information source for the BBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox News, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Business Week, Bloomberg, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Reuters, Voice of America, the Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and others.
Gerardo has worked with UNAM since 1989 with scientific interests and field work focusing on animal ecology, biogeography and conservation of nature. He has directed 19 thesis, 13 master's and doctoral, and carried out conservation projects aimed at protecting species and ecosystems including the creation of Biosphere Reserve Chamela – Cuixmala in Jalisco, Janos Biosphere Reserve, Lerma Marshes and the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. He has directed more than 80 technical studies for various government, academic and private national and international institutions.
Dr. Eric Dinerstein is the founder and Director of the Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions (BWS) at RESOLVE. The twin goals of BWS focus is saving endangered large mammals from extinction and saving tropical rainforests.
BWS brings new innovations in technology to help save endangered species and their habitats, promotes WildTech for global communications and is working to Integrate Biodiversity into Global Forest Watch with the World Resources Institute.
For much of the past 25 years Eric was Chief Scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. Beginning in 1975, he conducted studies of tigers and their prey and led conservation programs for large mammals, such as greater-one horned rhinoceros. Along with Dr. David Olson, he is a co-architect of the Global 200, Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World, and with Dr. Eric Wikramanayake, mapped tiger conservation landscapes, designed the Terai Arc Landscape in Nepal and India, and was a leader in the first Global Tiger Summit, staged in November 2010, to double the wild tiger population.
He is author of The Return of the Unicorns: the Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros (Columbia University Press); Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations and The Kingdom of Rarities (Island Press), and What Elephants Know, forthcoming in May 2016 (Disney-Hyperion).
Dedicating her life to protecting rainforests and wildlife in some of the world’s most hostile and rugged environments, Suwanna Gauntlett has set the trend for a new generation of direct action conservationists. Suwanna has designed, implemented, and supported bold, front-line conservation programs to protect threatened rainforests, save endangered wildlife populations, and directly address the causes of poverty in the tropical belt.
Originally from San Francisco, Suwanna grew up in Brazil and Europe.
She founded WildAid (precursor to Wildlife Alliance), a direct action nonprofit focusing on saving endangered wildlife in the tropical belt, where 90 percent of the planet’s biodiversity is concentrated.
In 2001, Suwanna began working in Cambodia, training hundreds of rangers, building a wildlife center and veterinary clinic, and began her decade long work to assist national parks and the government to stop uncontrolled wildlife poaching and deforestation and resolve land grabbing. Working with ministries, provincial and district governors, she create a long-term land management plan. In just the first 9 months of ranger operations, 401 cases of land grabbing were stopped, 360 illegal land titles were cancelled, elephant killings were reduced by 98 percent and tiger killings by 50 percent.
She now leads Wildlife Alliance and its work in Southern Cardamom Forest Protection with the Forestry Administration including 6 ranger stations, a tropical reforestation program, a wildlife rehabilitation station, sustainable agriculture and community ecotourism. Today, nearly 2 million acres of continuous forest have been maintained in the Southern Cardamoms, one of the great forest conservation achievements in Asia.
Mike Griffiths has 30 years experience in the conservation of large ecosystems. While most of this work has been in Indonesia where he worked in Java, Borneo and, especially, the northern part of Sumatra, he has also been engaged in Southern China, and Kenya. His pioneering work in seeking recognition for the Leuser Ecosystem in northern Sumatra resulted in the largest grant been given for a conservation anywhere in the world at the that time. He was formerly a director of BPKEL the government agency established by the Government of Aceh charged with the conservation and sustainable use of the Leuser Ecosystem.
Mr. Griffiths brings a unique mixture of skills for understanding the role of conservation in regional development, as he spent most of his early career in the oil and gas industry working predominantly with Halliburton in various parts of the world including, the USA, Norway, Ireland, Japan, China and Indonesia. During this period Mr. Griffiths developed a high reputation in being able to turn around loss making operations into highly profitable ones. Mr Griffiths academic qualifications also equipped him to undertake his various disciplines, graduating with honours with a B.Sc in both Geology and Zoology at the University of Auckland New Zealand. . He also undertook management training courses including graduating from the Roy Huffington Management School in 1979. Mr Griffiths has published three books and authored (or co-authored) seven scientific papers on tropical ecology and conservation. His services to conservation were recognized by his being awarded the title “Officer of the Golden Ark” by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
Dr. Dominique Rissolo is the founding director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to coming to UCSD, Dominique oversaw the acquisition and management of a deep submergence capability for the Waitt Institute, in partnership with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and worked closely with agencies and universities to plan and execute oceanographic and marine archaeological survey and research projects using AUV, ROV, HOV, R/V platforms.
Dominique continues to direct the National Geographic Society/Waitt Foundation (NGS/Waitt) Grants Program and the Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) Grants Program on behalf of the Waitt Foundation. As an archaeologist, Dominique’s interdisciplinary research focuses on paleocoastal human ecology and the development of ancient maritime trade networks along the Yucatan coast. His work on the Yucatan Peninsula has also focused on ancient Maya and Paleoamerican cave and cenote use as well as coastal and near-coastal settlement patterns and the rise of social complexity in the region. Dominique is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University and McMaster University School of Geography and Earth Sciences.
Dr. Nir Tenenbaum brings a unique combination of wildlife veterinary and defense expertise, together with a passion for nature and its creatures. First and foremost a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, he is also a retired air-force airborne ranger and an alumnus of the defense industry, with over 17 years’ experience in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) applied to a variety of defense, homeland security, and civilian challenges with sea, ground and airborne systems. He has designed, deployed, and trained others to operate a wide range of ISR systems worldwide.
Nir founded Wildeas, a consulting group that facilitates the responsible introduction of advanced solutions from the security and defense sectors to conservation to obtain appropriate, realistic, effective and durable solutions. In his work, Nir assists organizations in creating and designing a realistic conservation strategy, by analyzing field needs in cooperation with local communities, leading an appropriate selection processes, and designing field testing and operational deployment. He applies his combined expertise to bridge the gap between conservation challenges and needs and advanced solutions and operational methods.