DR. MARAH HARDT
DIRECTOR OF DISCOVERY AT FUTURE OF FISH
Dr. Hardt works at the crossroads of research, strategy, and communication to build a sustainable future for people and the sea. Since 2015 she has served as the Director of Discovery at Future of Fish, working with fishers, communities, entrepreneurs and innovators to ensure fishers can earn a fair living while leaving enough fish for future generations. As founder of OceanInk LLC, Marah has worked with interdisciplinary teams investigating climate change impacts on ocean life, coral reef health, fishery impacts, and sustainability of seafood supply chains. A former research fellow at Blue Ocean Institute, she designed innovative platforms for raising awareness about the effects of climate change on ocean ecosystems. She is author of SEX IN THE SEA (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) and has published her work in academic journals and popular media outlets.
MICHAEL BOWLEG JR.
PHD CANDIDATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Michael is an alumnus of The University of The Bahamas’ Small Island Sustainability program, holds a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture and has substantial research and husbandry experience in finfish and crustacean aquaculture, aquaponics, and environmental education. Currently, Michael is a 2nd year Ph.D. student and Teaching Assistant at the University of Exeter in the UK. His research focuses on sustainable aquaculture development. His thesis work aims to identify sustainable collection techniques and assess the feasibility of Caribbean spiny lobster stock enhancement and aquaculture in The Bahamas. His research is funded by the Lyford Cay Foundation’s Albek Scholarship and the University of Exeter’s Jubilee Scholarship Award.
DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AT TROPIC SEAFOOD
Jon paid his way through the University of Washington’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences by working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, progressing from deck hand to captain of the vessel. He then ran his own high seas fishing operation in the Southern Atlantic. For Jon, commercial fishing highlighted that the future lay in aquaculture. He has earned degrees in Aquaculture, Commercial Fishing and Genetics Hatchery specializing in technology, larval rearing, and nursery stages culture and grow-out operations., and worked in over 24 countries. He set up the first Live Seafood Trans-shipment Facility in United States Jon has lectured to global audiences in topics such as Recirculated Aquaculture Systems (RAS), live seafood shipping and aquaponics. All classes tare free to the participants because he feels that his knowledge and experience are the best gifts he can give to this world. He is the author of “Existential Aquaponics—A guide to home based food production systems”.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 (242) 427-7570
VANESSA HALEY- BENJAMIN
PHD CANDIDATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND
For 20 years, Vanessa has worked across the conservation spectrum having served as Chief Scientist of the Baha Mar resort, CEO of Save The Bays, and Director of Science and Policy at the Bahamas National Trust. She sits on the advisory board for the Sustainable Seafood Initiative for the Good Food Institute. In 2020, she received the New Harvest Institute Fellowship Award and The Lyford Cay Foundation’s Fiona Albek Award to support her doctorate research in the field of cell-cultured seafood. It focuses on culturing molluscan embryonic cells, isolating molluscan stem cells, and investigating the genes expressed in molluscan adult tissue.
NIKITA SHIEL ROLLE
FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE CAT ISLAND INSTITUTE
Eagleray Empress also known as Nikita Shiel-Rolle has a deep passion for the ocean, exploration and education. During her undergraduate career at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, Nikita founded Young Marine explorers, an organisation committed to conservation and youth development. She is also the owner of Cat Island Mermaid, a conservation art and wellness business, and Ocean Soul Farm, a hydroponic start-up exploring food security solutions.
DR. KIRK DOUGLAS
DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR BIOSECURITY STUDIES – UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
Dr. Douglas is a professional senior scientist recognized both regionally and internationally for impactful scientific research in the fields of microbiology, infectious diseases, biosecurity, virology, and zoonoses. He has an avid interest in regional biosecurity issues including climate change, the blue economy, circular bioeconomy, natural disasters, waste management and sustainability, infectious diseases, border security and trade.
CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT AT THE BLUE ACTION LAB
Rupert, a Bahamian national, is an executive director of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation and an advisor to Global Harvester Holdings, a UK green merchant bank. In his more than 20 years of international investment experience in emerging and developed markets, he has served on the board and Executive Committee, of the Salamanca Group where he led the expansion into Brazil, establishing two profitable investment advisory businesses. Rupert also led the acquisition of a majority stake in one of Brazil’s largest privately owned real estate developers, where he held an executive director role for almost 7 years.
FOUNDER AND MANAGING PRINCIPAL OF BRON
Carlos Emmanuel Palacious was the first Bahamian Coastal Engineer. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Bahamas, Canada and USA as well as being globally certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP). In 2018, Professional Services Bahamas named Carlos on the prestigious top 40 under 40 list. He was selected to represent American Society of Civil Engineers as an Emerging Leader in 2015. Carlos is Founder and Managing Principal of BRON, a multinational, interdisciplinary development consulting group with teams in The Bahamas, Florida, Turks and Caicos Islands, and St. Kitts.
CAPTAIN DWAIN HUTCHINSON
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO OF BAHAMAS MARITIME AUTHORITY (BMA)
At the BMA, he is responsible for the management of The Bahamian ship Registry, one of the largest flag carriers in the world. A qualified Master Mariner with over 37 years of experience, he has led The Bahamian delegation, as Chairman of the IMO’s FSI/III Sub-Committee, and Caribbean Port State Control, Vice Chair of the CMOU Committee and Chair of MOU’s Technical Committee. In addition, he is a serving Governor of the IMO World Maritime University’s Executive Board of Governors and has led The Bahamas delegation at International Labour Organisation (ILO) meetings on MLC 2006.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ANALYST, CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
Mr. Straughn is an experienced process and project engineer with over 12 years of experience in the energy sector. He has worked with the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since early 2019 where he handles stakeholder engagement, collaboration with partner organizations and member countries, as well as identification and screening of sustainable energy opportunities. He is also responsible for the management of special technical assistance resources for sustainable energy interventions. Prior to his assignment with CDB, Mr. Straughn has held various technical and managerial roles, including in multi-national engineering firms and operating companies.
He is a Certified Energy Manager, holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, in Barbados
Mark grew up in an engineering and construction family. He has an avid interest in bridges, dams, skyscrapers and public works projects that focus on design and building in cement, steel, rock and advanced materials. He is currently seeking sites to build country-supporting, patented electricity generation and storage and seawater desalination at a scale that allows export at a profit.
COORDINATOR, SUSTAINABLE TOURISM UNIT AT THE BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM
Tarran’s work focuses on community-based tourism development in developing countries, and climate adaptation with hotels in rural island communities. He has worked as a consultant with the government of Bolivia to develop a road map to tourism development in the municipal area. Additionally, he has worked with stakeholders on the island of Andros to investigate the perceived risk of climate change, and mitigation strategies. At the Ministry of Tourism, he is in charge of community tourism development and matters related to climate change and tourism in The Bahamas.
KATIE STORR (MERMAID KATIE)
OWNER OF THE MERSQUAD YACHTING
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and VIP AYI Chief Yacht Stewardess Katie Storr aka Mermaid Katie is a Bahamian Ocean Entrepreneur, most known for private Scuba Diving Instruction onboard luxury yachts cruising throughout The Bahamas. She is a Media and Content Curator for a variety of tour operators and ocean related businesses in The Bahamas. Katie is one of the few professional black women in the world to teach Underwater Photography as a Professional Instructor.
Contact: 1 (242) 816-3483
LINZI KNOWLES-BELTON (MERMAID LINZI)
OWNER OF BAHAMAS MERMAIDS
Following a Bachelor’s in Marine Science, Linzi returned to The Bahamas and the marine mammal training field at Dolphin Cay; a world-class dolphin facility at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. Her passion for marine environment conservation led to the Blue Lagoon Island Marine Education department where she educated through beach cleanups, art competitions, school field trips and marine assembly programs. Her love for the ocean and dream to cultivate the same enthusiasm in others led her to become the first professional Bahamian Mermaid where she spreads the message of marine conservation and environmental awareness through her mermaid tail!
PARK WARDEN AT BAHAMAS NATIONAL TRUST
Kristoff is a naturalist and environmentalist. He grew up in Adelaide Village on New Providence, one of several communities dedicated to freed blacks after the abolition of the slave trade in the 1800s. The connection with his cultural roots paired with his love for nature led to his employment with the Bahamas National Trust in 2014. He was hired as Deputy Park Warden for the Primeval Forest National Park, which was also a space frequently traversed by his ancestors. He is enrolled as a biochemistry major at the University of The Bahamas.
Contact: email@example.com or 1 (242) 362-6794
DIRECTOR AND OWNER OF CONCHBOY FILMS
Lavado is an award-winning Bahamian director and producer. In 2014, he received the Bahamian Icon Award. He has formed his own production company, Conchboy Films. He has progressed the brand from a small startup to a budding creative organization, nailing work for critically acclaimed short documentaries like “AFTER: The Kellie Greene Story,” which aired on Direct TV while winning first place at the Enzian Film Slam competition, and music videos for major label artists, such as Sony Records Grammy award-winning group, Baha Men.