About us

The Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative has the vision of working in the Pacific alongside the people and communities who have inhabited these remote islands for so long, working to assist in the understanding of the environment, the protection of vulnerable species and the preservation of habitat, so these remote islands can remain a very special place for people and nature. For additional information, visit the PICI website.

Stephen Lyon — PICI Director

Stephen founded the Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative to help communities better understand and conserve their environment. The Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project lies at the heart of this intent, combining the facets of sustainable tourism, environmental research, diving, snorkelling and adventure to deliver information not previously available to the Aitutaki Island Council while providing a unique and wonderful experience for the project participants.

Dr. Tommy Moore — Lead Science Officer

Tommy received a PhD in Oceanography from the University of Delaware. His research has focused on marine chemistry and biological productivity in a range of environments, including hydrothermal vents in the Pacific basin. Most recently, he studied how seagrasses alter the chemistry of their surrounding waters during a post-doc at IMEDEA on Mallorca, Spain. Dr. Moore also holds an MA from Boston University and a BSc from the University of Montana. He grew up in the semi-arid regions of Colorado and the mountains of Montana, USA.

Dr. Tiffany Straza — Program Manager

Tiffany received a PhD in Oceanography from the University of Delaware, where she studied bacterial size and activity in marine surface waters. Her research focus has been ecological, studying systems as whole entities composed of multidimensional interactions. She has keen interest and experience in scientific writing, editing, and education. Dr. Straza completed her BSc in Oceanography at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is originally from the grasslands and steppe of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Dr. Mareike Sudek — ALMP Chief Science Officer

Mareike was born in Germany, and even though she didn’t grow up near the ocean, she always felt a strong bond to the ocean and its inhabitants. When she was 21 she left Germany to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology and Zoology from the University of Wales, Bangor, in the UK and then moved on to receive her PhD in Marine Biology (specializing in coral disease) from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Most of her PhD field work was conducted in Hawaii in connection with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

Mareike has a strong background in marine monitoring and a passion for outreach and marine conservation. She is super excited to combine these interests to help achieve the goals of the Aitutaki Lagoon Monitoring Project and give the eco-volunteers an unforgettable experience!

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