Vallée de Mai
Marc Jean-BaptisteSite Manager
Marc has been working for SIF since 2008, when he worked as Island Manager on Aldabra. Before this he worked as the Praslin Environment Coordinator at the Ministry of Environment and Transport, and as the Vice Chairman at Terrestrial Restoration Action Society Seychelles (TRASS). Marc has an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent. He is passionate about his work and has ensured a high standard of customer service at the Vallée de Mai during his time as Site Manager, which has resulted in the site being awarded TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for seven years. Marc also created and spearheaded an anti-poaching taskforce which has been successful in reducing coco de mer poaching incidents in the forest.
Jessica ConstanceVallée de Mai Science Coordinator
Jessica joined SIF in 2012 as an Invasive Species Technical Officer. From thereon, until 2015 she led two successful eradication projects. Working with SIF gave Jessica the opportunity to pursue future studies, and earn the David Stoddart scholarship to study at the University of Seychelles. After graduating with Honours in BSc Environmental Science, she re-joined as a Field Research Officer. Working with SIF has given Jessica the privilege of working with both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and has given her the chance to express her passion for nature and conservation.
In 2021, she was promoted to Vallée de Mai Science Coordinator, and hopes to bring forward that additional value that research work brings to the reserve, and create a strong research foundation in our research staff.
Maria BriocheEducation and Outreach Coordinator
Maria joined SIF in April 2011 as the education and outreach programme officer on Praslin. Maria is responsible for outreach to tourists, school children and the Praslin community in general. She aims to raise people’s awareness of the work being done by SIF at both sites. She is also responsible for educating school children about the flora and fauna of the Vallée de Mai and Aldabra. Prior to joining SIF Maria was a schoolteacher for 12 years, where she was responsible for both the wildlife club and the Eco-school programme. Her love for the environment and her experience as an educator has led Maria to dedicating her time to promoting environmental education for SIF. Maria is known for her social skills and her incredible ability to make people feel at ease and comfortable, especially small children who love to discover the Vallée de Mai with her. In 2022, she was promoted to Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Vallée de Mai.
Terance PayetAssistant Field Research Officer
Terance is a senior ranger in the Vallée de Mai. He joined SIF in October 2011 as a field worker and later the same year became a ranger. As a research team member he plays a major role in ongoing research and monitoring programmes on fauna and flora in the Vallée de Mai. Terance is a key member of the black parrot breeding team and now leads this monitoring programme in the field each year. Terance has completed the Durrell Endangered Species Management (DESMAN) course based at Jersey Zoo in the UK and he was trained as an EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered) fellow focussing on black parrots under a recent national project as part of the Darwin Initiative. Terance has also received specialised training in climbing and mist-netting, but most importantly, has a natural passion for the wonderful black parrots. He is one of the most knowledgeable staff in the field and in every field session with Terance one will discover something new.
Shanone HibonneAssistant Field Research Officer
Shanone joined the Vallée de Mai team in 2014 as the Invasive Species Technical Officer (ISTO) under the European Union Invasive Alien Species(IAS) project, later merging with the Inva’Zil project until 2018, as an ISTO she contributed to the control and eradication of several invasive alien species, especially plants. After the extensive IAS projects completed, Shanone participated in the black parrot, coco de mer, herpetofauna and phenology monitoring. Following years of dedication towards her work, she was awarded the David Stoddart Scholarship to pursue a BSc Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles. Shanone re-joined the team in 2022 after taking one year deferment from her studies, and is currently an Assistant Field Research Officer.
Monica GriffithBlack Parrot Officer
Monica is a conservation ecologist who first joined the team at the Vallée de Mai in 2018. Before moving to the Seychelles, she worked in Mauritius on the Echo Parakeet recovery project where she learnt to climb trees to access nest boxes, to handle and ring parrots and to monitor their breeding attempts. With this background, it was a natural progression to take up a post with SIF where she could put these skills to use and work with the iconic Seychelles black parrot. Despite the challenges of the role, Monica loves working with the black parrots as they continue to surprise us with new behaviour, and is keen to help increase our knowledge of Seychelles’ national bird.
Dr Frauke Fleischer-DogleyChief Executive Officer
Frauke is a trained conservation biologist who was appointed a trustee on the board of SIF in 2003. Since 2007 she has led SIF as chief executive officer. Improving the management effectiveness of Seychelles' World Heritage Sites is her mission. She believes in science-based management decisions, innovation, and the need to rigorously review established practices to advance conservation management. Her PhD research substantially advanced understanding of the population management of the coco de mer (Lodoicea maldivica), Seychelles flagship species and has been published in several scientific papers. She has over 15 years of experience in protected area management and has also worked in the fields of tourism planning, ecotourism and international cooperation with the Government of Seychelles. In addition she has served on many national steering committees and is also a member of the National Environment Advisory Council and the Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust. Frauke steers SIF steadily through stormy seas of the innumerable ups and downs inherent to managing two World Heritage sites with very different challenges. Among her strengths are keeping the bigger picture in mind and being present and approachable for her staff, thereby getting to know each of them on an individual level.
Dr Nancy BunburyConsulting Director of Research and Conservation
Nancy is an island conservation biologist who has led SIF's research and conservation work at both sites since 2008. Before this, she worked on avian conservation in Mauritius for 5 years, where she completed her PhD research on diseases in pink pigeons. She specialises in endangered species conservation and management, invasive alien species control, and improving management of protected areas. She has led many projects, including several successful invasive species eradications, for SIF; part of her work is to secure funding for these projects at both sites. She is a driving force behind much of SIF’s research work, and has co-authored numerous scientific papers. Her underlying approach is to apply or obtain scientific evidence wherever possible to inform and improve conservation and, in doing so, to try to bridge the gap between science and implementation. Nancy is the main contact point for SIF’s international research collaborations and projects.
Bernadette JulieSenior Administrative and Human Resources Officer
Bernadette has been senior administration and human resources officer at SIF since October 2014. Prior to working with SIF she had 25 years of experience working in human resources and administration. Her role is to facilitate staff matters, including, recruitment, promotion, training and development. Bernadette also advises SIF managers on staff matters; provides technical advice to the CEO, prepares contracts and arranges work permits if needed. Bernadette is a caring colleague and very supportive to all staff in any situation!
Christina QuanzProjects Coordinator
Christina started working for SIF in 2008 as a volunteer and is now the Projects Coordinator, responsible for overseeing all ongoing projects at SIF. Christina previously worked on Aldabra for four years to implement a renewable energy system which today supplies 98% of Aldabra's electricity demand with solar power. This was also part of her MSc thesis. Being very passionate about nature and especially small tropical islands, Christina feels very lucky to have found this unique place to work, where the protection of Seychelles' biggest treasures is the day to day priority and work is never routine but interesting, challenging and meaningful.
Elsa PoolExecutive Assistant
Elsa joined SIF in February 2021 as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. With a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Masters in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of Plymouth, Elsa can thrive in SIF’s work environment. It allows her to learn a bit of everything, business and environment-related. She plays a significant role in providing a high standard of assistance to meet the CEO’s office requirements. Some of the activities include supporting the SIF Board of Trustees, assisting with the implementation of decisions through effective follow-up processes, analysing and reviewing internal reports and documentation, and presiding and executing specific projects while participating in developing policies and procedures related to the mandate and responsibilities of SIF. Her passion for environmental protection makes her an asset to the team, and is pleased to be part of an organisation with a similar ethos and mission.
Ronny RoseOperations and Logistics Officer
Ronny is the operations and logistics officer and joined SIF in October 2016. Ronny is responsible for managing head office, Vallée de Mai and Aldabra logistics, including coordinating and organising the process of transportation of supplies and equipment to both sites. Ronny has to maintain effective communications with the managers of both sites and at head office to ensure efficient daily operations. He is looking forward to building a solid career and to contributing to the development of SIF. He believes that anything can be achieved with noble work ethics and team effort.
Julio AgricoleOperations & Logistics Manager
Julio joined the SIF team in 2012 as a ranger on Aldabra. Since then, he has been involved in and led several successful eradication projects conducted by SIF. After graduating with honours in BSc Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles, he became Acting Site Manager for the Vallée de Mai UNESCO World Heritage Site. His role was to organize and supervise all departments in the Vallée de Mai to ensure that they all run effectively and efficiently. Julio also acts as relief manager for Aldabra when needed. He is now leading the Operations and Logistics team at the SIF head office on Mahé.
Thiwanka RajapakshaFinancial Controller
Thiwanka joined SIF in May 2022 as the Financial Controller. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Facilities Management and Associate membership in Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) in the UK. Prior to joining SIF, he worked with the Seychelles Ministry of Finance for several years, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Sri Lanka. In in his role, Thiwanka finds it interesting to engage with all departments across the sites, and as a finance professional, he looks forward to learn and experience more on marine conservation!
Dylis CedrasMarketing and Product Development Officer
Dylis joined SIF in August 2015 as the marketing and product development officer. Her role is to research and develop products and services that will enhance visitors’ experience in the Vallée de Mai and Aldabra. Dylis’ responsibilities at SIF extend to the development of advertising media and working with promotional agents both locally and overseas to attract more visitors to both sites. Due to her outgoing personality she has served as master of ceremony at several national events of importance for SIF. She is very much looking forward to the Aldabra House project and getting ready to take on an even more important role.
Dr Annabelle ConstanceScience Coordinator
Annabelle first joined SIF in 2011 as an Assistant Project Officer on a European Union-funded project addressing the problem of invasive species on Aldabra and in Vallée de Mai. Since, she has held several positions until her recent appointment as Science Coordinator to oversee research and monitoring across all three managed sites.
Annabelle is a conservation and spatial ecologist with a background in mangrove ecology, remote sensing, and coastal vegetation dynamics. In 2022, Annabelle completed her Ph.D. in natural sciences at the University of Zurich, where she researched the mangrove and coastline systems on Aldabra Atoll. Annabelle was the first to be awarded SIF’s David Stoddart Scholarship to follow a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at UniSey – a degree tailored to Small Island Developing States. She then completed an MSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of Zurich.
Annabelle’s approach to her position is to implement strategies to increase the use of evidence from long-term monitoring and research into the management of species populations, habitats, and ecosystems of Seychelles’ UNESCO World Heritage sites. She plans to achieve this by promoting improved and standardized data collection methods, storage, and analysis that provide the information needed to answer questions relevant to conservation. In her current post, Annabelle will continue to do part-time independent research to understand the effects of global changes on Aldabra’s vegetation.
Mara RivoltaCommunications Officer
Mara joined the team in August 2021 as the Communications Officer, and has since taken on multiple communication and outreach activities. She has a BA (Hons) in English and Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham, and a background in content marketing and social media management. With a keen interest in education, working with SIF allows her to be involved in the multiple engaging outreach activities, and help in educating the public on the organization’s conservation work and the importance preserving of our natural heritage. Since joining, she has been able to work on different projects and initiatives, and is thoroughly enjoying learning about conservation and research, a field that she had previously not been acquainted with.
Veronique BananeProject Officer
Veronique joined the Head Office team in October 2019 as Project Officer, having graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Since working with SIF, she has had extensive experience both on-the-ground, consisting of onsite helping with the control of yellow crazy ants in the Vallée de Mai, as well as assisting and leading project matters, such as securing grants and their associated procedures that allow for crucial research work and continued protection of both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Veronique also plays a vital role in biosecurity measures and procedures required to protect Aldabra from the globally pressing threat of Invasive Alien Species.
She continues to strive for excellence, and looks forward to working on exciting projects in the future to ensure the protection of all sites.
Cheyenne Chang-YunnProject Officer
Cheyenne Chang-Yunn re-joined SIF as a Project Officer after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Technology (Hons) from Quest International University, Malaysia. She previously worked with SIF as a Vallée de Mai Field Research Assistant in 2017, participating in the black parrot and coco de mer monitoring programmes while also contributing to the control and eradication of several invasive alien species. Before pursuing her degree, she also worked on the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles’ turtle monitoring and terrapin rehabilitation projects. Her passion for the environment has grown more towards implementing and enhancing effective systems for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, with climate change adaptation and renewable energy being key focuses. Having several experiences in environmental management she is keen on turning her knowledge into action as one of SIF’s Project Officers.
Corianna JulieScience Officer
Corianna Julie joined SIF as the Science Officer in 2020 and has been loving the new experience. Corianna completed a Master’s degree in Botany at the Nelson Mandela University in 2020, with a focus on mangrove ecology. Prior to this, Corianna completed a BSC Environmental Science degree, double majoring in botany and geography, and a BSc Honours degree in Marine Botany from the same university. Currently, Corianna plays a significant role in supporting, developing and strengthening the Vallée de Mai’s research programme, as well as providing administrative, logistic and general support for the implementation of SIF’s general research and conservation programme. She has thus far enjoyed this position as she has learned so much, and finds there is never a dull and idle day in the life of an SIF team member. Corianna has a passion for inclusive science that creates a space for everyone to actively learn and play a role in sustainability, and environmental management. She believes that science needs to be communicated effectively to the public to bring more success. Corianna has expressed that she is looking forward to contributing to the advancement of research at both sites in the near future and is excited for what is yet to come!
Aruna SunasseeCommunications, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Aruna joined the SIF Head Office team in May 2022, taking on the challenging role of Communications, Education and Outreach Coordinator. She has a Masters in Project Management and a B.A. in Political Science. Her previous experience in International Cooperation, as well as workshop and conference development, makes her a strong asset to the Communications Team.
Francis SalomonAldabra Island Manager
Francis started working for SIF as Aldabra Island Manager in April 2022. His role involves overseeing all daily operations, staff management, enforcing the island’s rules and regulations, supporting the research team, and keeping in close contact with Head Office staff on Mahé to ensure the smooth and safe running of the Aldabra site. Francis has a strong background of conservation experience, starting as a Conservation Ranger with ICS, and working his way up to Island Manager on Aride Island. From his many years of working on remote islands, Francis has developed a deep passion for Seychelles wildlife and enjoys using his skills as a mechanic and boatman to explore and improve life for all island inhabitants, from people to tortoises.
Christopher JonesAldabra Science Coordinator
Chris is primarily a seabird biologist but has broad interests in island restoration ecology. He joined SIF as the science coordinator of Aldabra Atoll in 2021. Before this he worked on several remote islands as a field biologist. Most recently he was part of the Gough Island Restoration Programme, collecting baseline ecological data prior to a mouse eradication and was also involved in the baiting operation. Prior to that he was a field biologist for the FitzPatrick Institute on sub-Antarctic Marion Island where he studied the demography and foraging ecology of albatrosses and petrels. He has also previously worked on some of the other outer islands of Seychelles collecting data on turtles and seabirds. On Aldabra he is responsible for managing the research team, ensuring meticulous data collection across all projects, providing regular technical reports and being the main contact point on Aldabra for collaborating researchers. Chris endeavours to continue the legacy of high quality scientific research on Aldabra.
Georgette SavyAssistant Field Research Officer
Georgette joined us in April 2022 as the Assistant Field Research Officer on Aldabra. Prior to joining the team, Georgette worked with Nature Seychelles as a specialist warden on Cousin Island. She holds a BSc in Tourism Management from the Asia Pacific University and Staffordshire University. After graduating in 2020, she went on to work in the tourism industry and she found that her interest leaned towards ecotourism, therefore she jumped into conservation. She believes that tourism can be a useful tool for conservation. She is extremely excited to be working on Aldabra and hopes to contribute greatly to the conservation of the atoll.