Sea Watch Staff
Director – Dr Peter Evans established Sea Watch Foundation in 1991 and is the Charity’s Director. He has worked on cetacean research for thirty years and oversees the UK national cetacean monitoring scheme. He was founding Secretary, and later Chairman of the European Cetacean Society, as well as Editor for 21 years. He is a the Director of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust, a Trustee of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and an adviser to the government and various NGO’s on cetacean matters. Peter’s field research concentrates upon ecological, behavioural and conservation biology studies of cetaceans in the UK, particularly harbour porpoises, bottlenose dolphins and minke whales. He also studies the effects of human disturbance upon cetaceans. He has worked extensively on seabirds in Britain, Ireland and the Arctic and was former Secretary of the Seabird Group and editor of its journal, ‘Seabird’. He has written and/or edited 12 books and 120 scientific publications and is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the School of Ocean Sciences, University of Bangor.
Sightings Officer - Danielle Gibas was first involved with Sea Watch Foundation in 2010, when she spent a season working as a research assistant for the Cardigan Bay Monitoring programme. She is now Sea Watch’s Sightings Officer. Previous to her involvement with Sea Watch, Danielle spent three years in New Zealand where she worked as a fisheries observer and participated in a number of marine mammal research projects. Danielle is now based in New Quay and is responsible for managing the regional sightings network, with the help of regional co-ordinators. She liaises with observers and promotes public education and awareness by distributing environmental information. Danielle also trains new observers, coordinates National Whale and Dolphin Watch Week and assists the Monitoring Officer in conducting cetacean research in Cardigan Bay.
Monitoring Officer – Daphna Feingold started work in New Quay in April 2009 as Sea Watch Foundation’s Cardigan Bay Monitoring Officer. Daphna is originally from Israel and has a lot of previous cetacean field experience, having worked with IMMRAC (Israeli Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center). She also worked with Tethys Research Institute, where she was involved in the research and conservation of cetaceans in the Northern Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea respectively. During her work she gained extensive experience in photo ID techniques with bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins. Daphna also participated in the international SCANS line transect survey, aimed at estimating small cetacean abundance, in July 2005.
Press Officer - Wendy Necar is responsible for raising awareness of the National Whale and Dolphin Watch by securing publicity on national and local TV and radio, as well as newspapers, magazines and websites. She is an experienced freelance journalist and has a strong personal interest in environmental conservation issues.
Press Assistant – Julie Albray works as a communications officer, helping to promote the National Whale and Dolphin Watch in the national and local media. A former journalist, Julie is an experienced public relations and media consultant with an interest in nature and the environment.
Adopt a Dolphin Administrator – Kirsten Hintner works with Sea Watch Foundation as the ‘Adopt a Dolphin’ administrator and is involved in film making and producing. She is based in Buckinghamshire and trained at the London College of Communication. She gained wildlife filming experience at the BBC’s Natural History Unit before starting work at the Open University, producing course material for distance teaching. Kirsten has experience in all aspects of filmmaking, including operating cameras, recording and editing audio, vision mixing, voice-over and many other techniques. She became a freelance worker in 2000 with her own company, ‘Worldimg’, and has since worked for a variety of organisations, including the United Nations, BBC, NIACE, the Open University, the Community Channel and many charity organizations, including Fauna & Flora International, National Phobics Society, Barnardos and Sea Watch Foundation. Kirsten produces short films, documentaries & video journalism pieces for internet use, and other media for marketing, education, broadcast and fundraising purposes. She has been involved in community film-making projects and has worked with children, people with disabilities and isolated communities. www.kirstenhintner.co.uk
Dr Pia Anderwald, originally from Switzerland, was Sea Watch Foundation’s data analyst until 2011. After a Masters thesis from the University of Zurich on niche differentiation of cetaceans in the North Atlantic, using Sea Watch sightings database, she completed a PhD at the University of Durham on the foraging ecology and population genetics of minke whales. Pia has extensive field experience with a number of cetacean species, including minke whales, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoises. She has extensive experience in conducting behavioural studies, photo-identification and line transect surveys. Pia is now a consultant for Sea Watch and also manages the Sea Watch Risso’s dolphin photo-ID catalogue.
Mick Baines was Sea Watch Foundation’s Database Manager from 2002 to 2011. He also worked on the database’s structure refinement, error checking and extraction procedures. Mick has been researching and monitoring marine mammals in Wales for over a decade, during which time he has functioned as Sea Watch’s Welsh co-ordinator, collating sightings records and producing the Welsh newsletter. In addition to his work on bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises, Mick has carried out surveys of the grey seal population in Wales and breeding seabirds following the Sea Empress oil spill. Mick now works as a consultant for Sea Watch.
Michael Francis first volunteered his skills to Sea Watch Foundation in 1999. He has worked at the Open University for 15 years as a cameraman, editor and director and is now the producer for a variety of educational multi-media productions. With a passion for natural history, Michael has spent much of his life observing and filming wildlife and has played a large part in helping Sea Watch develop its video archive. He has captured high quality and sometimes rare footage of UK cetaceans and other marine species across various survey trips, which has used for education and promotion and for numerous natural history television programmes, including the BBC’s ‘Nature of Britain’, ‘UK’s Top 40 Nature Spectacles’, Natural World’, ‘Nature’s Deadly 60′, ‘Springwatch’, News 24 and RTE’s ‘Wild Journeys’ series.
Sarah Langford, a Staffordshire-based primary school teacher, produces a series of educational resources available to schools and other groups via the Sea Watch website. Sarah has worked as a Years 3, 4 and 5 teacher since 2000 and acts as a science co-ordinator as well as a modern foreign language co-ordinator. She has a long-standing interest in marine mammals and has developed and taught a Key Stage 2 educational project to Staffordshire Schools about the evolution and adaptation of species in the Galapagos Islands. Sarah has also worked with other organisations to develop science projects, such as Inland Waterways, SETPOINT, BAYS, INSPIRE and Staffordshire County Council.