Staff Links

Lucy Keith-Diagne

Executive Director

Lucy Keith-Diagne is from Massachusetts, USA and has spent the past 37 years conducting field research with marine mammals around the world. She received her BS degree in Biology from St. Lawrence University in New York, her MS in Marine Biology from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and her doctorate from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, where her dissertation research focused on the phylogenetics and feeding ecology of the African manatee. Lucy is a co-founder and Director of the African Aquatic Conservation Fund (AACF), a nonprofit research and conservation organization. Prior to founding AACF in 2014, Lucy worked for government and non-profit research organizations both nationally and internationally, and she has a wide range of field experience with West Indian and African manatees, cetaceans, seals, sea turtles and penguins. Her interests include population genetics, feeding ecology, animal behavior, assessing impacts of bycatch and hunting, and conservation. She began studying African manatees in Gabon in 2006, in Senegal in 2009, and she has also studied the species in 12 other countries. Additionally, in 2008 Keith-Diagne saw a critical need for information and training for African researchers throughout the range of the species, so she initiated a collaborative network for manatee fieldwork and conservation that now has members in 17 African countries. She has trained over 100 African biologists in manatee field techniques and conservation planning. She has mentored seven doctoral and five Masters students studying African manatee threats, genetics, diet, acoustics and habitat use. For cetaceans, Lucy began studying dolphins at the New England Aquarium in 1990. She has conducted rescues and post-mortem necropsies for more than 30 cetacean species worldwide. In collaboration with two other colleagues, Lucy co-founded the Senegal Stranding Network in 2014. She also leads Atlantic Humpback Dolphin research and conservation activities for Senegal. She was awarded the Manatee Conservation Award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003. In 2017 she was awarded both a Pew Marine Fellowship and the IFAW Marine Mammal Conservation and Welfare Award. Keith-Diagne became a National Geographic Explorer in 2018. She is a member of IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, a co-Chair of the African Manatee Regional Subgroup, and a member of the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council- Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wild Meat Working Groups. She is also the author of the 2015 IUCN Red List Assessment for the African manatee.

Lucy Keith-Diagne, Executive Director - African Aquatic Conservation Fund


Contact Us

    Your Name

    Your Email


    Your Message

    [recaptcha class:main-contact-captcha]


    P.O. Box 366
    Chilmark, MA 02535

    BP 80 Joal
    23015, Senegal, West Africa



    United States: +1 508-388-9824