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Lucy Keith-Diagne

Executive Director

Lucy Keith-Diagne is from Massachusetts, USA, and has spent the past 34 years conducting field research with marine mammals around the world, including 23 years working with manatees. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Lawrence University, her Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole, and her PhD from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, where her dissertation research focused on the phylogenetics and feeding ecology of the African manatee. She has worked for government and non-profit research organizations nationally and internationally, and she has a wide range of field experience with endangered species, including Florida, Antillean and African manatees, the Hawaiian monk seal, cetaceans, sea turtles, and penguins. Her interests include population genetics, feeding ecology, animal behavior, and conservation. Lucy began studying African manatees in Gabon in 2006, in Senegal in 2009, and she has also studied the species in eleven other African countries. Additionally, in 2008 Lucy 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 which now has members in 19 African countries. She has trained over 100 African biologists in manatee field techniques and conservation planning. She was awarded the Manatee Conservation Award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003, a Pew Marine Fellowship in 2017 and became a National Geographic Explorer in 2018. Lucy is a member of IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, a co-Chair of the African Manatee Regional Subgroup, a member of the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council- Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wildmeat Working Groups, and the chair of the International Relations Committee of the Society for Marine Mammalogy. Lucy is married to turtle researcher and conservationist Tomas Diagne, and they are based in Ngazobil, Senegal.

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


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