Dr. Alessandro Ponzo is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE). LAMAVE is an NGO dedicated to the conservation of marine megafauna in Southeast Asia. He is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of the IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group; a result of his passion to protect the Asian small-clawed otter. Dr. Ponzo is also a Kinship Fellow, a progressive leadership program to promote and innovate market-based tools for conservation. Dr. Ponzo sits on the Steering committee of the Asia-Pacific Marine Turtle Genetic Working Group.
His first turtle experience date back to the early 1990’s when as a teen he volunteered with his family to a nesting beach monitoring project on the south coast of Turkey.
He has been involved in stranding response and marine wildlife medicine since 1998 while still in Vet school in Perugia, Italy.
Since 2001 he has been studying wild marine megafauna across the world. For the last decade, Dr. Ponzo has been based in the Philippines, managing projects spanning from sea turtle-tourism interaction assessment and otters-human conflict mitigation, to manta ray ecology and protected area management enhancement. Dr. Ponzo’s research has been published in several scientific journals and featured in magazines and digital programs including BBC’s “Shark” and the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Planet.” You can learn more about the Dr. Ponzo’s conservation work and that of his colleagues in the Philippines at www.lamave.org and on Facebook at @lamaveproject.