Dr. Eric VanderWerf
Eric VanderWerf earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1988 and Master of Science degree from the University of Florida in 1992. In 1999, he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii, where his research focused on plumage variation and effects of habitat disturbance and diseases on population biology of the Hawaii Elepaio.
He has worked on a variety of conservation and ornithological projects in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific since 1991 during stints with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. He has continued and expanded upon that work since founding Pacific Rim Conservation in 2007.
Eric has authored over 100 scientific papers, book chapters, government documents, and technical reports, serves as the leader of the Hawaiian Forest Bird Recovery Team for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a former member of the Endangered Species Recovery Committee for State of Hawaii, as an associate editor for the Condor, and as an associate editor of the Birds of North America. He was one of the 2011 recipients of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Recovery Champion Awards for his work on the Nihoa Millerbird Translocation.
Dr. Lindsay Young
Vice President and Executive Director
Lindsay Young earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science from the University of Hawaii. In 2009, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii where her dissertation research focused on the population genetics, at sea foraging ecology, and conservation needs of Laysan Albatross.
Lindsay has worked on numerous conservation projects in Hawaii and the Pacific region over the last twelve years and was the project coordinator for the Kaena Point Ecosystem Restoration Project which installed the first predator proof fence in the U.S. at Kaena Point on Oahu. She is currently focused on conducting the first translocation of Hawaiian Petrels and Newell’s Shearwaters at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge into Kauai’s first predator proof fence.
Lindsay has authored several dozen scientific papers, served as the treasurer for the Pacific Seabird Group, the chair of the North Pacific Albatross Working Group, is the former North Pacific correspondent for ACAP (Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels), and as a reviewer for multiple refereed journals. Lindsay was one of the 2011 recipients of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Recovery Champion Awards for her work on the Nihoa Millerbird Translocation, and in 2016 she was awarded a special achievement award from the Pacific Seabird Group for her work with Hawaiian seabirds.
Secretary and Director
Christen is an attorney licensed in the states of Hawaii and Georgia whose current consulting work focuses on environmental policy and compliance for various state and federal entities. She received her undergraduate (BA)and law (JD) degrees from the University of Georgia and a masters degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Christen has served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra, staffed a successful community-based effort to oppose a Hawaiian Electric proposal to place a high-voltage transmission line within the State Conservation District, worked two legislative sessions in the office of State Senator Les Ihara, Jr., taught Wildlife and Natural Resources law as an adjunct professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law (UH), and worked as a planner for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Among other things, she coordinated the development of the initial Hawaii Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, prepared numerous environmental assessments for conservation projects throughout Hawaii, and drafted administrative rules and policies that support management of conservation areas.
Dr. David Duffy
David is a Professor of Botany, Ecology, Evolution And Conservation Biology (EECB) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Unit Leader for the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU). David has his undergraduate degree (BS) from Harvard University and his Ph.D. (1980) from Princeton University.
His main areas of research are in how ecosystems respond to perturbations, both natural and human-caused. His work has included the effect of El Nino on seabirds in Peru, fishery interactions with seabirds in Peru and South Africa, the effects of Exxon Valdez oil spill and climate shifts on seabirds in Prince William Sound, the role of landscape in fostering Lyme Disease, the effect of forest harvesting in the Appalachians on spring herbaceous ground cover, and determining just how much of Alaska’s biodiversity is actually protected. Most recently he has become interested in how to shape management and science to respond to the problem of invasive alien species in Hawaii. How much science do you need to respond and how can management measure whether it is being effective? David now directs the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, which manages over 400 employees and over $19 million in projects to conserve the resources of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.
Dr. Alex Wegmann
Alex is the director of the Palmyra Program at The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Previously, Alex worked for Island Conservation as the program manager for their Hawaii Office. Alex received a BA in Anthropology from Linfield College, and his PhD in Botany from the University of Hawaii. His graduate research on Palmyra Atoll focused on terrestrial ecosystem response to invasive rats. He has over 12 years of experience with conservation projects on Pacific islands, including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Line Islands, and Micronesia. His experience with Pacific island ecosystems has made Alex a valuable consultant to many government and non-government conservation organizations – the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Zealand Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, and Coastal Conservation. For Island Conservation, Alex was a key participant in successful trials on Palmyra Atoll where he conducted research critical to removing introduced black rats (Rattus rattus) from tropical islands. He went on to manage and advise several rat eradication projects in Micronesia. Alex also worked with the Pacific Invasives Initiative to design a web-based resource kit for Pacific island conservationists. In 2011, he managed the development and implementation of the successful invasive rat eradication project at Palmyra. Alex is presently evaluating and testing innovative tools for invasive species eradication, and he is working with state, federal, and non-government organizations in Hawaii and Micronesia to advance several important conservation projects.