The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

AHWG Member Bios

Heather Barrett is the Director for Organizational Development at the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), a biological field station located on a private reserve in the rainforest of southern Belize. She has worked to raise awareness of, engage communities in and encourage support for conservation initiatives implemented by BFREE and in partnership with other organizations. Heather recently helped establish and is a member of the BFREE Education Committee which is developing curricular packets to engage visiting student groups and travelers in long-term research and monitoring activities onsite. US Address: US for BFREE, 2602 NW 6th Street, Suite D, Gainesville, FL 32609, +1-352-231-2772. Belize Address: PO Box 129, Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District, Belize, +501-671-1299,

Vincent Bertus is the team leader of the Rangers for the National Nature Reserve of Kaw-Roura in French Guiana, which is the third largest Nature Reserve of France. He is in charge of the surveys at the Reserve with the Manager. The world biggest breeding colony of the Agami Heron is censused in this protected area. Réserve naturelle nationale de Kaw-Roura, Place Gaston Monnerville, 97311 Roura (FRANCE – French Guiana). +594-694451264,

John Brzorad is an Associate Professor within the Department of Biology, Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) in Hickory, North Carolina. He is also Co-Director of the Reese Institute for Conservation of Natural Resources at LRU and has started a non-profit organization called 1000 Herons which focuses on research and education related to egrets and herons. John began his research on wading birds studying the information center hypothesis. Since then, he has examined foraging ecology, responses to pollution, and most recently energetics. John and his collaborators have embraced state-of-the-art GPS-GSM tracking technology to expand our understanding of habitat/prey requirements and energetics of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons. Since 2000, John has published numerous peer-reviewed publications, and started 1000 Herons in the past year. The goal of that organization is to introduce school-age children to the ecology of herons, egrets and the technology used to learn about them while doing research. John has chaired the Grants Committee of the Waterbird Society and currently serves on the Executive Council. Lenoir-Rhyne University, Reese Institute for Conservation of Natural Resources, 625 7th Ave. NE., Hickory, NC 28630, USA, +1-828-328-7606,

Deborah Chen is Project Coordinator and Director of Content, Design and Communications for the Tapiche Reserve, a private conservation property located 400km upstream from Iquitos, Peru. Deborah developed organizational and administrative structures during the nascent stages of the reserve and has served as lodge manager, guide and translator. She was the first person at the reserve to witness and record Agami Heron courtship rituals. Tapiche Reserve Administrative Office, Ricardo Palma 516, Iquitos, Peru, +1-206-928-1822, ,

Rob Clay is director of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) Executive Office at Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. Rob has been working on the conservation of birds throughout the Western Hemisphere for over 20 years, for Guyra Paraguay and most recently as senior conservation manager in the Americas Secretariat of BirdLife International. At BirdLife, he led the ”rangewide waterbirds” project on behalf of Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, which assessed the status of waterbirds and waterbird conservation throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. Rob is the current Chair of the Council for Waterbirds Conservation for the Americas, and the COP-Appointed Co-Scientific Councilor for Birds to the Convention on Migratory Species. He is based in Paraguay, where he coordinated national participation in the Neotropical Waterbird Census from 2001-2005. WHSRN Executive Office, Rodríguez de Francia 869, Asunción, Paraguay, +595-972-911424,

Jorge Correa Sandoval holds a MSc in Tropical Coastal Management and PhD in Wildlife Management. For more than 35 years he has worked in the exploration and creation of protected areas, and on coastal management issues in Southeastern Mexico. Particularly, he worked with the status and finding places of importance for the conservation of wetland birds such as the Jabiru Stork, the Caribbean Flamingo, herons, egrets and shorebirds. He uses photography as a tool to teach people to love birds and wetlands. As a professor he tutors undergraduate and postgraduate students. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Chetumal, Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad / Ecología para la Conservación de la Fauna Silvestre, Av. Centenario km 5.5, CP 77014, Chetumal, Quintana Roo. AP 424, Mexico, +52-983-8350440 ext. 4314, ,

Griselda Escalona-Segura completed her degree in Biology (1989) and her degree of Master of Science in Animal Biology (1995) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and her Ph. D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas (1999). She works as a researcher at “El Colegio de la Frontera Sur – Campeche” since 2000, where she teaches conservation biology and ecology. Her research is focused on the ecology of birds and small mammals, but she also developed issues in systematics, biogeography and conservation of natural resources. She has been evaluating nesting patterns of birds, and has spent her efforts for several years in developing diagnostics for the establishment of two state protected areas: Balam-Kú and Balam-Kin, in Campeche, Mexico. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Campeche, Avenida Rancho Polígono 2-A, Ciudad Industrial, Lerma, 24500 Campeche, Mexico, +52-981-1273720 ext. 2301,

Bertrand Goguillon has worked in ecology and nature conservation in French Guiana for 25 years. He was the manager of the National Natural Reserve of Kaw marshes between 2003 and 2005 and studied during this time the colony of Agami Herons of this locality. Currently, he works for the French Guiana Amazonian Park, as the manager of the department of natural and cultural heritage. His department enforces scientific and conservation activities of this National Park, including the monitoring of the colony of Agami Herons in the Elae area. He is also one of the ornithologists who created the NGO GEPOG (NGO studying and protecting birds in French Guiana) in 1993. Parc amazonien de Guyane, service PNC, 1 rue Lederson 97354 Rémire-Montjoly (FRANCE - French Guiana). +594-594-291252,

François Jeanne is the director of GEPOG, an NGO studying and protecting birds in French Guiana. He supports all the projects of the NGO as well as the two Nature Reserves it is managing (“Île du Grand Connétable” and “Nouragues”), develops partnerships, and sits in several committees and in the federation of three local nature conservation organizations “Guyane Nature Environnement”. GEPOG, 15 Avenue Pasteur, 97300 Cayenne (FRANCE – French Guiana). +594-594-294696,

James A. Kushlan is a biologist and conservationist specializing in wetlands and in the biology and conservation of waterbirds. He has published over 200 professional papers and eight books and has held the posts of senior scientist with the National Park Service, professor of biology and chair of the Center for Water Resources at Texas A&M – Commerce, and professor and chair of Biology at The University of Mississippi, director of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. He is the founder and chair of the North American Waterbird Conservation Initiative (now Waterbird Conservation for the Americas), founding co-chair of the Heron Specialist Group, and past president of the Waterbird Society and American Ornithologists’ Union. PO Box 2008, Key Biscayne, FL, 33149, USA, +1-305-365-0306,

Arne Lesterhuis worked from 2000 till 2008 as migratory bird officer for Guyra Paraguay, the Paraguayan Birdlife partner, and then for a year as technical coordinator of the Neotropical Waterbird Census (Fundación Humedales/Wetlands International South America Program). Currently he works as an international consultant for several NGOs including Guyra Paraguay, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and Audubon. Throughout his career he has been involved in waterbird and migratory shorebird conservation projects in South America and has worked as author and co-author on several shorebird conservation plans. Also, he prepared a synthesis of national waterbird reports from all countries in South America. San Francisco 1944, Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay, +595-985853002,

Gabriel Maldonado is an ecotourism engineer and naturalist guide, with a master in Natural Protected Spaces. He was in charge of the Public Use and Tourism Program of the Yasuní National Park for four years, then he was Field Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit for the Yasuní National Park. Currently he works as an Environmental Impact Analyst in this protected area. He has worked in monitoring the impact of tourist activities on parrot and parrot clay licks and has organized training courses for naturalist guides and communities in good environmental practices, sustainable tourism, birdlife and bird watching. He is the author of the "Yasuní National Park Visitor Management Plan" and the "Cuyabeno, Limoncocha and Yasuní Tourist Operations Plan." He is the organizer of the first Christmas Bird Count, Global Big Day and October Big Day in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. He carried out the first monitoring of the A. agami colony in the Yasuní National Park, Ecuador. Yasuní National Park Headquarters, Environment Ministry, Amazonas and Simon Bolivar Street, El Coca, Orellana Province, Ecuador, +593-062 882500, +593-0993532449, ,

Luis Gonzalo Morales has taught Ecology and Conservation at Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas since 1978. His research has dealt with general ecology, diet, and feeding behavior of herons, ibises, and other aquatic birds in the Llanos and coastal wetlands of Venezuela as well as chemical contamination and baseline studies of birds in oil-producing natural areas, the relationship between human malaria and deforestation in Venezuelan rainforests, and ecosystem services of cloud forests. His current research is a multivariate analysis of country-wide waterbird assemblages, ecological morphology of herons and ibises, and the National Census of Aquatic. He is member of the Society for Waterbird Biology, the Society for Conservation Biology, the Ecological Society of Venezuela, and the Union of Venezuelan Ornithologists. Instituto de Zoologia Tropical, Fac. Ciencias, Central University of Venezuela, Apartado 47058,1041-A Caracas, Venezuela, +58-2126051424,

Jean Olivier has a PhD in tropical ecology, botany and biogeography, he has worked in ecology and nature conservancy in South America (mainly Peru and French Guiana) for many years. He is the current Manager of the National Nature Reserve of Kaw-Roura in French Guiana. The world biggest breeding colony of the Agami Heron is censused in this protected area. Réserve naturelle nationale de Kaw-Roura, Place Gaston Monnerville, 97311 Roura (FRANCE – French Guiana), +594-694451289,

Claudio Quesada-Rodriguez is a Costa Rican Biologist and Natural Resources Manager with a degree in Science and Marine Technology. He has worked in ecology, conservation and research of coastal marine ecosystems and the communities around those projects in Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico. He is currently the Conservation and Research Coordinator for Pacuare Reserve at Ecology Project International (EPI). EPI Costa Rica, Calle la Saca, San Rafael de Heredia, P.O. Box 82-3015, Heredia 40501, Costa Rica, +506 4000-1557(ext.21) (field), +506 4000-2727 (office), +506 8580-3736 (cell phone),

Murilo Reis is Founder, Director and Head Guide of the Tapiche Reserve, a private conservation property located 400km upstream from Iquitos, Peru. Prior to founding the reserve in 2010, Murilo worked on various conservation projects in Latin America, including in his native Brazil, specializing in solutions for local populations to live harmoniously with nature. An experienced jungle guide and an ardent birding enthusiast, Murilo guided Robert S. Ridgeley while Ridgeley researched Birds of South America and has also guided Guy Tudor, established bird artist. Tapiche Reserve Booking Office, Ricardo Palma 516, Iquitos, Peru, +51 989 662 324,

Raphaëlle Rinaldo is the science and research coordinator for the French Guiana Amazonian Park. She accomplished a PhD in wood sciences before entering the National Park where she manages conservation and research projects in remote areas and villages. She is particularly involved in scientific mediation issues and natural resources management. Parc amazonien de Guyane, service PNC, 1 rue Lederson 97354 Rémire-Montjoly (FRANCE - French Guiana), +594-594-251194, +594-694-283319,

Carlos Ruiz-Guerra is a Colombian biologist who serves as a researcher in an NGO called CALIDRIS (Association for the study and conservation of waterbirds in Colombia). He has about ten years of experience in research and conservation of birds focusing on shorebirds and herons. He authored and coauthored 13 papers; he currently coordinates a waterbird monitoring program at the Caribbean coast of Colombia and is working on waterbirds and Neotropical migratory birds at the Orinoco basin. CALIDRIS, Carrera 24 Numero 4-20 barrio Miraflores, Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, +57-3155342496,

Paulo Silvestro is a biologist and currently serves as the environmental manager in federal protected areas in Brazil through the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, a government institution), specifically in Cabo Orange National Park (Parque Nacional do Cabo Orange). PNCO/ICMBio, Rua Getúlio Vargas, n235 - Bairro: Paraíso - CEP: 68.980-000 - Oiapoque-Amapá-Brasil, +55-96 3521-2197,

Anna Stier is an ecologist working in habitat conservation and management. She is a project manager at GEPOG, an NGO studying and protecting birds in French Guiana. She is responsible for projects on local savannas and on the Agami Heron. She is lead author of a species conservation plan for the Agami Heron and chair of the Agami Heron Working Group. GEPOG, 15 Avenue Pasteur, 97300 Cayenne (FRANCE – French Guiana). +594-594-294696,

Jan van der Winden is an ecologist and a guest researcher at University Groningen. He has more than 20 years of experience in research and consultancy on birds with a specialization in wetland species like terns and herons, tracking studies, nature restoration, field ecology, impact studies of wind turbines, impact assessments and nature legislation. As expert he is affiliated to The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). He managed many national and international projects related to Natura 2000 policy such as designation, research and EIA. He has extensive expertise in international research and conservation projects in Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Russia, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Bonaire, Aruba and French Guiana. Dantelaan 115, 3533 VC Utrecht, The Netherlands, + 31-6-51-428774,

Contacts of Natural Protected Areas which have Agami heron sightings or breeding colonies in their areas and are members of the Agami Heron Working Group: