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Staff and Collaborators

Jamie Gilardi

James Gilardi Ph.D.

Executive Director

James Gilardi is the Executive Director of the World Parrot Trust. He is a conservation biologist specializing in behavioural and physiological ecology with a special focus on tropical forest birds and marine vertebrates. He has studied wild parrots and other birds for more than 25 years, authoring a number of papers on ecology and parrots in the wild bird trade.
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Steve Milpacher

Steve Milpacher

Operations Director

Steve’s passion for conservation began early in life and has continued for more than 40 years. He has cared for numerous species of parrots and has travelled to study wild parrots in Central America and the Caribbean. After completing two years of undergrad studies in the biological sciences, Steve received a Certificate in Endangered Species Management from the Durrell Preservation Trust (UK). 
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Rowan Martin

Rowan Martin Ph.D.

Africa Regional Director, Bird Trade Director

Rowan is an ecologist and ornithologist with a strong interest in evidence-based conservation of threatened species and ecosystems. He joined WPT in 2013 to head up WPT’s Africa Program, where he co-ordinates a variety of field projects, education initiatives and efforts to address threats posed by the wild bird trade.
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Luis Ortiz-Catedral,PhD

Luis Ortiz-Catedral, Ph.D.

Oceania Regional Director

Luis is a conservation biologist and wildlife manager specialising in recovering populations of threatened island vertebrates. He has studied wild parrots in New Zealand and Australia for 17 years.
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André Saidenberg DVM, Ph.D.

Brazil Manager

André is a Brazilian veterinarian with a special interest in medicine for birds and other wild animals. He completed his Master's degree in Veterinary Epidemiology in Microbiology in captive and free-living psittacines in 2008, his Ph.D. working with confiscated birds undergoing the release process back into the wild in 2013 and currently doing postdoctoral surveys of the health of free-ranging Lear's Macaws.
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Angela D'Alessio, RVT

Angela D'Alessio, RVT

Indonesia Coordinator

Angela has been active in Indonesian nature conservation since 2011. As a registered veterinary technician, she has extensive practical experience in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, including Indonesian parrots.
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Tiwonge I Mzumara-Gawa

Tiwonge I Mzumara-Gawa, Ph.D.

Malawi Coordinator

Tiwonge is an ornithologist, ecologist and conservation biologist by training; and an activist by passion. She is a Lecturer in the Biological Sciences Department, at the Malawi University of Science and Technology, and holds a Ph.D. in Ecological Sciences from the University of KwaZulu Natal and an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
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Sascha Dueker

Sascha Dueker, M.Sc.

Lovebird Coordinator

Sascha is setting research priorities and coordinating conservation projects for African Lovebirds, Agapornis spp. Identifying research gaps in wild lovebirds has helped him to better understand the threats and knowledge gaps of all nine of these charismatic species.
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Ifeanyi Ezenwa

Ifeanyi Ezenwa, M Sc.

Nigeria Coordinator

Ifeanyi is a Nigerian-based community conservationist and a lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). He is passionate about wildlife conservation and has represented WPT in Nigeria since 2017.
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Jack Haines

Jack Haines, M.Sc.

Neotropics Regional Manager

Jack has worked with many different endangered species across the globe. His varied background in facilities management, combined with his field and research experience are put to practical use as he helps develop parrot conservation programs across the neotropics.
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Karen Whitley

Karen Whitley

U.K. Administrator

Karen Whitley has been the Administrator for the World Parrot Trust for the UK and the rest of the world since 1998. She has an educational background of Business Management and employment as a Print Production Manager with a Management Consultancy firm.
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Charlotte Foxhall

Charlotte Foxhall, M.Sc.

Indonesia Manager, Special Projects Manager 

Charlotte Foxhall achieved an Honours degree in Environmental Science from Oxford Brookes University and a Master's degree in Conservation Ecology. Conservation has been a huge part of her life ever since she can remember.
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Lauren Schmaltz, BA(Biol, Spanish), M.En.

USA Administrator  

Lauren Schmaltz completed a dual Bachelor's degree in Biology and Spanish and a Master of Environmental Studies, spending several years living overseas in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Costa Rica, and Bonaire.
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Denice Ann (Deedee) Mader, BA(Psy)

Membership and Annual Gifts Manager 

Deedee has spent most of her career working as an advocate of some type for disadvantaged populations needing assistance with stability. She began this path after earning a BA in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin; Whitewater and then going on to Graduate coursework at the University of Wisconsin; Milwaukee.
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Michelle Kooistra

Michelle Kooistra

Canadian Administrator, Publications Coordinator 

Michelle Kooistra has been a bird lover for most of her life, so falling in step with the work of the World Parrot Trust was a natural fit. Michelle's journey through the bird world has included sharing her home with numerous cockatiels, budgies, and the occasional dove.
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Cristiana Senni

Cristiana Senni

Bird Trade Specialist

Cristiana Senni was born and grew up in Rome, Italy where she graduated from Art school. She then spent 8 years in New York, after which she moved back to reside in Italy. Cristiana always loved animals and started keeping parrots many years ago. She now shares her life with four male Amazons and a female Grey parrot.
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Desi Milpacher

Desi Milpacher

Publications Editor

Desi Milpacher grew up loving animals -- her parents instilled in her a love of wild animals and plants, and she grew up a dedicated conservationist and naturalist. Once in university, she studied biology and other sciences, eventually graduating with a diploma in Animal Health Technology (AHT) from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada.
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Richard Kooistra

Richard Kooistra

Technical Assistance Provider

Richard has a background in Information Technology (IT) with an emphasis on web development. He discovered his love of parrots when he and his wife began sharing their lives with a pair of cockatiels a number of years ago.
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Melodie Krieger

Melodie Krieger

Communications Manager

As a writer with a background in marketing communications, Melodie enjoys the opportunity to put her creative and organizational skills to use working on WPT’s various campaigns, videos, and other content and communications.
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Megan Hill

Megan Hill

Digital Outreach Coordinator

Megan's enthusiasm for parrots and previous design experience led her to combine her passions and begin advocating for wildlife. She is responsible for managing WPT's social media presence in multiple communities by directly engaging with supporters, and publishing exciting new information about parrot care and welfare.
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Kirstin Furman

Kirstin Furman

New Media Specialist

Kirstin enjoys the opportunity to flex her design and writing skills by creating social media posts and content that draws attention to WPT's conservation efforts to help save parrots.
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Carlie Thomas

Carlie Thomas

Parrot Care Communications Coordinator

Carlie has devoted the past 15 years to gaining an in-depth understanding of captive parrots and the specialised care they require. Fuelled by her passion for parrots, she currently shares her life with three free-flight macaws, whose lives and adventures she extensively documents on her various social media platforms. These posts have garnered over a million followers from around the globe. Read more »