Who we are

The CCAHD is an informal collaboration among scientists and conservation organisations which currently has no formal legal status.  Roughly 70 individuals participate in an email forum and 11 working groups focusing on different aspects of work towards the conservation of Atlantic humpback dolphins.  A Steering Committee helps to maintain momentum and oversight of project development as well as synergy with other conservation efforts by international NGOs and IGOs. A part-time coordinator supports the Steering Committee and the wider network.

Steering Committee members:

  • Aristide Takoukam Kamla:      Aristide is the founder of the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization (AMMCO).  His PhD focused on African manatee conservation genetics and feeding ecology, and his current work includes cetacean and turtle research and conservation in Cameroon as well.  Aristide is a member of CCAHD working groups 1 and 4.
  • Caroline Weir: Caroline has been involved with cetacean research since 1995, focusing on ecology, baseline population assessments, acoustics, and the mitigation of anthropogenic impacts. Her PhD at the University of Aberdeen was titled Ecology and conservation of cetaceans in the waters between Angola and the Gulf of Guinea, with focus on the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii). She has carried out pioneering targeted field studies of Atlantic humpback dolphins in Angola, Guinea and Senegal. In addition to being one of the founders of CCAHD, she is a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group, CMS Aquatic Mammals Working Group, and the IWC African Sousa Task Team. Caroline is convenor of CCAHD working groups 3 and 8 and patriciates in all other working groups.
  • Edem Eniang: Edem is a professor of Wildlife Resources, Conservation, Herpetology and Protected Areas Management at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and is also the Director of Research and projects at Biodiversity Preservation Centre Nigeria, a nonprofit organization he founded. Edem is a member of multiple IUCN SSC species specialist groups, as well as Executive Director of the Coalition of Biodiversity Conservationists of Nigerian (CBCN), a rallying point for Conservation NGOs and government bodies. Although relatively new to cetacean work, he is keen to apply his experience in species conservation at the national and international level to conservation of Sousa teuszii. He is an active member of CCAHD working groups 1, 2 and 6.
  • Judicael Regis Kema Kema:  Regis has been working in the field of marine and coastal conservation in Gabon for almost 10 years, starting with WWF where he was involved various marine research and conservation projects, and then moving to Gabon’s National Parks Agency (ANPN) where he currently manages 6 marine and coastal protected areas. Regis is also pursuing a PhD on cetaceans in Gabon with a focus on Sousa teuszii. Regis is a member of CCAHD working groups 3 and 6 and recently organised a government stakeholder meeting in Gabon to promote conservation planning for Sousa teuszii.
  • Lucy Keith-Diagne: Lucy is Lucy is based in Ngazobil, Senegal and is co-founder and Director of the African Aquatic Conservation Fund (AACF), a nonprofit research and conservation organization. With 34 years of experience in the field of marine mammal research and conservation, she began studying African manatees in 2006, conducting studies in Gabon, Senegal, and 10 other African countries. She initiated a collaborative network for manatee fieldwork and conservation that now has members in 19 African countries. In collaboration with three other colleagues, she co-founded the Senegal Stranding Network in 2015. A National Geographic Explorer since 2018, she is a member of IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, a co-Chair of the African Manatee Regional Subgroup, and a member of the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council- Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wild Meat Working Groups. She is co-convenor of CCAHD working Group 2 and participates in working groups 1, 3,4,5,6,7,8, and 10.
  • Tim Collins: Tim has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2002. Although now based in Kenya, he coordinated WCS marine mammal work in Congo, Gabon and Angola for over 10 years, focusing principally on Atlantic humpback dolphins, humpback whales and mitigating threats to cetaceans in general. He continues to promote work in this region, returning whenever he can. Tim leads on a humpback whale telemetry programme in Kenya and a project focusing on the overlaps between underwater noise and marine megafauna In the Western Indian Ocean. He also maintains strong links to cetacean research and conservation efforts in the Northern Indian Ocean, particularly those for Endangered Arabian Sea humpback whales. He is the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group Africa Coordinator, a member of the IUCN IMMA taskforce, a member of the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council Working Groups on Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wild Meat. Tim is Convenor of CCAHD working group 1 and participates in all other working groups.

Part-time Coordinator:

  • Gianna Minton: Gianna started her career in the field of education in the 1990’s, but has been working in the field of marine mammal research and conservation since 1999. Gianna’s PhD focused on the unique non-migratory humpback whales of the Arabian Sea, and she has conducted field-based cetacean research in Oman, Malaysia and Gabon. She is now based in the Netherlands, where she continues to collaborate with colleagues in her three former homes, and is also involved with cetacean conservation projects with WWF, the IWC and the IUCN. Gianna is a member of the IUCN Marine Conservation Committee, the IUCN-WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, and is a Deputy Chair of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group. She is co-convenor of CCAHD working group 2, and participates in all the other working groups.

Working Groups:

The current CCAHD working group themes and conveners are as follows:





1 CMS Concerted ActionTarget: Progress the CMS Concerted Action


Tim Collins <tcollins@wcs.org> Caroline Weir, Cedrick Fogwan,Aristide Kamla Takoukam, Edem Eniang, Gianna Minton, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara,Heidrun Frisch-Nwakanma, Howard Rosenbaum,Koen Van Waerebeek, Lindsay Porter, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Marguerite Tarzia, Mark Simmonds, Nicola Hodgins
2 Outreach and Capacity BuildingTarget: Outreach/Awareness/Capacity building activities in communities and with local scientists and governments


Lucy Keith-Diagne <lkd@africanaquaticconservation.org> and Gianna Minton <gianna.minton@gmail.com> Caroline Weir, Cedrick Fogwan, Cheibani Senhoury, Ciapha G. Abule, Dr. Edem Eniang, Gill Braulik, Lindsay Porter, Lorenzo von Fersen, Marguerite Tarzia, Mark Simmonds, Matt Leslie, Nicola Hodgins, Sal Cerchio, Tilen Genov, Tim Collins, Uko Gorter, Yandeh Sallah-Muhammed
3 Senegal-Gambia surveysTarget: Conduct an abundance-distribution survey of the Senegal-Gambia population AND Extend the Senegal-Gambia approach to other key range countries Caroline Weir <caroline.weir@ketosecology.co.uk> Els Vermeulen, Gianna Minton, Lindsay Porter, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Matt Leslie, Nicola Hodgins, Randy Wells, Regis Kema Kema, Sal Cerchio, Tilen Genov, Tim Collins
4 Genetic diversityTarget: Assess genetic diversity and population structure


Michael McGovern <McGowenM@si.edu> Ana Rita Amaral, Caroline Weir, Gianna Minton, Howard Rosenbaum, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Matt LeslieTilen Genov, Tim Collins, Aristide Kamla Takoukam
5 Sampling of strandings and bycatchTarget: Improve the sampling of dead animals


Forrest Gomez <forrest.gomez@nmmpfoundation.org> Caroline Weir, Cedrick Fogwan, Cynthia Smith, Dee Allen, Dee Allen, Gianna Minton, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Matt Leslie, Tilen Genov, Tim Collins
6 Interview surveys in range countriesTarget: Assessments of occurrence in other potential range countries via interview surveys AND Conduct interview surveys to identify other populations for which specific population-level threats likely exist.


Gill Braulik <gillbraulik@gmail.com> Caroline Weir, Cedrick Fogwan, Dr. Edem Eniang, Ellen Hines, Gianna Minton, Lindsay Porter, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Marguerite Tarzia, Nicola Hodgins, Regis Kema Kema, Rima Jabado, Sal Cerchio, Samuel Turvey, Tilen Genov, Tim Collins, Tom Jefferson
7 Preparation for health assessmentsTarget: Carry out preliminary work that will inform future health assessments and invasive work should it ever be deemed necessary to save the species.


Forrest Gomez <forrest.gomez@nmmpfoundation.org> Caroline Weir, Cynthia Smith, Dee Allen, Gianna Minton, Grant Abel, , Lucy Keith-Diagne, Matt Leslie, Randy Wells, Stephanie Ploen, Tilen Genov Tim Collins
8 Acoustic monitoringTarget: Investigate the potential for acoustic monitoring as a method to fill knowledge gaps and inform conservation efforts.


Caroline Weir <caroline.weir@ketosecology.co.uk> Cedrick Fogwan, Gianna Minton, Lucy Keith-Diagne, Nick Tregenza, Peter Corkeron, Randy Wells, Sal Cerchio, Tilen Genov, Tim Collins
9 Bycatch Mitigation in CongoTarget: Conduct bycatch mitigation work in Congo in partnership with the IWC BMI.


Marguerite Tarzia <marguerite.tarzia@iwc.int> Caroline Weir, Gianna Minton, Lindsay Porter, Lorenzo Rojas Bracho, Nicola Hodgins, Tim Collins
10 Threats from coastal developmentTarget: Address threat level from commercial coastal development.


Tom Jefferson <sclymene@aol.com> Caroline Weir, Gianna Minton, Lindsay PorterLucy Keith-Diagne Tim Collins
12 Fund raisingTarget: Source funding. Assess and advise on potential funding opportunities, and input as needed on funding applications. Grant Abel <g.abel@seattleaquarium.org> Andy Rogan, Caroline Weir, Gianna Minton, Lindsay Porter, Lorenzo von Fersen, Marguerite Tarzia, Nicola Hodgins, Tim Collins