Wagner Quirós Pereira (Director)

Wagner has been involved in sea turtle conservation for 10 years. He discovered his deep passion carrying out research with sea turtles, and seeing the interaction people have with these animals. This passion made him move to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica by the age of 19, where he first worked in Tortuguero and then after in Gandoca and Cahuita.

He has a Bachelor's Degree in Marine Biology at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica. Wagner is the Director of the ISV (International Student Volunteers) Program in Costa Rica, managing more than 12 different conservation and community based volunteer projects all around the country. Because of his work ethic and motivation he was given several exciting opportunities at a young age that resulted in establishing his name in the sea turtle community, e.g. with co-coordinating the Costa Rican Sea Turtle Conservation Network in 2007. 

In 2004 Wagner started the Leatherback and Pacific Green Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Project Ostional, which began to collect very interesting and completely unknown data about the Leatherbacks' nesting behavior on Ostional Beach (the second most important arribada beach in the world). 

Andrey Castillo MacCarthy (Beach coordinator/Project Leader)

Andrey is from Gandoca, a small community on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, and is part of the core of the Project. He first began working in Ostional in 2005 as local research assistant, and has been a reliable staff member ever since. Andrey has a huge knowledge of the beach and the turtles, due to growing up in a sea turtle community, and more than seven years (and 13 seasons) of intensive sea turtle work experience.

In 2009 he started working as a Project Leader for ISV, and is doing his job with lots of passion and enthusiasm.Currently Andrey is living in Germany furthering his studies.

Yeudy Arguello Gomez (Local Research Assistant)

Yeudy is native from Ostional and he is now an experience baulero (Leatherbacks researcher) working for the project. He has also been working on the olive ridley worldwide monitoring program in Ostional so he has gained a lot of experience. Currently Yeudi is the local project coordinator.

Besides the fact that he went together with other local research assistants to Panama to get trained for the work on Leatherback turtles, in the meantime he also worked in a black turtle project in Playa Nancite.

He loves turtles, and his English has improved amazingly.

                 International Research Assistants for the coming season 2014-2015

Wade Kennedy

There are several reasons why he is exited to volunteer at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. One is the opportunity to work with sea turtles, both leatherbacks and Pacific green sea turtles. Although he have had the chance to work with many species of fish and wildlife in Canada and the United States he has not had the chance to work in Central America or with turtles. The arribada will be great to see and experience.

He really looks forward to work in Costa Rica, learning about Costa Rica and meeting people involved with the project. It will be a great experience to work with the different groups that work at the research station and meet people from the Ostional community. Being involved with this project for two months will help him to learn Spanish basics and become involved with the local culture.
Christina Demetrio

She is Christina Demetrio and she is from Massachusetts in the United States. For the past 11 years, she has been working as a zookeeper in Boston. She has the amazing opportunity to work with an African and South American collection of animals every day. Educating people about endangered species and habitat loss is a part of her job at the zoo. She is looking forward to volunteering at Ostional Wildlife Refuge and getting hands on experience in the field of conservation especially with sea turtles.

Her degree is in biology with a concentration in marine science. She spent a number of years volunteering with the Boston aquarium rehabilitating adult cold stunned sea turtles stranded on Cape Cod. Being able to see the other side of sea turtle biology involving nesting activities and hatchlings will be a great experience for her and will give her a well-rounded knowledge of their biology. She can’t wait to see a leatherback sea turtle in person!
She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project and really excited to learn about the biodiversity and culture in Costa Rica.

Sarah Murfitt

Sarah is currently studying Marine Biology at Deakin University in Warrnambool, Australia. She is originally from Melbourne, but has loved moving closer to the coast and the ocean. Sarah is really excited to return to Costa Rica after changing her career path following volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project in Camaronal a few years ago. Her life since then has involved study, travel, conservation projects, volunteering for environmental causes, and lots of sea turtles. She has worked with sea turtle conservation projects in Costa Rica, Australia, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and is looking forward to building her knowledge and skills in Ostional.  

Over the past few years Sarah has volunteered with many wildlife, conservation, and environmental projects, and has been fortunate to work with birds, giant tortoises, whales, sea turtles, and many other marine animals and ecosystems. She also has an interest in climate change issues and recently trained with former US Vice-President Al Gore to become a Climate Reality Leader. After completing her undergraduate degree she hopes to study the impacts of climate change on marine environments, particularly with sea turtle nesting beaches and sea-level rise. At Ostional she is looking forward to working with an international team of staff and volunteers, and the local community, to help protect and conserve these amazing creatures of the sea.

Callie Veleenturf

Her name is Callie Veelenturf, and she graduated in May from the University of Rhode Island, USA with a B.S. in Marine Biology and a minor in Wildlife & Conservation Biology.  She is passionate about conservation research and continuing on to get a Ph.D. in conservation biology or marine biology.  Her research interests lie broadly with endangered species conservation, ecology and conservation biology with an emphasis on marine systems.  More specifically, she is interested in learning more about and conducting sea turtle conservation research and even more specifically fascinated by leatherbacks.  Another interest is the ways in which international social science is intertwined in endangered species conservation solutions. 
To date she has conducted four research projects through the NOAA Hollings Scholarship Program, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Study Abroad Program, the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (NSF REU) at the North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences, and through the School for Field Studies (SFS) Panama Tropical Island Biodiversity and Conservation Studies Program.     

She has 7 years of classroom Spanish, listen to Spanish music for fun, and spent 3 months in Bocas del Toro, Panama through SFS.  Her nickname within the Ngöbe village throughout the semester in Panama was “Tortuguita”, as a result of her obvious desire to learn everything she could first-hand about the turtle situation there.  She is incredibly excited to immerse herself in the community and conservation work while learning more about the important balance between conservation efforts and cultural values.  She has always wanted to participate in this type of international sea turtle conservation program, and feel honored to be given this opportunity by Bioma! 

Marta Pesquero (Volunteer coordinator)

Marta studied biology at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) in Spain and holds an M.Sc. in marine and coastal management. After graduating she has been involved with sea turtle conservation and fisheries in Costa Rica and Spain. Marta settled in Costa Rica in 2007 and became an integral part of the joint fisheries and development efforts being carried with the San Juanillo Artisanal Fishing Community, a community near Ostional, who are currently preparing their Responsible Fishing Area. 

She has been colaborating now 4 years for the Leatherback and Pacific Green Sea Turtle Conservation Project and her passion is conservation,  local cultures, the sea, traveling, dancing and her family.