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September 2020
Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
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RSPB - Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Benjamin Barca
Project FAME Cordinator 

Earned his Bsc at St Andrews University in Ecology and Conservation. He then moved overseas and worked for the Durrell Conservation Trust in St Lucia before moving to Costa Rica where he managed a project looking at jaguar behaviour and interactions with marine turtles. He then moved back to the UK to pursue an Msc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford. Before working foir the RSPB he was managing a project looking at social/ecological conflicts of migratory bird hunting in Italy.
Valerie de Liedekerke
FAME Project Co-ordinator

Studied Conservation Biology at the University of Maryland, and has a Master’s degree in Animals & Public Policy from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Previously worked as a research assistant specialising in endangered species conservation, and as an environmental lobbyist for both non-profit organisations and government. For the past 10 years has been working in project management.

Dr Ellie Owen

Ellie has been working with seabirds professionally for 8 years but she has been hooked on seabirds for a lot longer than that. Her fascination with seabirds started on the remote Scottish Island of Fair Isle. She has been working all over the world trying to discover the secret lives of seabirds. Ellie describes the FAME project as her perfect job because it gives her the chance to make new discoveries about her favourite creatures and to be a voice for their protection.

Rory Crawford
Seabird Policy Officer

I am a graduate of Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Glasgow and have been working for the RSPB since 2007. I've arrived at seabird policy and conservation work via an aquarium, a regional park, Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Aride Island in the Seychelles, nature reserves on the Isle of Islay and marine policy at RSPB’s Scottish Headquarters. I’m in love with islands and my favourite birds are European storm-petrel and wedge-tailed shearwater.

Heather Griffiths

Armed with a BSc (hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey, and an Advanced Certificate in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I’ve enjoyed working on everything from start-up brands to million pound brands.  A three month sabbatical on a remote Fijian island monitoring fish stocks and coral prompted me to take a longed for leap from the commercial sector to conservation.  One year ago I found the opportunity I’d been looking for, and joined the fabulous PR team at the RSPB.  I am keen to help the public get excited about seabirds and the science behind the work we do.  I love the sea and marine wildlife, and am a keen SCUBA diver.  Seeing whale sharks and humpback whales in their natural habitat have to be two of the most amazing experiences of my life.

BWI - BirdWatch Ireland

Dr. Steve Newton
Senior Conservation Officer (Seabirds) & FAME project coordinator (Ireland)

Steve is a Senior Conservation Officer for BirdWatch Ireland where he is responsible for seabird research, monitoring & colony management. This involves coordinating the annual Irish input to the Seabird Monitoring Programme (UK-Ireland) as well as managing the Rockabill Roseate Tern & Kilcoole Little Tern Projects. He organised the first quantitative survey of nocturnal tubenoses on west coast islands in 2000-2001 as part of the Seabird 2000 Project. He was also responsible for managing the BWI/NPWS Chough Survey and follow-up research programme (2002-2010), the BWI/NPWS Upland Bird Survey (2002-2004) & other work on upland habitats and their birds, including Hen Harrier & Red Grouse. He is a member of the all-Ireland team responsible for the 'Birds of Conservation Concern' process which reviews the Red, Amber and Green species lists for Ireland & he is also a member of the Irish Rare Breeding Birds Panel.

Niall Keogh
Seabird Fieldworker & Seatrack project coordinator

Niall began working as a BirdWatch Ireland Seabird Fieldworker in 2010 after receiving a BSc in Environmental Biology through University College Dublin. Some of his duties have included wardening Ireland’s largest colony of Little Terns at Kilcoole, assisting in a Cormorant diet study and conducting offshore bird surveys. With regards to FAME, Niall is the project coordinator of Seatrack, a national land-based seawatching survey which aims to assess the status & distribution of migratory seabirds in Irish waters, particularly Balearic Shearwater & other tubenoses. As an avid seawatcher, this task is undertaken with great enthusiasm! He is also involved in BirdWatch Ireland’s social media & membership recruitment campaign, acting as an administrator on their Facebook page & various blogs and sits as chairman of the Co. Wicklow Branch.

LPO - Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux

Thierry Micol
Head of Natural Heritage Department

Biologist (PhD, Toulouse University). From 1988 till 2000, field trips in French southern territories (Taaf), mainly on seabird preservation of which the management of introduced mammals. Head of the stations based on the subantarctic Amsterdam and Kerguelen islands in 1998 and 2000. Environment officer in Taaf from 2001 till 2006. Head of Natural Heritage Department of the LPO since 2007. Natural heritage department’s team composed of about twenty persons working on censuses, knowledge acquisition, preservation and management of species (birds mainly) and sites in France: national action plans, European programs (Life+, Interreg), IBAs, SPA, ZSC etc.

Amélie Boué
FAME  French Coordinator

Environmental Engineer (National School of Agronomy in Rennes - speciality: Natural Areas Protection/ quantitative ecology). Master1 «Population and Ecosystems Biology» (Univ Tours). Ecologist by “Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage" (ONCFS) and in an environmental  consultancy firm (Natura 2000, environmental diagnosis). Program manager since December 2009 for the LPO: her main missions are linked with «Seabirds» and «Biodiversity partnerships».

FAME Project assistant

Degree in "organisms biology" (University of Angers) and graduated of a Master's degree "Integrated Littoral and Ecosystems Management" (University of Corsica). She is interesting by birds since some years and she's carrying out some monitoring, within the framework of training courses.
She started to work in the FAME project, as part of a volunteer program (SCV), in 2010. Now, she is assistant of the FAME project and she work about interactions between seabirds and humans activities (fisheries, offshore wind power).

SPEA - Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

F. Iván Ramírez
European Marine Coordinator and Marine Programme Coordinator

Degree in Biology, University of Salamanca, 1999. Currently a PhD student. Research Biologist for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the year 2000. Appointed Director of SPEA-Madeira in 2002. Took over the Marine Programme and IBAs coordination in 2003, with special reference to the project LIFE Marine IBAs, a partnership in the project LIFE SOS Freira do Bugio, among other international projects in Greece, Malta, Italy and Spain.
European Marine Coordinator since 2009, appointed by BirdLife International, whose main goal is the protection of seabirds and their areas of importance, developing partnerships with several entities.

Joana Andrade
Conservation Department Assistant and FAME Portuguese Coordinator

Degree in Applied Biology on Animal Resources, Terrestrial branch, University of Lisbon, 2001. Final year dissertation on phenology and habitat selection of aquatic birds in the Tagus estuary, followed by an internship studying aquatic bird food availability of the Sado estuary salt pans (2002-2003). Environmental Education technician on Fundação da Criança (2004-2005) and SPEA's technician on Ornithological Tourism (2006-2007). Since 2008 is SPEA's Conservation Department Assistant working in Marine Program and is undertaking a Master’s degree in Science and Geographical Information Systems (S&GIS) at ISEGI, New University of Lisbon.

Nuno Barros
Marine Program Assistant, FAME technician

Born in Lisbon, graduated in Marine Environmental Biology from the University of Lisbon in 2007. Birdwatcher since a very young age, worked as a marine observer in Portuguese Marine IBA LIFE project, and has been collaborating with SPEA in some volunteer projects (Arenaria project, RAM days, IBA Costa SW caretaker). In the last few years has been working as a field technician, performing bird monitoring work for environmental impact assessment companies. Travelled to Cape Verde islands in a volunteer program (EVS), performing marine bird conservation work for Biosfera I. Since 2010 works as Marine Program Assistant, within FAME project.


Pep Arcos
Marine Programme Coordinator

Biologist, with a PhD devoted to seabird-fisheries interactions in the Western Mediterranean (Universitat de Barcelona, 2001). Postdoctoral researcher at IMEDEA (Mallorca, Spain, 2002) and the University of Glasgow (Scotland, 2002-2005), working on several issues related with seabirds, applied ecology and conservation. Incorporated to SEO/BirdLife in 2005, first to work on the LIFE Project to identify the marine IBAs in Spain (technical coordinator), and afterwards as coordinator of the Marine Programme. 

Carmen Fernández
Head of Press SEO/BirdLife and webmaster
Born in Madrid, graduated in journalist (Complutense University).  Specialized in environmental information is a membership of Association of Journalist of Environmental Information (APIA). Years within SEO/BirdLife 8. Other relevant information experience in specializing press (Quercus magazine, Biológica magazine and Turismo Rural) and offices of comunication (WWF España and Green Ways – Vías Verdes).

Albert Cama
FAME project technician

Degree in Environmental Sciences (Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2003) and PhD in Animal Biology (University of Barcelona, 2010). The PhD research focused on seabird distribution ecological modelling off the Ebro delta (NE Spain). Professional activity with seabirds began in the University of Barcelona, assessing the impact on birds of an offshore wind farm in the Ebro delta, coordinating and participating in the field work and the impact assessment report (2004-2006). Collaborated with different SEO/Birdlife seabird monitoring programmes doing coastal and on boat seabird surveys. In September 2011 started working as technician in the FAME project for the Spanish partner, SEO/Birdlife.

Universidade do Minho (UMinho)

Joana Miodonski
FAME project Technician

Born in Lisbon; graduated in Marine Biology, University of Algarve,2007. Masters degree in Marine Ecology and Conservation, 2009. Has worked in ecotourism and collaborated in fisheries and marine ecology research projects as an onboard observer, sampler and interviewer. In 2008, workedas a 2nd skipper for the whalewatchingcompany Espaço Talassa in Ilha do Pico (Azores). Works within the FAME project since June 2010 as a technician for the University of Minho and in collaboration with the Wildlife Portuguese Society.

Ana Catarina Henriques
FAME project Technician

Graduated in Biology from the University of Lisbon in 2006 and master degree in Natural Resources Management and Conservation from the University of Évora (UE) and the Superior Institute of Agronomy (ISA) in 2009. Worked as a volunteer in the Botanical Garden and Zoological Park of Lisbon and after the graduation in Iceland with SEEDs as a coordinator and environmental education of international volunteers. Started working with seabirds in 2006 with the marine program of SPEA, within the project of LIFE Marine IBA’s, (as a data collector and marine observer in the sea) and then, doing the master thesis about the reproductive success of Cory’s Shearwater in Corvo, Azores, within the project LIFE Corvo and Vila Franca islet. Currently works with the UMinho and SPVS as a technician within the FAME project.

Wave Energy Centre (WavEC)

Sofia Patrício

Sofia Patrício obtained a degree in Environmental engineering in 2006 and MSc on Environmental Technology in 2011 at Polytechnic Institute of Setubal. In 2005 she started her activity in ocean energy at the Wave Energy in the field of environmental impact studies and licensing. Involved in several research projects related with the environmental field, like AQUARET, SOWFIA and SURGE European projects. Recently she coordinated and developed the Wave Energy Acoustic Monitoring project, that aims to develop a monitoring plan of underwater noise emitted by wave energy converters and asseces its impacts on marine mammals.

Teresa Simas

Obtained a degree in Marine Biology at the Algarve University (Portugal) in 1995 and further graduation, MSc in 1998 and PhD in 2007, on Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, respectively, at the New University of Lisbon. She worked in the Geochemical and Ecological Modelling Group at the Portuguese Institute of Marine Research (IMAR) where her research activity focused on marine water quality management. She joined the Wave Energy Centre in 2008 where she is coordinating the environmental team and managing research projects on marine environmental impacts regarding offshore energy projects.


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