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The Wildbook for Whale Sharks Team


ZAVEN ARZOUMANIAN, Director, President, Co-founder

Zaven Arzoumanian earned degrees in Physics at McGill University (B.Sc.) and Princeton University (M.A., Ph.D.). His research interests include the astrophysics of neutron stars and black holes, testing theories of gravitation and the nature of matter in extreme environments, and new technologies for instrumentation in radio and X-ray astronomy. Zaven is employed as a contract scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, USA. Zaven’s interest in Whale Sharks and pattern-matching computations for biological applications was cultivated in a collaboration with Jason Holmberg and Brad Norman, culminating in the development of a technique for matching spot patterns adapted from astronomy, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology (May 2005).
Code 662
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771


JASON HOLMBERG, Director, Secretary, Information Architect, Co-founder

Jason Holmberg started working on this Wildbook in 2002 and has logged over 8,000 hours of development time. As Information Architect, he has designed and implemented new tools to support digital pattern recognition for Whale Sharks. Using Jaon’s tools, the project has been able to categorize and manage a large amount of Whale Shark data and to identify individual animals from multiple photos taken by different researchers many years apart. Jason’s interface also encourages public participation in Whale Shark research via an automated email system that sends individual data contributors automatic updates on individual Whale Shark re-sightings. Jason also undertook further field-testing of the project’s methodology and technology in the Galapagos Islands in October 2004, Honduras in March 2005 and Australia in April 2005. He gave two talks at the International Whale Shark Conference in Perth, Australia in May 2005 and later that year accepted a Duke’s Choice Award on behalf of the team for innovative use of Java technology for Whale Shark data management and pattern recognition. Jason co-authored a widely lauded paper with Zaven Arzoumanian and Brad Norman on a 12-year population study at Ningaloo Marine Park in Ecological Applications (January 2008).
Wild Me Information Architect
1726 N Terry Street
Portland, Oregon 97217


ANDREA MARSHALL, Science Coordinator

Andrea Marshall is a conservation biologist, working in Mozambique on the ecology of both species of manta rays. Educated in the United States and Australia, Andrea was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays. After completing her thesis Andrea stayed on to spearhead the conservation efforts of these species in Mozambique. After almost a decade of work in the region, she founded the Marine Megafauna Association. Her world-leading manta ray research program examines aspects of their biology, reproductive ecology, habitat use, migrations and social behaviour. Aside from dramatically increasing the level of knowledge on manta rays themselves, Andrea’s discovery of a new giant species of manta ray in 2008 was one of the largest new species to have been described by any scientist in the last 50 years. In addition to her busy international research schedule Andrea spends many months of the year working on conservation initiatives at home and abroad.



Mark McBride is a software developer at Twitter Inc., building APIs that allow developers to access Twitter capabilities. He is also on the board of Wild Me. He is interested in all aspects of software development, as well as sustainability and conservation.


SIMON PIERCE, Director, Science Coordinator

Simon Pierce is a conservation ecologist focusing on threatened marine species, particularly sharks and rays. Simon, a New Zealand native, has been based in Mozambique since 2005 where he leads research efforts on a large year-round aggregation of whale sharks. Simon's whale shark research examines the population ecology, movements and conservation status of these enormous fishes. His research is designed to bridge the gap between science in management in order to develop and implement effective conservation solutions. Simon is a Lead Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Association in Mozambique and Executive Director of Eyes on the Horizon, a national Mozambican marine conservation organisation. He holds a BSc degree from Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and a BSc (Hons) and PhD from The University of Queensland (Australia).


ZAID ZAID, Director
Zaid A. Zaid is a senior associate in the Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Group. Zaid completed a summer clerkship in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the United States Department of State, where he drafted memos concerning the Iran-US Claims Tribunal and researched for NAFTA Chapter 11 investment claims against the US Government. Zaid was a political officer in the Foreign Service from 1999 to 2006, and he worked at US embassies in Syria, Tunis, Cairo, the US Mission to the United Nations, and with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as the liaison to the Iraqi Governing Council as well as at the US Embassy in Baghdad. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association. He is the chair of the Fletcher Alumni Club of Washington DC, a board member of Wild Me, a member of the American Constitution Society, a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow with the Truman National Security Project.
1875 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006


Jacob Levenson, Director


Collaborating Researchers and Volunteers (95)

Camp Gecko
Adrián Fernández
Aisleen Dilks
ECOCEAN Australia
Alan Duncan
The Dive Inn
Al Dove
Georgia Aquarium
Alessandro Ponzo
Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines (LAMAVE)
Universidad de Antioquia
Alexandra Watts
Alex Hearn
Alina Riensema
All Out Africa Volunteers
Amanda ellis
University of Kentucky
Andrea Marshall
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Aqua-Firma UK
Baja II
Vermilion Sea Institute
Beatriz Eugenia Galván
Big Blue Conservation
Big Blue Diving
Brad Norman
Brendon Sing
Shark Guardian
Cameron O'Neill
ECOCEAN Australia
Chris Rohner
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Clare Prebble
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Dani Rob
Department of Parks and Wildlife, Government of Western Australia
Darcy Bradley
ECOCEAN Australia
David Acuna
Charles Darwin Foundation
David Robinson
Sharkwatch Arabia
Deni Ramirez
Tiburon Ballena Mexico (Whale Shark Mexico)
Dolphin Encountours Research Center in support of DolphinCare
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Eden Baxter
ECOCEAN Australia
Elizabeth Clingham
Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, St. Helena
Elson Q. Aca
Emily Wilson
Department of Parks and Wildlife, Government of Western Australia
Eric Hoffmayer
Eric Weather
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Fabrice Jaine
Underwater Africa
Felicity Kelly
Fernando Cagua
GAI Interns
Georgia Aquarium
George Shedrawi
ECOCEAN Australia
Giles Winstanley
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Gonzalo Araujo
Large Marine Vertebrates Foundation
Gujarat 1
Wildlife Trust of India
Hannah Darrin
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Harry Webb
Georgia Aquarium
Heather Taylor
Department of Parks and Wildlife, Government of Western Australia
Heidi Turcotte
Georgia Aquarium
Isabelle Foisy
Jacob Levenson
Georgia Aquarium
Jason Holmberg
Wild Me
Jason Holmberg
Jay Gittens
Tiburon Ballena Mexico (Whale Shark Mexico)
Jennifer McKinney
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Jennifer Schmidt
University of Chicago/SRI
Jesse Cochrane
John Tyminski
Mote Marine Labs
Jon Van Oast
Wild Me
Kaitlyn Close
ECOCEAN Australia
Katie Reeve-Arnold
Ken Southerland
Wild Me
Kerry Gladish
Georgia Aquarium
Lauren Warnell
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Liana Vitali
Vermillion Sea Institute
Liana Vitali
Vermilion Sea Institute
Lisa Carne
Fragments of Hope
Maldives Whale Shark Research Program - RESTful data pull
Marine Megafauna Foundation
ECOCEAN Australia
Meghann McDonald
Vermilion Sea Institute
Michael Berumen
Red Sea Research Center
Michael Pfundt
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Nil Llonch
Volunteer of Rafael de la Parra
Peter Haskell
Marine Megafauna Foundation
Petra Roeglin
Sinai Dive Center
Project Dragonfly - B28
Vermilion Sea Institute
Rachel Graham
Wildlife Conservation Society
Rafael de la Parra
Ch'ooj Ajauil AC, Mexico
Reanne Creyghton
Robert Hueter
Mote Marine Laboratory
Rossana Maguiño
Tiburon Ballena México (Whale Shark Mexico)
Ross Newbigging
All Out Africa
Rowan Watt-Pringle
Work Travel South Africa (WTSA) / Wildlife and Ecological Investments (WEI)
Samantha Reynolds
ECOCEAN Australia
Simon Hilbourne
Simon Pierce
Marine Megafauna Foundation, Wild Me
Sophie Bernstein
ECOCEAN Australia
Steffen Sanvig Bach
Maersk Oil
Steve Fox
Deep Blue Utila
Underwater Africa Volunteers
Underwater Africa Volunteers
Uri Priel
University of Toronto
Vermillion Sea Institute
Vermillion Sea Institute
Wild Me Facebook Automated Data Pull
Wild Me
WWF Philippines
World Wildlife Federation
Zaven Arzoumanian
Wild Me
Vermilion Sea Institute
Vermilion Sea Institute

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