Mentors 2020-2021

Natalie Prinz (Germany)

Natalie Prinz was part of the first cohort of All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors (Germany) and is now a Mentor. She graduated from the University of Western Australia with a B.Sc. in Marine Science and from the University of Bremen with a M.Sc. in Tropical Marine Ecology. In April 2020 she started a PhD at the University of Waikato to engage in New Zealand’s Sustainable Seas Challenge. For this she now works in estuaries and investigates how native species can restore an intertidal system after disturbance. To her, the concept of collaborating countries around an ocean basin and a global ocean approach seems particularly promising for the new Ocean Science Decade and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. She is looking forward to the role as a Mentor because both cohorts can inspire, learn from each other, and work towards a future in which the Youth is actively taking responsibility.

Alicia Wilson (U.S.)

Alicia Wilson, U.S. All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Mentor, works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a project manager and biologist. Completing her National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) John A. Knauss Fellowship early in 2020, Alicia worked for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service's Coastal and Marine program assisting with voluntary based conservation projects, climate resilience and marine protected areas. Alicia graduated with her Master's in Wildlife and Natural Resources from the University of Georgia studying loggerhead sea turtle nesting response to rising sea levels and a Bachelor's in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

Eugénia Barroca (Portugal)

Eugénia has a degree in Marine Biology and has played an active role in several environmental volunteering projects, from national to international organizations. With the main focus on scientific communication, she organized a big diversity of community events. Professionally, she is a consultant for the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), responsible for managing a community of young ocean leaders. During this last year, Eugénia was the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador of Portugal, and she gave ocean literacy talks to students as attended several conferences and online events. Now, she is starting her mandate as a mentor for the new Atlantic Ambassadors and she believes that the AAORA is an incredible opportunity to synchronize synergies and thoughts for conscious and sustainable management of our ocean and waters.

Mariana Martins de Andrade (Brazil)

Ms. Mariana Andrade is an Oceanographer and has a Master's Degree in Biological Oceanography studying marine conservation. In Brazil, Ms. Andrade represents the Marine Science Entrepreneurship Working Group (@gtecienciasdomar) of the Executive Committee for the Training of Human Resources in Marine Sciences, producing content and mentoring initiatives of ocean-related positive socio-environmental impact. She is co-founder of bloom: agency of collaboration, creativity and blue innovation (@bloom.ocean) and advisor for the Women's League for the Oceans (@ligadasmulherespelosoceanos). As an All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador (@ouroneatlantic) in Brazil, she was interested in supporting sustainability approaches and science-communication processes. Ms. Andrade's work as an All Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador was supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communication.

Adrian Rogers (Canada) 

Adrian Rogers, originally from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is attending the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. On top of his studies, Adrian is an Ocean Bridge Youth Ambassador. Adrian’s main focus through his youth ambassador activities has been promoting sustainable fisheries; however, he has participated in various service projects across Eastern Canada, including completing Environmental Assessments, organizing shoreline cleanups, and helping to organize a freshwater quality awareness event. Adrian’s work as an All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by the Ocean Bridge program and Ocean Wise.

Leah McConney (Canada)

Ms. Leah McConney is an Oceans Biologist working on the creation of marine protected areas at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is always looking for opportunities to share her passion for the oceans and believes we all have a role to play in the sustainable use of the marine environment. Leah is also an Ocean Bridge Youth ambassador. Ms. McConney's work as an All Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by Ocean Wise.

Irene Sastre (Spain)

Ms. Irene Sastre has a degree in Communication Sciences and Information and a Master in Science and Public Health Communication (Complutense University of Madrid). She is currently working as the Responsible for Dissemination and Training of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) where she works on projects related to ocean technologies and renewable offshore energy, such as FLOTANT; and on projects related to the promotion of cooperation between the MAC regions, such as RIS3_NET, in order to exchange knowledge and best practices with regards to R&D and innovation policies and information systems. She is fully engaged with the promotion of sustainable, renewable and environmentally friendly energies using communication, dissemination and volunteering, and actively participating in initiatives such as FridaysForFuture. Ms. Sastre’s work as an All Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by PLOCAN via the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support actions AORA-CSA and AANChOR.

Eimear Manning (Ireland)

Eimear obtained her Masters of Science in Marine Sustainability in 2015. Since graduating she has worked in aquariums across Ireland as an aquarist and breeder. She has cared for exotic species held in quarantine facilities, as well as facilitated breeding programs for seahorses, jellyfish, rays, and sharks. For the past 3 years she has travelled to Miami, Florida to live aboard the R/V Garvin with the Field School crew. These expeditions enabled Eimear to assist in research being conducted at the University of Miami and Coastal Carolina University. Aboard the R/V Garvin she gained experience 4catching and scientifically working-up large predatory sharks and stingrays. Eimear's main interests are on public perception of sharks, and the effects of climate change on their behavioural ecology. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to conduct a PhD based on these passions. Eimear currently works in environmental education. She travels to schools, businesses, and community groups to inform individuals about how to lead more sustainable lifestyles. She presents workshops nationwide on plastic waste, pollution, water/energy consumption, and on marine sustainability.

John Armstrong (Ireland) 

Mr. John Armstrong works as an Educational Assistant at Fota Wildlife Park in Co. Cork Ireland. He has a degree in Ecology from University College Cork, Ireland and he volunteers with Cork Nature Network. He is a strong advocate on the Atlantic Ocean in his own community in Cobh Co. Cork and is motivated by the realization that this is our generations “do or die moment”. Mr. Armstrong’s work as an All Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by the Marine Institute Ireland via the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action AORA-CSA.

Sandra Phoma (ZA)

Sandra Phoma is a South African ocean microbial ecologist. Her PhD thesis focuses on the biogeography and functionality of ocean microbial communities using oceanography and metagenomics approaches.  This study has provided insight in using microbes for ongoing monitoring of the South Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans. She is currently embarking on incorporating advocacy and her expertise to develop sustainable efforts to ensure good ocean health. Sandra was an All Atlantic Youth Ambassador, supported by the University of Pretoria and Department of Science and Technology via the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support actions AORA-CSA and AANChOR.

Johanne Vad (UK) 

Dr. Johanne Vad is a post-doctoral research associate currently working with within the Horizon 2020 EU-ATLAS European Project, which focusses on deep-sea ecosystems conservation in the North Atlantic. With this project, I have learned to collaborate efficiently with researchers from Europe and Canada. I have also taken part in several scientific expeditions (Diving: Maldives, Greenland; Ship-based: Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Canada) and understand how scientific data, needed for efficient conservation, is gathered.  Dr. Vad’s work as an All Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by the University of Edinburgh via the EU Horizon 2020 research projects ATLAS and iAtlantic.

Bianca Prohaska (US)

Dr. Bianca Prohaska is currently a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) working in the Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) International Activities office. In addition to being a Knauss Fellow, Dr. Prohaska serves as an All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador. Dr. Prohaska received a Bachelor’s of Science from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master’s of Science from the University of New England. Most recently, Dr. Prohaska received her Ph.D. from Florida State University where she studied physiological ecology of sharks and rays. Dr. Prohaska’s work as an All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador was supported by NOAA via the EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support actions AORA-CSA and AANChOR.