Wildlife Conservation Society, Kenya
Jennifer O'Leary is the regional marine director for Wildlife Conservation Society in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) of the coast of East Africa. She has spent 12 years working with MPAs in the WIO to enhance MPA effectiveness and developed an international network to support this (www.smartseas.org). She is currently focusing on marine spatial planning and improving MPA and community fisheries management across three nations in the Western Indian Ocean (Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar) and collaborating with partners to develop sustainability strategies for these efforts through blue carbon. Her research focuses on how human disturbance and environmental variability affect persistence and recovery of marine systems across coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, kelp forests, and rocky intertidal habitats.