Staff

Staff

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Akchousanh Rasphone
Senior Conservation and Research Officer/Biodiversity Monitoring Expert
Dr. Akchousanh Rasphone is a Senior Conservation and Research Officer/Biodiversity Monitoring Expert with the WCS Laos program. Dr. Rasphone entered the field of spatial landscape ecology and wildlife research and conservation in 2005 in Laos with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her technical expertise ranges from geographic information system (GIS) and biostatical modelling to biodiversity monitoring and project management. She also has experience in assisting the development of protected area management plans for protected areas in Laos (i.e., Nam Kading, Nam Nyouang, Laving - La Vuen and Khounxe – Nongma). She holds a BA in GIS from the University of Southern Queensland (Australia), an MA in Geographical Sciences from the Australian National University, and a postgraduate diploma with WildCRU (Zoology department, University of Oxford) in The International Wildlife Conservation Practice. Dr. Rasphone received her PhD in Zoology from the University of Oxford in 2019 for her research focused on intraguild interactions of wild felids and dhole Cuon alpinus in northern Laos.
ANOUSONG SINTHAVONG
Accountant
ANOUSONG SINTHAVONG serves as Accountant at WCS.
Aphone Viengkhamhak
Program Coordinator – GIS
Aphone has worked extensively in the field of GIS with international non-governmental organizations in Lao PDR, particularly in conservation, land-use planning and forest management for more than10 years. She has experience in using different GIS applications and in conducting training in the field, for example on GPS and GIS for government and project staff. Aphone has worked for WCS as a Program Coordinator – GIS since 2014. Based in the Vientiane Office, her main responsibilities are providing maps, data analysis, technical database management and maintenance. She has also provided GIS training and coordinated with all GIS staff based in field sites as well as with government counterparts.
Ben Swanepoel
Program Director: NEPL landscape & WCS Country Program law enforcement advisor
Ben completed his Nature Conservation studies in South Africa in 1987 and was involved in protected area management over a period of 22 years in the South African context. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of protected areas management and community conservation projects. Ben has a strong mentoring and community engagement philosophy and was one of a two-person team instrumental in the design and implementation of one of the leading conservation services programs in South Africa, the "Working For Water" program. In 2003, Ben obtained his degree majoring in environmental management and industrial psychology. In 2009 Ben was seconded to WWF Laos as a protected areas management advisor, during which time he resigned from his South African position to work full time in Lao PDR. In 2011 Ben joined the WCS Lao country program as program manager for the Bolikhamxay landscape, later transferring to his current position as the Nam Et-Phou Louey landscape director.
Bounthanom Sitthixay
Community Consultation Campaign Livelihood Technical
Bounthanom Sitthixay completed his Graduate Diploma of Agriculture and Forestry at Champasak Agriculture and Forestry College in 2007 and graduated with a Higher Diploma of Forestry at Bolikhamxay Agriculture and Forestry College in 2015. He now works with the IEWMP Project.
Channapha Phouminh
Education and Outreach officer.
Channapha has started her work since she was in University of Laos (The faculty of Environmental and science) as a volunteer call SEED. After that she works as a fieldworker for 4 years for different organizations and companies such as PSI Lao, Environment-Sustainability-Livelihood, Earth Systems Co., Ltd, Lao social research, and Namthuen 2 Hydro Power Company. In 2019 she decided to join WCS as Administration Officer – Grants and Finance position, and since March 2020 she decided to join the ADB program of WCS Lao PRD as Education and Outreach officer.
Christopher Holmes
WCS Mekong Drivers Partnership Director
Dr. Christopher Holmes has been working with WCS for over 16 years in Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean. He joined WCS’s Greater Mekong Regional program in January 2014. He completed his PhD in human ecology at the University of California, Davis and his post-doctorate with the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has spent over two decades researching relationships between rural populations and the environment in the context of protected area management in Tanzania, Madagascar and Lao PDR. Christopher currently serves as the WCS Lao Senior Program Advisor. Christopher is also the director of the WCS Mekong Drivers Partnership (programs.wcs.org/driverspartnership).
David Lety
Technical Director: Bolikhamxay Landscape
David leads the overall WCS intervention in Bolikhamxay Province, providing strategic and technical guidance in the implementation, coordination and management of field activities. David obtained his Engineer/MSc degree in France in the fields of agronomy, rural development and environment. Since 2005 he has been involved in projects related to integrated rural development and natural resources management worldwide and occupied long term field positions in rural areas (Laos, France, Yemen, Madagascar, Afghanistan). His interest is to link community development to conservation outcomes. Resident in Laos since 2013, he joined the WCS Lao Program in 2017.
Emily Denstedt
Veterinary Technical Advisor
Emily completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Guelph and also holds a Master of Public Health. She has worked with an array of both domestic and wild species on a clinical level in North America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. While completing her MPH, she worked at the human-wildlife interface with Docs4GreatApes and Gorilla Doctors building capacity in frontline healthcare workers in Rwanda. As an active board member for Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières, Emily is involved in One Health initiatives globally. She enjoys teaching and was recruited to develop undergraduate courses in One Health for students at the University of Guelph. In 2019, Emily joined WCS and the Wildlife Health Program as the Veterinary Technical Advisor for Laos. She has a passion for conservation medicine and is driven to protect the health of both wildlife and humans by finding solutions using a One Health lens.
Janina Bikova
Ecotourism Advisor
Janina is a Latvian who has been studying and working abroad in France, South Asia and South East Asia since 2010. She holds a MSc Degree in Geography and Sustainable Development in Rural Areas with a focus on Ecotourism, and in 2013 moved to Laos to work in the responsible tourism sector. She joined WCS in 2015 as Ecotourism Advisor for Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA, where her activities focus on ensuring successful management and development of the NPA’s ecotourism by linking together growing community-based tourism activity with conservation objectives.

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