VFC Splash Panel

Introducing the conference speakers

At this year's World Whale Conference, we have some fantastic speakers lined up for you. For you to get to know them a little better check out, each of their bio's below.

Lloyd Edwards

Lloyd started the Baywatch Marine Conservation Project in 1992, which is the oldest privately funded project of its kind in Africa. The most important aims are education, marine research, tree rehabilitation projects, assisting in marine law enforcement and anti-marine pollution projects. In 1997 Lloyd started Raggy Charters marine cruises in order to raise funds for the Baywatch Project. 

Raggy Charters currently holds the only whale and dolphin watching permit for Algoa Bay. He also specialises in taking out film crews (like the BBC) into Algoa Bay. In the last five years Raggy Charters has won the Lilizela Tourism Awards for the best marine, ocean and beach experience in South Africa 3 times. He has written a book on Algoa Bay and contributed to others as well as writing many articles and even two scientific papers. Lloyd is chairman of the Tree Society and won a national award for his rehabilitation of wetlands. He also won the BirdLife South Africa Owl Award in recognition of his contribution in helping to conserve the endangered African Penguin. 

His greatest achievement, together with his wife through her research, was to have played a leading role in having a large section of Algoa Bay proclaimed as a Marine Protected Area. This became a reality in 2018. Lloyd was elected as the Africa Representative for the WCA in 2015. He launched Algoa Bay as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World in 2016 and organised the first Port Elizabeth Dolphin Festival in 2018.

Paul H.Forestell, PhD

Paul was born in Canada and obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of New Brunswick, and a PhD in comparative psychology from the University of Hawaii. His research has focused on cognitive capabilities of dolphins, social and migratory patterns of humpback whales, and educational programs in marine tourism settings.  His work has taken him from Canada to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Alaska, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Oman. Paul is internationally recognised for developing naturalist training programs and promoting low impact whale and dolphin watching expeditions, and has conducted operator training workshops in Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Ecuador and Costa Rica. He has been affiliated with the Hawaii-based Pacific Whale Foundation since its founding in 1980 and has published multiple books, book chapters, journal articles, symposium presentations, contract reports, and conference articles. Paul was an invited participant to the annual Scientific Committee meeting of the International Whaling Commission in 2018. Between 1996 and 2018 he served as a faculty member (tenured Professor of Psychology) at Long Island University’s Southampton and C.W. Post campuses; Provost at Long Island University (Post campus); and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Keuka College (all in New York state). He retired from Keuka College in July of 2018 to resume involvement with Pacific Whale Foundation’s international programs following the untimely death of the organization’s Founder and President, Greg Kaufman.

Dr Trish Franklin

Dr Trish Franklin, BA Hons, La Trobe University 1985, PhD, Southern Cross University 2014.

Trish is Founder and President of The Oceania Project (1988), a not-for-profit research and education organisation, and Lead Marine Scientist on a long-term study of humpback whales in Hervey Bay (1992-2009).

She has authored or co-authored 25 scientific publications on humpback whales (https://bit.ly/2Q5Raza) and is an Adjunct Research Scientist at the Martine Ecology Research Centre, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.







Dr Wally Franklin

Dr Wally Franklin, BCom, Melbourne University 1976, PhD, Southern Cross University 2014. Wally is Director/Secretary of The Oceania Project (1988), a not-for-profit research and education organisation, and Marine Scientist on a long-term study of humpback whales in Hervey Bay (1992-2009). He has authored or co-authored 26 scientific publications on humpback whales  (https://bit.ly/2NDHBut) and is an Adjunct Research Scientist at the Martine Ecology Research Centre, Southern Cross University, Lismore Australia.

For more information on Trish and Wally’s work click here.


Sophie Lewis

Sophie is the Responsible Whale Watching Partner Project Manager at the World Cetacean Alliance. Sophie works with the WCA’s growing number of Responsible Whale Watching Partners, developing relationships to encourage engagement, collaboration and communication on a variety of issues relating to responsible cetacean tourism and beyond. She also works on promoting WCA Partners and responsible cetacean tourism to a wider audience, and sits on the Blue Flag International Jury, providing advice and guidance relating to the Blue Flag Sustainable Boating Tourism Operator accreditation. In 2018, Sophie authored WCAs Global Best Practice Guidance for Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching. Formed in partnership with ClubMed, this manual now forms the bedrock for WCAs global certification programme for responsible whale watching. Sophie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in climate change and has previously worked as Data and Media Analyst for The Indonesian Manta Project in Bali. She is passionate about the collaboration between science, conservation and tourism.


Clive Martin

Clive is a founding Partner of the WCA and has served as a trustee. He is an Individual Member. The 'call of the sea' has always been in Clive's blood and he has served as Coastguard and a Helmsman in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. He has always been involved in cetacean research and also educating passengers who travel on ships, both large and small. His utter dislike of institutions that hold cetaceans captive for ’theatrical’ purposes stimulated him to form the UK Charity Orca Rescues Foundation, which aims to assist with the work of captivity release, and the formation of sanctuaries that will hopefully house cetaceans that might be released from captivity. His travels across the Oceans have taken him across many thousands of sea miles, always in search of whales and dolphins and other wondrous ocean wildlife.

Professor Mark Orams

Professor Mark Orams is currently Head of Discipline, Tourism, Leisure and Event Management and member of the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. He also holds a position at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand as Associate Director of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute and the Centre for Applied Ecology of New Zealand. He is the founding co-chair of the International Coastal and Marine Tourism Society and serves on the editorial board for the academic journals Tourism in Marine Environments and the Coastal Management Journal. In addition, he is a member of the Sustainability Commission for World Sailing and a founding member of the Society for Surfing Academics. An active “water-man”, Marko as he is known, is a surfer, multiple world champion and around the world sailor, a diver, stand-up-paddle board racer and ocean dweller. He lives onboard his 40 foot catamaran “Waiake II” with his wife Renee, and their chocolate labrador “Moana”.

Dylan Walker

Dylan is CEO for the Secretariat of the World Cetacean Alliance. He specialises in collaborative projects and network building to deliver marine conservation and animal welfare initiatives that protect marine species and habitats.

Having taken an ecology degree and a marine mammal science masters, Dylan has worked in ecotourism for 25 years, advising large and small tour operators and travel associations to deliver sustainable practices and marine conservation programmes.

As a scientist, conservationist, and former whale watch business owner, Dylan has worked with the whale watching industry across Europe, Latin America, and North America, and has written several books on cetaceans. He also co-founded WhaleFest, one of the world’s largest celebrations of whales and dolphins and campaigning platform for ocean conservation issues.

Dylan believes in grass roots environmental projects, scaled up through collaboration and coordination to deliver real and lasting change for people and wildlife at a global scale. 

John Rumney

John Rumney Managing Director, Eye to Eye Marine Encounters Great Barrier Reef Legacy. John has a passion that is palpable and contagious. He has dedicated his professional and personal life to supporting research and pioneering marine ecotourism on the Great Barrier Reef. He has been an outstanding advocate for marine conservation whilst demonstrating the “commercial advantage to saving the reef”. John has been an unfaltering steward for the underwater world through his live-aboard adventure diving expeditions, citizen science programs, industry appointments and numerous community initiatives.  His efforts and knowledge of the underwater world has inspired countless individuals, PhD’s, influenced policy makers and continues to be a driving force in the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s greatest treasure.

In 1995, John initiated the Minke Whale Project (MWP) collaborating with researchers from James Cook University and Museum of Tropical Queensland. This has expanded over the years with citizen scientists contributing to Minke Whale Research on the Great Barrier Reef with whale Id’s and behavioral observations of these uniquely inquisitive animals. The MWP is held up as world’s best practice. 

In addition to having won numerous awards for his efforts in environmental conservation, John and his research initiatives have featured in many documentaries about the Great Barrier Reef including David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef.

John’s most recent endeavour, Great Barrier Reef Legacy is a not for profit social enterprise that will use an independently funded long-range research vessel to provide essential access and support for coral reef research, education and multimedia programs with a particular focus on engaging the youth of Australia.

Dr Michael Lück

Dr Michael Lück is a professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism, and associate director for the coastal and marine tourism research programme at the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, both at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.  He is founding co-chair of the International Coastal & Marine Tourism Society (ICMTS). Michael has more than 10 years work experience in the tourism industry and his research interests include (marine) wildlife tourism, the cruise industry, ecotourism, interpretation and education on wildlife tours, the impacts of tourism, and aviation. He has published in a number of international journals, is founding editor-in-chief of the academic journal Tourism in Marine Environments,  Associate Editor of the Journal of Ecotourism and Human Dimensions of Wildlife, and editorial board member of Marine Policy and Frontiers. Michael has edited or co-edited ten volumes on ecotourism, marine and polar tourism, events and low cost airlines, as well as the Encyclopedia of Tourism and Recreation in Marine Environments (CABI), and co-authored the introductory text Tourism (CABI).

Artwork by Burralangi