Meet the Conservation Science Alliance Team

Conservation Science Alliance core team:

Johanna Staerk, PhD

PostDoc research scientist

Dr. Johanna Staerk is a postdoctoral research associate and member of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance. She also conducts research on behalf of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics and the Department of Biology at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

Johanna has a Master in Neurobiology and Behavior, where she studied the social networks of zoo-held gorilla populations and became interested in zoo conservation biology. During her PhD at the Max Planck Odense Centre for Demographic Research she worked on species conservation, applying demographic methods to improve conservation assessments and decision-making. Now, as part of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance she is curious how the wealth of demographic data in the Species360 ZIMS database can fill knowledge gaps for conservation and to improve species management.

Learn more about Johanna’s work at:

Morgane Tidière, PhD

PostDoc research scientist

Dr. Morgane Tidière is a postdoctoral researcher working at the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance with a Grant from the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics (CPop) at the University of Southern Denmark. She is working on an NIH project on sex differences in survival across the tree of life and species survival improvement under human care and its applications for species conservation.

After an international Master in “Ecology and Evolutionary Biology” in France and “Environmental Biology” in Italy, Morgane focused on studing the relationship between sexual selection strength and senescence variability in males of large ungulate species.

Dr. Morgane Tidière did her Ph.D. at the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biologyat the University of Lyonin France, where she studied the diversity of actuarial senescence across mammals using demographic data from Species360 members. Her work has highlighted how a species pace of life is a critical factor to consider to improve the benefit of a mammalian species under human care. Additionally, Morgane did a postdoc at the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (Norway) studying the allometric problematic of horn length in bovids. At the LabEx ECOFECT (France), she worked on understanding the influence of the parasite richness on the evolution of mammalian longevity and senescence. Dr. Morgane Tidière has been and will continue working on assessing management improvement across taxa in zoo populations, working on demographic data from ruffed lemurs and tigers living in captivity. Her studies will shed light on how individual factors explain the variability of actuarial and reproductive senescence patterns in these taxa. Dr. Morgane is convinced that by understanding how nature works, we can protect it, therefore she is part of the “Project Pangolin”.


Rikke Øgelund Nielsen, MSc

Research Assistant

Rikke Øgelund Nielsen is a Research Assistant in the Species360 Science Team. She completed her master’s degree from the University of Southern Denmark as part of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance working on zoos and aquariums through the lens of CITES and the opportunities for zoos and aquariums to support Elasmobranchs species threatened by international trade.

She is working in the interface between conservation biology and data science on how data from the worlds zoos and aquariums can support the decision-making process for captive management and global conventions and treaties such as CITES. She has been and will continue working under the Species Knowledge Index (SKI) Initiative, coordinating the Sharks and Batoid projects.
She worked for the Danish Management Authorities of CITES for several years before starting this joint position between the Species360 Science Team and the Research and Conservation Coordinator & ZIMS registrar at Terrariet – Reptile Zoo in Denmark.

Jim Guenter


Jim joined Species360 as CEO in 2015, bringing a focus on using data science and analytics to improve the care and conservation of wildlife. He leads initiatives to secure the funding, collaborative partnerships, and support that make the Conservation Science Alliance successful. Jim also leads ongoing growth of Species360 in improving the care and welfare of wildlife worldwide.

Before joining Species360, Jim served in technology leadership roles for major US corporations including, Best Buy, and Accenture. He also served 5 years in the US Army.


Conservation Science Alliance Academic partners:

These include close academic collaborators not employed at Species360.

Fernando Colchero, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark

Dr. Fernando Colchero is an Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and is a member of the Steering Board of the Interdisciplinary Center on Population Dynamics also at SDU. He is a statistical and mathematical ecologist working on developing models to understand the demography and dynamics of captive and wild populations of vertebrates. His statistical software has been widely used among the scientific community, while his research has been published in the most influential scientific journals in ecology, evolution, and general sciences. He has collaborated with Drs. Conde and her team since the inception of the Conservation Science Alliance, working on developing statistical and mathematical tools to explore the evolutionary demography and conservation of wild and captive populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Learn more about Fernando’s work at:

Jacqueline Jürgens, MSc

Research Assistant

Jacqueline Jürgens is a research assistant at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and has been a member of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance since 2020.

Jacqueline has a master’s degree in biology with the specialisation “Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution” from the University of Hamburg, Germany. As part of her master’s, she supported the work on the Songbird Species Knowledge Initiative during two Erasmus+ internships at the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance. She also completed her master thesis with Prof. Dalia Conde on the EU trade ban on wild birds in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark. She is currently coordinating the work on the Ornamental Fish Species Knowledge Initiative. Additionally, she supports Dr. Staerk and Dr. Tidière in their work on sex differences in ageing under the supervision of Prof. Fernando Colchero. She is interested in the international wildlife trade and its implications, the potential of policy and legislation to improve biodiversity conservation, and the capacity of zoos and aquaria to support conservation and fill gaps in species knowledge.

Learn more about Jacqueline’s work at:

Simon Bruslund

Head of Conservation, Marlow Birdpark

Simon Bruslund does not have the classic academic background but instead started his carrier with a qualification as a zoo keeper in Copenhagen zoo. Since 2002 he is working in positions which are usually filled by biologists. Having worked in zoological collections in Denmark, Germany, Qatar and Spain he is currently head of conservation at Marlow Birdpark close to the Baltic See in northern Germany. His primary function is to support conservation projects, supported by Marlow Birdpark with technical advice, fundraising and networking with a emphasis on bird related projects in Brazil and Indonesia. Additionally he is involved with the regional cooperation between zoological institutions through EAZA and currently is the chair of the EAZA Parrot Taxon Advisory Group, vice-chair of the Songbird Taxon Advisory Group and a member of the EAZA Conservation Committee. Between 2017 and 2019 he co-chaired the EAZA conservation campaign “Silent Forest” and continue to coordinate the activities initiated by the campaign. His research interests is primarily Parrot, Songbirds and Galliformes conservation, ecology and taxonomy but he has a very diverse interest in everything else with feathers.

Simon supports the CSA team on avian related research providing his insights on matters related to husbandry, taxonomy and conservation since 2019. Currently he is primarily collaborating with CSA and University of Southern Denmark on the Songbird Species Knowledge Index project and collates data on global trade interest in Songbirds.

Learn more about Simon’s work at:



Lucie Bland, PhD

Senior Writer

Dr Lucie Bland is a close associate of the CSA and is currently based at the University of Melbourne’s School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences. Dr Bland’s scientific background includes creating machine learning models to predict species extinctions, developing core methodology for the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, and writing a book on international biosecurity. Her research has been published in high-impact journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, and Nature Ecology & Evolution.


Since 2019, Dr Bland has been supporting the CSA with science writing, editing, and project management. Alongside her work with Species360, Dr Bland works as a canine rehabilitation therapist in veterinary practice.


Thank you!

We thank our sponsoring partners: Copenhagen Zoo, Mandai Wildlife Group, and the Toronto Zoo. We could not achieve critical success without your partnership.


Conservation Science Alliance needs your support

Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsoring partners, which helps to fund researchers and data analysts conducting this important work.