Meet the Conservation & Science core team




Sandy Trautwein, PhD

Director of Conservation and Science

Sandy joined Species360 as Director of Aquatic Conservation and Product Management in February 2021 and transitioned to Director of Conservation in June 2023. Her extensive leadership experience in aquarium husbandry, conservation, and research provides Sandy with the knowledge and skills needed to lead the Conservation Department.

Sandy began her aquarium career as an Aquarist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in the 1980s. She helped open the Aquarium of the Pacific in California where she served as Curator and later Vice President of Husbandry. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Towson State University, Maryland, and a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of Charleston, South Carolina. Her research interest in corals and crustaceans led to a PhD in Biology from the University of California in Los Angeles with a focus on systematics. Her aquarium conservation work includes the development of a major species recovery program for the critically endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Her passion for conserving species and the natural world aligns perfectly with Species360’s mission and vision.

Collaborative Engagements

  • Member of the Aquarium Committee of WAZA (the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums)

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Morgane Tidière, PhD

PostDoc Research Scientist

Dr. Morgane Tidière is a postdoctoral researcher with a joint position within the Conservation & Science Department at Species360 and within the Population Biology Team, Department of Biology, at the University of Southern Denmark.

Her work focuses on improving our understanding of the interaction between changing environment and evolutionary factors to explain the differences in demographic parameters (survival and reproduction) between sexes, populations, and species, across the tree of life. By analyzing the aggregated data in ZIMS, she tries to find unique insights into species, which we can then translate into analytic tools. Her aim is to support zoos and aquariums in pursuing improved management practices and the overall care and welfare of their animals, as well as improving the global evolution and demographic knowledge of species.

After an international Masters degree in “Ecology and Evolutionary Biology” in France and “Environmental Biology” in Italy, Morgane did her PhD. at the University of Lyon, France, where she studied the diversity of actuarial senescence across mammals using demographic data from Species360 members. Additionally, Morgane did a postdoc at the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norway, studying the allometric problematic of horn length in bovids. After that, she worked one and a half years at the LabEx ECOFECT, France, where she focused on understanding the influence of the parasite richness on the evolution of mammalian longevity and senescence. In between, she had the opportunity to work as a fieldwork assistant at the Kalahari Research Center, South Africa, to settle a long-term project on Cap ground squirrels. She, finally, joined Species360 and the University of Southern Denmark in 2020.

Collaborative Engagements

  • Member of the Welfare Committee for the AFdPZ (the French Association of Zoological Parcs)

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Rikke Øgelund Nielsen, MSc

Assisting Research Scientist

Rikke Øgelund Nielsen splits her time between the Species360 Science Team as part of the Population Biology Team, Department of Biology, at the University of Southern Denmark – and as the Research and Conservation Coordinator & ZIMS registrar at Terrariet – Reptile Zoo in Denmark. She is working in the interface between conservation biology and data science examining 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 did her masters degree analyzing zoos and aquariums through the lens of CITES and their opportunities to support Elasmobranch species threatened by international trade. At the same time she worked for the Danish Management Authorities of CITES for several years before starting this joint position. Following this, she has been working on the Species Knowledge Index (SKI) Initiative, coordinating the Sharks and Batoid projects.

Collaborative Engagements

  • Member of the Welfare Committee for DAZA (the Danish Association of Zoos and Aquariums)
  • Co-coordinating the Conservation of Danish Biodiversity working group in DAZA

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Floriane Plard, PhD

Analyst Consultant

Floriane Plard is a researcher in population ecology & evolutionary ecology, specialized in modeling and statistics. After different professional experience on analyzing the population ecology of endangered, common or hunting bird and mammal species, she is now a consultant in quantitative ecology. She develops models and software to quantify individual and environmental factors influencing temporal and spatial dynamics of populations and predict the impact of climate and human change on biodiversity. She is supporting scientists, students, biodiversity managers, associations, and local authorities to solve their challenge and take informed decisions by relying on robust results. Floriane joined the Science Team of Species360 to complete the analytics developed to study species demography per sex and to report key survival, reproductive, and growth values per species and institution.

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Species360 Conservation Department volunteers






Click here to learn more about the Conservation Science Alliance Academic Partners

  • Jacqueline Jürgens, MSc
    Working on the Marine Ornamental Fish Species Knowledge Index and projects related to Songbirds


Thank you!

We thank our sponsoring partners: Toronto Zoo, Mandai Wildlife Group, Odense Zoo, University of Southern Denmark, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). We could not achieve 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.