Meet the Team
Get to know the Founder and our Board Members
Founder and CEO
Jaime Dias is a conservationist and bush pilot, born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1989. At the young age of nine following his father footsteps he went to Military School. After graduating from Military School he got his commercial pilot’s license from a flight school in Portugal. His first job in conservation was in Zakouma National Park in Chad, for African Parks Network. After Chad, Jaime worked as a pilot and technical assistant for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Gabon and South Sudan, and as a survey leader in Mali. He also worked for the National Parks Agency in Gabon. Since April 2018, Jaime is managing our foundation's field project in Chad.
Rian and Lorna Labuschagne both born in Africa, are married and have worked together as a team in conservation for much of the past 35 years. Rian worked for 10 years with South African National Parks (SANParks). From 1995 to 2000, Rian and Lorna worked as Technical Advisor’s in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park, on behalf of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Between 2002 and 2011 Rian and Lorna worked for Grumeti Reserves Ltd. in Kenya and Tanzania. From January 2011 to 2017 they worked for African Parks Network in Zakouma National Park in Chad, Rian as the Park Manager and Lorna as the Special Projects Manager. In February 2017, they returned to Tanzania and are currently working in the Serengeti National Park for the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Rian is the Programme Manager and Lorna is a Technical Advisor.
Align B.V. is a provider of corporate services licensed by De Nederlandsche Bank. Mariella Ruiz and Pieter Bosse are both managing directors. Mariella Ruiz, born in Aruba, Dutch Caribbean, went to the Netherlands at the age of 17 to study law. She completed her studies in civil law at the University of Leiden and joined Amaco (Netherlands) B.V. (later renamed Align B.V.) in 1998. Completing more than 15 years of experience, Mariella has been working at various levels up to the position of Senior Account Manager. Pieter Bosse joined Amaco (Netherlands) B.V. in 1993 and has since directed offices in Amsterdam, Curaçao and Aruba. He brings an in depth experience and a hands on approach in the fields of company management, accounting, finance, tax, compliance and HRM.
Brendan Godley is a Professor of Conservation Science and Director of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, UK. He obtained his undergraduate degrees in Zoology and Veterinary Medicine and his Doctorate from the University of Glasgow. He is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and has managed projects for DfID, Defra, EU, NERC as well as a range of commercial organizations and non-governmental organizations. He also teaches a conservation field course in Kenya every year and has been involved in conservation and research projects in Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Congo and Sao Tome and Principe. He is a member of the Veterinary and Marine Turtle Specialist Groups of the IUCN and is an advisor to the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative and a trustee of Fauna and Flora International.
Markéta Antonínová completed her PhD in tropical agriculture at the University of Life Sciences in Prague (CULSP) with a special emphasis on wildlife management and population dynamics. Her career on the African continent began with research in Senegal followed by work in Ethiopia on during her tenure as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Tropics and Subtropics. After her academic experience, Markéta worked extensively in DR Congo (Garamba NP) and Chad (Zakouma NP) where she focused mainly on wildlife research and monitoring, especially elephants, protected area management and law enforcement implementation. She also worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in South Sudan. Today she lives in Pendjari National Park in Benin, working for African Parks Network as a Special projects Manager, while her partner James is the Park Manager.