About Us

Wild Me is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the United States. We are based in Portland, Oregon in the historic Kenton Neighborhood.

Contact Us

For general questions about Wild Me, please contact Jason Holmberg (jason@wildme.org).

For consulting and services-related questions for your citizen science project, please contact us at: services@wildme.org.

About Wild Me

Wild Me’s mission is advanced by an array of talented individuals.

ZAVEN ARZOUMANIAN, President

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zaven@wildme.org

Zaven Arzoumanian earned degrees in Physics at McGill University (B.Sc.) and Princeton University (M.A., Ph.D.). His research interests include the astrophysics of neutron stars and black holes, testing theories of gravitation and the nature of matter in extreme environments, and new technologies for instrumentation in radio and X-ray astronomy. Zaven is employed as a contract scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, USA. Zaven’s interest in Whale Sharks and pattern-matching computations for biological applications culminated in the co-development of a technique for matching spot patterns adapted from astronomy, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology (May 2005).

 

TANYA BERGER-WOLF, Director

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Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is a Computational Ecologist, designing computational methods to solve problems in ecology, from genetics to social interactions, focusing particularly on the algorithmic and data aspects of the questions. Dr. Berger-Wolf is the Director of the IBEIS subcommittee of WildMe. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she heads the Computational Population Biology Lab. As a legitimate part of her research (and IBEIS) she gets to fly in a super-light airplane over a nature preserve in Kenya, taking a hyper-stereo video of zebra populations and learning how to identify each one of them by the unique stripe pattern.

Dr. Berger-Wolf has received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. After spending some time as a postdoctoral fellow working in computational phylogenetics and doing research in computational epidemiology, she returned to Illinois. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008 and the UIC Mentor of the Year (2009) and Graduate Mentor (2012) awards.

 

DREW BLOUNT, Software Engineer

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drew@wildme.org

Drew is a data scientist, software engineer, and cryptography enthusiast. He has academic publications in both theoretical machine learning and applied data analysis, and has been active in the burgeoning, post-Bitcoin “crypto” world. Throughout these experiences, his work has focused on using information technology to benefit public, cooperative communities rather than private interests.

 

JASON HOLMBERG, Director

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jason@wildme.org

Jason Holmberg has logged thousands of hours of development time on Wildbook and Wildbook for Whale Sharks. As Wild Me’s Information Architect, he has designed and implemented new tools to support digital pattern recognition (computer vision + artificial intelligence) for whale sharks, humpback whales, and sperm whales. Using Jason’s tools, our projects have been able to categorize and manage a large amount of wildlife data and to identify individual animals from multiple photos taken by different researchers many years apart. Jason was lead author and population modeler for two widely lauded papers covering whale shark population trajectories at Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia, demonstrating that citizen science data can provide improved insight and population models through greater acquisition of high quality data.

Selected publications:

  • Bonner SJ & Holmberg, J (2013), Mark-Recapture with Multiple, Non-Invasive Marks. Biometrics. doi: 10.1111/biom.12045
    Web link
  • Holmberg J, Norman B & Arzoumanian Z (2009) Estimating population size, structure, and residency time for whale sharks Rhincodon typus through collaborative photo-identification. Endangered Species Research, (7) 39-53.
    Web link.
  • Holmberg J, Norman B & Arzoumanian Z (2008) Robust, comparable population metrics through collaborative photo-monitoring of whale sharks Rhincodon typus . Ecological Applications 18(1): 222-223.
    Web link
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COLIN KINGEN, Software Engineer

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Colin Kingen is a Web Developer in Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of Epicodus coding school and has a strong interest in biology and environmental science. He is passionate about using coding and technology to build tools and resources to benefit the community and foster learning. His work on Wild Book included working with others to build an adoption and donation system to help with funding and increase interest and engagement for citizen science.

 

ANDREA MARSHALL, Science Advisor

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Andrea Marshall is a conservation biologist, working in Mozambique on the ecology of both species of manta rays. Educated in the United States and Australia, Andrea was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays. After completing her thesis Andrea stayed on to spearhead the conservation efforts of these species in Mozambique. After almost a decade of work in the region, she founded the Marine Megafauna Association. Her world-leading manta ray research program examines aspects of their biology, reproductive ecology, habitat use, migrations and social behaviour. Aside from dramatically increasing the level of knowledge on manta rays themselves, Andrea’s discovery of a new giant species of manta ray in 2008 was one of the largest new species to have been described by any scientist in the last 50 years. In addition to her busy international research schedule Andrea spends many months of the year working on conservation initiatives at home and abroad..

 

MARK MCBRIDE, Director

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Mark McBride is a software developer at Turbine Labs (formerly Google, Nest, Twitter). He is interested in all aspects of software development, as well as sustainability and conservation.

 

SIMON PIERCE, Director

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Simon Pierce is a conservation ecologist focusing on threatened marine species, particularly sharks and rays. Simon, a New Zealand native, has been based in Mozambique since 2005 where he leads research efforts on a large year-round aggregation of whale sharks. Simon’s whale shark research examines the population ecology, movements and conservation status of these enormous fishes. His research is designed to bridge the gap between science in management in order to develop and implement effective conservation solutions. Simon is a Lead Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Association in Mozambique and Executive Director of Eyes on the Horizon, a national Mozambican marine conservation organisation. He holds a BSc degree from Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) and a BSc (Hons) and PhD from The University of Queensland (Australia).

 

Jon Van Oast, Senior Engineer

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Jon Van Oast has been developing online collaborative software for over twenty years.  He has a strong interest in open source software/hardware, open data, citizen science, and conservation.