Team Bios

Madyo Couto – MSc

Madyo holds a degree in Environmental Sciences from Cape Town University and a Masters in Conservation Leadership from Cambridge University. He has more than 20 years of experience in environmental consulting and conservation area management. Madyo has worked in Mozambique’s nature conservation and environmental space, and in multiple sectors including Governmental institutions, private-public partnerships, donors and private sector. Currently, Madyo leads the MozBio 2 project (Biodiversity and Development of Conservation Areas), at the National Sustainable Development Fund (FNDS).

Celia Macamo – PhD

Célia Macamo holds a PhD in Marine Botany, and is a marine biologist. As of 2008, she has been a professor at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, and is currently Director of the UEM Master’s Degree in Biology and Conservation Ecology. Célia’s research interest focuses on mangrove forests (ecology, conservation, management, socio-economics, restoration and carbon), but also extends to other components of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Her work has been published in scientific journals, books, and technical and scientific reports. She is currently the national representative of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), member of the Mangrove Capital Africa Advisory Group, and is the focal point of the WIO Mangrove Network in Mozambique.

Jorge Ferrão – PhD

Jorge Ferrão is a socio-environmental researcher and has been the Rector of the Pedagogical University of Maputo since 2017. He developed part of his academic and professional work in the implementation and management of transboundary conservation areas in southern Africa, particularly in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. With a degree in International Relations from ISRI Maputo, Jorge completed a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Zimbabwe and, later, a PhD in Rural Sociology at UFRRJ Brazil. Jorge published a thesis on “The implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the management of natural resources in Southern Africa”. For seven years, Joerge was Rector of Universidade Lúrio and, in 2011, he assumed the position of President of AULP and became a member of the Executive Committee of SARUA. In 2015, Jorge assumed the position of Minister of Education and Human Development in Mozambique.

Paula Santana Afonso – MSc

Paula holds a degree in Biology, from the Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique, and a Masters in Aquaculture and Fisheries, from the University of Algarve, Portugal. Paula began her professional career as a researcher in 1995, at the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira, in the area of ​​artisanal fisheries. In 1997, she was part of the group that designed and implemented the National Sampling System for Artisanal Fisheries (SNAPA). At the beginning of her career and for two years, Paula lived and worked in the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, as a resident marine biologist. Between 2016 and 2021, Paula worked tirelessly in Mozambique’s marine biodiversity and conservation space. She served as Vice-President of the National Group on Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs); has actively participated in the elaboration of the scenarios for marine conservation area expansion in the country; and has experimented with cutting-edge analysis of images captured by ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles). During her career as a researcher, Paula held various leadership and management roles between 2000 and 2015, with emphasis on the position of National Director of the National Institute for Fisheries Research. Currently, Paula serves as the Director General of the National Institute for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Mozambique.

Nicholas Raba

Nick has spent the vast majority of his professional working career in Mozambique, arriving during the difficult civil war times of 1988. These were entrepreneurial days and Nick was one of the original founders, shareholders and Managing Director of the Kawena Mineworkers and Kangela Group of Companies- operating over 44 warehouses throughout the Country, and employing over 600 staff. In 2011, Nick opted to further diversify his business interests within the private sector, creating the Executive Logistics brand. Originating from Liverpool in England, Nick is a Mozambican National having gained his citizenship in the late 90’s. Nick’s passion for the environment and conservation was borne through his involvement on Inhaca Island, spanning more than 25 years and from where Eyes on the Horizon (EOTH) was created – a non-profit organization focused on protecting the nearshore coastline of Mozambique through linking tourist operators, private stakeholders and the communities to local government entities in an effort to raise awareness of illegal fishing activities and the urgent need for the protection of the marine environment. Nick was one of the main contributors for a scientific paper designated, `Shark Fishing in Mozambique – a Preliminary Assessment of Artisanal Fisheries`.

Manuel Mutimucuio – PhD

Manuel has been working in natural resource management for over 14 years, and his main area of ​​interest being the convergence between biodiversity conservation and rural development. He is a senior consultant at the World Bank, where he provides technical assistance on conservation issues. Manuel’s professional career includes appointments with the Ministry of Land and Environment, where he served as Advisor to the Minister; Gorongosa National Park Restoration Project- as Director of Human Development and Sustainability. Manueal was also the representative of Peace Parks Foundation within the technical and financial assistance agreement for the former Maputo Special Reserve and Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve (presently Maputo National Park). As an advisor for economic development and inclusive business at the Dutch Development Organization, Manuel influenced the integration of socio-environmental sustainability criteria into business initiatives in the agriculture and tourism sectors. Manuel holds a PhD in Political Economy of Institutions from the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Agostinho Nazaré Mangueze – MSc

Nazaré graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the Eduardo Mondlane University and with a Master’s degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from SUA-Tanzania. Nazaré currently works as a Biodiversity Conservation Specialist at the National Fund for Sustainable Development where he supports the conservation and management of biodiversity in parks and reserves, as well as initiatives aimed at the development of local communities in Mozambique. Between 2014 and 2017, he served as Director of Conservation and Community Development Services at the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), where his main role was planning and managing national parks and reserves, hunting areas, game farms, marine community areas, as well as wildlife management matters outside of conservation areas. During this period, he was responsible for negotiating several agreements and memoranda of understanding for the participatory management of conservation areas, such as: the co-management agreements between Peace Parks Foundation and African Parks for the Zinave and Bazaruto Archipelago National Parks respectively, as well as the MoU between ANAC and Centro Terra Viva for the joint monitoring of marine conservation areas. Nazaré participated in the elaboration of several legal instruments that govern the conservation of biodiversity, highlighting the Conservation Law and respective regulations, CITES regulations, the human-wildlife conflict management and mitigation strategy, among others.

Yassin Amuji

Yassin was born in Chimoio, Manica Province, Mozambique. He is a young entrepreneur and owner of Vilankulo Futebol Clube. He is also a social and humanitarian activist, as well as an Executive at AMUJI Logistics; Founder of the Vilankulo Tourism Association; Owner of Vilankulo TV; and President of the Yassin Amuji Foundation. Yassin was elected President of Vilankulo FC in July 2004, when he was 21 year’s old. Four years later, he bought the club and started investing with the intention of transforming it and reaching new heights that culminated in the club’s rise to Moçambola. Yassin is known for innovative thinking, and incorporates these concepts into various themes such as business, economy, culture, tourism, youth and sports. Yassin received the award for Best Sports Manager in Mozambique for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), two international awards in 2012- one in Paris for Quality and Leadership, and the second in Geneva for Technology and Innovation. In 2018, Yassin was elected President of the Vilankulo Tourism Association, having also been appointed in 2021 as Vice President of the Hotel, Tourism and Restoration Portfolio at CTA – Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique. Yassin was also appointed as a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Tourism Cooperation, representing African Countries in 2021. Yassin’s official residence is located in Vilankulo, Mozambique.

Professor Michael Schleyer- PhD

Professor Michael Schleyer has worked at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban since 1973, where he held the position of Deputy Director of Research until 2012. Prof. Schleyer’s career has primarily revolved around marine invertebrate ecology, but his experiences include fish ageing, zooplankton research and an assessment of the role of detritus food chains in coastal ecosystems. Since 1990, he has specialised in coral reef research, which he continues as a Research Associate of ORI, and conducting multidisciplinary studies on coral reefs, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique. Prof Schleyer has also worked extensively on reefs throughout the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), and conducted collaborative research with several international scientists. These efforts have covered fields as diverse as conservation planning to coral genetics and reef economics. Prof. Schleyer has published over 100 research papers and 20 books or chapters in books, was the editor of the Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science, and is a member of various Editorial Boards. He has supervised more than 30 post-graduate students at the masters, doctoral or postdoctoral level. He is a Fellow of the Western Indian Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), and, until retirement, was the South African representative of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN).

Dr Atanasio Brito – PhD

Atanásio is a fisheries and environmental scientist with over 25 years of experience, specializing in marine fisheries science, conservation, and management. His work has supported multiple organizations including governmental and academic institutions, and consulting and development NGOs in Mozambique and internationally. He is currently Vice-President for Rare- a leading international NGO, where he has led its Fish Forever program in Mozambique, which focuses on community managed-access areas and the design of fully protected marine reserves to enhance fisheries management. Atanásio has helped scale the program footprint from community to district level while showcasing its successes nationally and internationally. Before joining Rare, he served as director of monitoring, evaluation and operational Research with the University of Washington’s International Center for Training and Education and as national science director for fisheries research with the government of Mozambique. Atanasio holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences, a Masters’ of Science degree in marine and terrestrial ecology from Florida A&M University (USA), and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Havana, Cuba. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters focusing on marine environment and fisheries. Dr. Brito is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Dr Michael Musgrave – PhD

Dr Michael Musgrave has wide ranging business development and rural sustainable development expertise in south central Africa. He is the author of a detailed study of carbon, communities, and sustainable rural livelihoods in south-western Zambia. As Conservation Leadership Faculty at the School of Wildlife Conservation, African Leadership University, he runs the Conservation MBA program which provides mid-career professionals with a commercial qualification in African wildlife conservation. He is a thought-leader in developing a vision for conservation business across Africa including forest carbon and biodiversity investments with a focus on rural livelihoods.

Bio Carlos Litulo – BSc

Carlos was born in Maputo, and has over 15 year’s of professional experience. He studied marine biology at Eduardo Mondlane University, and has a wide array of skills and work experience focused on marine ecology, small-scale fisheries, environmental impact assessments, and biodiversity conservation. Carlos has published more than 30 papers in respected, peer-reviewed, international scientific journals. He worked on the Ecosystems and Biodiversity team at Centro Terra Viva (CTV) from 2016 to 2022, where he conducted extensive research and monitoring on mangroves, seagrasses, fisheries and intertidal invertebrates. Carlos also sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Coastal Life Medicine (2016 to present).

Raquel Fernandes- MSc

Raquel is a marine biologist who started working as a projects assistant at Centro Terra Viva (CTV) in 2010, where she focused on environmental research and advocacy. As of 2014, Raquel coordinated the annual National report on monitoring, tagging and conservation of marine turtles in Mozambique. Raquel’s work also includes the conservation, research, and monitoring of mangrove forests, seagrasses, rocky shores and coral reefs ecosystems. To better understand the anthropogenic impacts in marine and coastal ecosystems, Raquel is working to improve knowledge and understanding of recreational activities and fisheries in the Maputo National Park (MNP). She has also collaborated in the preparation of the dossier for the Nomination of the MNP as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Raquel holds a Degree in Aquatic Environmental Science, and a Master’s Degree in Marine biology. Raquel’s master thesis focused on genetic diversity and population structure of loggerhead turtles nesting in the MNP of southern Mozambique. Raquel is a certificated advanced SCUBA diver.