Staff Profiles

Sangeeta Mangubhai

Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai joined WCS in 2014. She has worked on marine science and conservation in Australia, East Africa, Indonesia and the South Pacific. She completed her Ph.D. in 2007 through Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, looking at reproduction and recruitment of corals in Kenya. Since then she has been working on designing marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, community-based management, coastal fisheries, payment for ecosystem services, gender inclusion in fisheries, environmental policy, and climate change. She is a specialist in designing monitoring programs to understand impacts of disturbances on coral reef communities, and the return of investment of conservation strategies. Sangeeta chairs the Marine Working Group for the Fiji National Areas Committee. She is currently an editor for the journal Pacific Conservation Biology and the Pacific Community's Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin. She was awarded a 2018 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation to work on mainstreaming gender and human rights-based approaches into coastal fisheries management in Melanesia.

Samuela Lagataki

Terrestrial Ecosystems Manager
Samuela Lagataki joined WCS in 2019 as the Terrestrial Ecosystems Manager. He has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the Australian National University and worked for the Fiji Forestry Department for over 23 years. He is the former Head of the Fiji Forestry Department and former Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests. Samu was extensively involved in the consultation and implementation of the Fiji Forest Policy and in the design and implementation of the Fiji National Forest Inventory. He has been instrumental for many years in international forest policy dialogues under the United Nations Forum on Forests, and in the UNFCCC climate change negotiations on REDD+. He was involved in the setting up of REDD Plus program in Fiji from 2009 to 2017. Samuela is overseeing watershed interventions for systems management and WCS’s terrestrial program.

Upashna Prakash

Finance and Administration Coordinator
Upashna joined WCS in 2016 as a Finance and Admin Officer to support projects and the operations of the organisation. She is responsible for preparing budgets, financial management and reporting, payroll and general office administration. She has a Post Graduate Diploma holder in Commerce from the University of the South Pacific. She also completed studies in Professional Development (International) from the University of Southern Queensland, a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Accounting and Information Systems from USP and is currently pursuing her Masters in Commerce.

Vinesh Prasad

Agriculture Coordinator
Vinesh Prasad joined WCS in 2019 as the Agriculture Coordinator. He has Post Graduate Diploma in Climate Change, a Diploma in Tropical Agriculture and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the South Pacific. Vinesh brings over 20 years of experience before joining WCS. He worked as an Information Officer with Fiji Ministry of Agriculture before joining the Pacific Community (SPC) as an Agroforestry Specialist. Vinesh later joined Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research overseeing work in seven countries in the Pacific. He has expertise in a range of rural development topics including sustainable agricultural production, agroforestry, livestock management and tree crop management. In his role with WCS, Vinesh will provide technical guidance and advice on the best practices for agricultural activities in the context of integrated land-sea management and climate adaptation.

Akanisi Caginitoba

Community Engagement Coordinator
Akanisi Caginitoba (Cagi) joined WCS in 2002 working as an administration officer and then as a finance assistant. She previously worked for the Asia Pacific Ltd. Cagi is a specialist in community-based management, community leadership and assists communities identify, design and raise funds for community projects. She has helped over ten districts develop ridge-to-reef management plans, and is currently developing pathways for integrating disaster risk reduction into community planning processes. Previously she led a livelihood project that built the capacity of women in Vanua Levu to run small businesses to produce kuta woven products, honey and virgin coconut oil. Previously, Cagi was been part of the entomology team for Fiji arthropod survey initiated by the Schlinger Foundation.

Yashika Nand

Science Coordinator
Yashika Nand joined WCS in 2010 as a Marine Scientist. She has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marine Science specializing in coral reef ecology and biology with emphasis in climate change from the University of the South Pacific. Previously she worked for the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries as the lead coral researcher. Yashika manages all data from WCS’s biological monitoring program, and helps integrates science into conservation planning in Fiji. Her expertise includes coral identification, coral health assessments and the aquarium trade fishery. More recently she has co-led value chain analyses of key coastal fisheries, and the collection and analysis of data on the role of women and different ethnic groups in the fisheries sector in Fiji. She is currently completing her Master of Science degree in coral reef ecology researching coral diseases in Fiji at the University of the South Pacific.

Bulou Vitukawalu

Fisheries Assistant
Bulou Vitukawalu joined WCS as a Fisheries Assistant. She holds a Master of Science degree from Mie University, Japan, specializing in Shallow Sea Aquaculture. Prior to joining WCS, she was an intern at the Pacific Community (SPC), Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystem Division. Her passion for marine conservation and community work led her to engage as a volunteer with the World Wide Fund for Nature in Fiji from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, she was a research assistant with the University of the South Pacific and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Bulou also has experience working in Japan’s eco-tourism sector, engaging with coastal fishing communities, traditional Japanese female divers and the Mikimoto Pearl industry. Her interests lie in fisheries resource management, improving livelihoods through community development, and promoting women empowerment and gender inclusiveness in the fisheries sector.

Waisea Naisilisili

Fish Specialist / Operations Support Officer
Waisea Naisilisili joined WCS in 2003 initially as a field collector. He currently plays a dual role in WCS as a Fish Specialist and Operations Support Officer. Previously, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Fiji Department of Mineral Resources and was responsible for collecting for mineral samples. Waisea specializes in underwater visual census of coral reef fish, market survey and catch monitoring, and has extensive experience in implementing socioeconomic surveys to measure conservation and/or fisheries impact. He is also a specialist in community engagement, and oversees WCS's boating and SCUBA operations.

Ingrid Qauqau

GIS and Remote Sensing Officer
Ingrid Qauqau joined WCS in 2003 as a GIS Officer. She has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from the University of the South Pacific. She specializes in image analysis, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and habitat mapping, providing support to all projects implemented by WCS. Ingrid is a member of the GIS user forum of Fiji.

Eferemo Kubunavanua

Community Engagement Officer
Eferemo Kubunavanua (Efe) joined WCS in 2019. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs and Geography from the University of the South Pacific. Prior to joining WCS. Efe worked as a tutor at the University of the South Pacific, a Research Assistant at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. He also served as a Conservation Officer with the iTaukei Affairs Board for four years, working closely with WCS in the development and implementation of ecosystem based management plans in Bua Province. His interests lie in the area of species conservation and the preservation and documentation of traditional knowledge, particularly relating to marine ecosystems. As a Community Engagement Officer, Efe will continue to support communities with natural resource management.

Margaret Fox

Fisheries Coordinator
Margaret Fox joined WCS in 2010 and served as a Field Officer until mid-2018. She left briefly to pursue her Master of Conservation Biology from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and rejoined WCS as a Fisheries Coordinator in 2019. Margaret is a specialist in conducting socio-economic surveys, marine biological surveys, fisheries and natural resource management. During her time as a Field Officer at WCS, Margaret contributed in assessing Fiji’s sea cucumber and mud crab fisheries, and documenting and supporting the women in Fiji’s fisheries sector. Margaret also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the South Pacific.

Ana Ciriyawa

Fisheries Assistant
Ana Ciriyawa joined WCS in 2019. She holds a Bachelor in Marine Science from the University of the South Pacific (USP). Since 2015, Ana has devoted her time volunteering with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Global Vision International (GVI) in Fiji. In 2016, she developed an interest in climate change and assisting communities by providing them support with alternative livelihood measures and volunteered with Community Centered Conservation. Ana has worked as a Research Assistant at the School of Marine Studies at the USP in 2016. She also worked as a Science and Engagement Officer for GVI from 2017 to 2019. She brings to WCS her experience and skills in biological and socioeconomic surveys in local communities. Her interests lie in fisheries resource management, empowering women in fisheries and helping improve livelihoods in Fiji.

Mohini Raj

Human Resources and Admin Assistant
Mohini Raj joined WCS as the Logistics and Administration Assistant in 2018. She holds a Certificate in Business (Banking), a Diploma in Business (Management), both from the Fiji Institute of Technology. She hold a Degree in Management majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Mohini previously worked as Secretary to the Managing Director and Group CEO for Foods Pacific Ltd and has over 15 years of administrative experience with the private sector, government and tertiary education institutes. She is looking forward to applying her wealth of knowledge and experience in the non-profit sector.

Arishma Arti Devi

Communications Officer
Arishma Devi joined WCS in 2019 as Communications Officer. She has a Bachelor of Mass Media from University of Mumbai, India and has worked for Fiji Sun as a Journalist for six years. Before joining WCS, Arishma was the Communications Officer at the Land Transport Authority, leading their Department of Communications. She has been engaged in mainstream media and public relations for 7 years and is currently pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomacy and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific.

Thompson Daurewa

Assistant Lab Technician
Thompson Daurewa joined WCS in 2019 as an Assistant Lab Technician. He holds a Bachelor in Forensic Sciences with Honours from the Management and Science University in Malaysia. Prior to joining WCS, he did his internship at the Australian Laboratory Services, Technichem based at the Environmental Department. Thompson will assist with the testing of specimens collected during field visits during the implementation of Watersheds Intervention for Systems Health Fiji (WISH Fiji) under the Vibrant Reefs initiative. The project aims to develop a novel water and health system management model that is suited to the realities and vulnerabilities of the Pacific Region and focuses on integrated solutions to prevent, detect and respond to water related disease in the Pacific.

Stacy Jupiter

Director Melanesia Program
Dr. Stacy Jupiter joined WCS in 2008, and served as the Fiji Country Program Director between 2009 and 2014. She became the Director of the Melanesia Program in 2015. Stacy provides technical support and oversight to the Fiji and Papua New Guinea programs, particularly in areas related to sustainable coastal fisheries, integrated land-sea management, and developing platforms to assess resilience that are appropriate to the Pacific context. She has been leveraging the success of WCS’s conservation efforts in Melanesia to initiate new programs and projects in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Stacy holds a Bachelor or Science in biology from Harvard University and subsequently worked as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, teaching rural farmers how to build fishponds and develop sustainable agriculture. Her Ph.D. research through the University of California, Santa Cruz focused on links between land use and downstream impacts to water quality and nearshore coral reefs, topics which she continued to develop as a postdoctoral fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia.