Staff Profiles

Upashna Prakash

Finance and Administration Manager
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.

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. With more than 17 years of experience, 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 nine districts and two island develop ridge-to-reef management plans, and is currently developing pathways for integrating disaster risk reduction and gender equity and social inclusive (GESI) into community planning processes. She also 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. Cagi was part of the entomology team for Fiji arthropod survey initiated by the Schlinger Foundation.

Andrew Tukana

Project Manager
Dr. Andrew Tukana joined WCS in June 2020 as the Project Manager for the Watershed Interventions for Systems Health (WISH) project in Fiji. He has a PhD from the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Research for his PhD involved the development and improvement of livestock disease surveillance systems in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, with a focus to detect and determine the prevalence of diseases in livestock populations. He also has extensive experience working in the region as well as with the Ministry of Agriculture in Fiji and The Pacific Community (SPC) to improve food and nutritional security, improve livelihoods through climate change mitigation and adaptation. His work engaged heavily with rural communities to build capacity to improve climate change resiliency and sustainability of community projects. He has also carried out research work on transboundary zoonotic diseases to reduce the risks of disease transmission, watershed improvement from sustainable livestock production, conservation of animal genetics resources (AnGR), biosecurity and waste management. His wealth of knowledge and leadership experience will benefit the WISH Fiji project

Yashika Nand

Marine Scientist
Yashika Nand joined WCS in 2010 as a Marine Scientist. In 2019, she took up her new role as the Science Coordinator. She holds a Master of Marine Science. She also holds 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.

Waisea Naisilisili

Fisheries & 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. With over 16 years of experience in his field, 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 holds a Master in Business Administration(MBA). She also holds 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.

Sirilo Dulunaqio

Community Engagement Officer
Sirilo Dulunaqio (Didi) has been working with WCS as a Community Liaison Officer since 2005 and is also employed part-time with the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Prior to coming to WCS, Didi trained and worked as a dive instructor. He received the opportunity through CORAL to visit Belize and observe their system of user tag fees, which he has helped to implement for the Namena Marine Reserve in Kubulau. As a Kubulau native, Didi provides a critical link between WCS activities and management implementation with the communities of Kubulau and adjacent districts.

Eferemo Kubunavanua

Community Engagement Officer
Eferemo joined WCS in 2019 as a Community Engagement Officer. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in Marine Affairs and Geography from the University of the South Pacific. He has worked at the University of the South Pacific, SPC, PIFS, and the government of Fiji. . He has worked in his field for over 12 years and has supported the design and implementation of ten (10) Ecosystem-based management plans in the provinces of Bua and Lomaiviti. Eferemo has also been supporting communities in the design and implementation of Water Safety and Sanitation plans through the Watershed Interventions for Systems Health in Fiji (WISH Fiji) project. His interests lie in the area of species conservation and the preservation and documentation of traditional knowledge, particularly in coastal fisheries. As a Community Engagement Officer, Eferemo will continue to support communities with natural resource management.

Mereia Ravoka

Community Engagement Officer
Mereia Ravoka (Mia) joined WCS in 2019 as Community Engagement Assistant. She has a Bachelor in Environmental Science from the University of the South Pacific. During her final term of studies, she began volunteering at the Institute of Applied Science where she was exposed to community fieldwork. Later, she joined Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area(FLMMA) Network as an intern and then a Graduate Assistant for 2 years. Mereia has been mainly working with communities in establishing Yaubula (Resource) Management Support Team and formulating Natural Resource Management Plan from the village, district and provincial levels. She has been engaged in empowering fisherwomen in communities.

Kinisimere Rosi Batibasaga

Fisheries Assistant
Rosi joined WCS as a Fisheries Assistant in 2020. She has spent seven years in Fiji's conservation sector. Rosi is passionate about marine and terrestrial conservation. Her interest particularly lays in the use of traditional ecological knowledge as a tool to build resilience in coastal communities. Her expertise includes turtle surveys, biological monitoring, socioeconomic surveys, community engagement, environmental awareness and workshop facilitation.

Dhiraj Sharma

Finance Assistant
Dhiraj Sharma joined WCS in January 2021 as a Finance Assistant for the Solomon Islands and Fiji programs. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of the South Pacific. Dhiraj is planning to further pursue his post-graduate studies in accounting. He started his career as a Data Entry Officer at Investment Fiji and later joined the Office of Auditor General as a Graduate Auditor before taking on this position with WCS. Dhiraj is based in Suva, Fiji.

Derrick Robinson

Procurement & Admin Assistant
Derrick joined WCS as a Procurement and Administrative Assistant in 2020. He holds a Professional Diploma in Business Administration and a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific. Prior to joining WCS, Derrick worked for the United Nations Human Rights Office for 10 years as a logistics officer. He also has experience in tuna export and commercial log line fishing with practical knowledge in root crop and livestock poultry farming.

Sikeli Naucunivanua

Agricultural officer
Sikeli Naucunivanua joined WCS as an Agricultural Officer in 2020. He holds a Bachelor in Agriculture Science from the University of the South Pacific, Alafua Campus, Western Samoa. After completing his Diploma in Agriculture from the Fiji College of Agriculture, Sikeli joined the Ministry of Agriculture. He spent nine years at the Ministry as an Agricultural Extension Officer, where he worked with the communities on the island of Vanuabalavu and Lakeba in the Lau Group. With his extensive knowledge in the Fijian agriculture sector, Sikeli took up his new role as a UNCBD MEA Liaison Officer under the partnership of Ministry of Environment and United Nations Development Programme for three years. He also worked at the Fiji Development Bank as a Relationship and Sales Officer.

Artika Singh

Finance Director
Artika Singh joined WCS in August 2019 as Finance Director for the Solomon Islands and Fiji programs. She holds a Bachelor in Accounting from the Fiji National University and is currently pursuing her Master in Professional Accounting. She specializes in public and private sector finance with over 14 years of experience. Prior to joining WCS, she worked as the Pacific Regional Finance Manager for Live and Learn Environmental Education. She brings in her wealth of expertise in managing grants, financial reporting and working with international institutions and donors. Artika is based in Suva, Fiji.

Stacy Jupiter

Director Melanesia Program
Stacy Jupiter is the Melanesia Regional Director and Country Director for the Solomon Islands Program. She oversees the Wildlife Conservation Society's programs and projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. She specializes in community-based management, integrated land-sea management and coral reef ecology. Her Ph.D. is from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Stacy is based in Suva, Fiji and in 2019 was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Robert Howard

Regional Project Coordinator
Rob Howard joined WCS in 2019 as a Regional Project Coordinator. He has a BSc (Hons) in Biology from Queensland University of Technology and MSc in Marine Science from James Cook University in Australia. He is supporting the marine teams in Fiji, Solomon Island Papua New Guinea in establishing and managing marine protected areas and locally-managed marine areas, and working with local communities to provide guidance for the sustainable management of marine resources. Over the past 18 years, Rob has worked on conservation projects in Cambodia, Liberia, South Sudan, Seychelles, Australia and most recently in Myanmar. He is based in Suva, Fiji.

Don Boring

Regional Grants and Operations Coordinator
Don Boring joined WCS in 2022 as a Regional Grants and Operations Coordinator. He is supporting the programs and finance teams in Fiji, The Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea in ensuring compliance with donor requirements in programming, finances, and operational management. Don has held senior-level operations positions in Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, The Philippines, South Korea, and Kosovo with organisations including The Asia Foundation, UNESCO, The World Bank, and international NGOs. He is based in Suva, Fiji.

Paul van Nimwegen

Country Director Fiji
Paul van Nimwegen serves as Country Director Fiji at WCS.

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