We work to advance the scientific knowledge about manatees, dugongs, and their aquatic habitats by educating the public and supporting research, conservation and capacity building projects around the world.
Board of Directors
Beth was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and first found her interest in marine life on a family vacation to SeaWorld. Although she initially went to school to be a registered nurse, after a few years of nursing and a mind-opening cross country road trip, she realized her true passion was marine biology.
She returned to school and got her undergraduate degree at Kutztown University, Pennsylvania. After graduation, she volunteered with multiple marine mammal and wildlife organizations and found her love of manatees through an extended internship at Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC). After the internship, she completed her Master’s at Nova Southeastern University where she first became involved in studying underwater sound (acoustics).
In addition to manatees, Beth has studied the vocalizations of dolphins, whales and even attempted alligators!! She has been researching the vocalizations of manatees in their aquatic environments for the past seven years and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida Atlantic University. She is also an adjunct instructor in Oceanography at Broward College.
To contribute to and speak with Beth about her work, click on the donate button below!
Danielle grew up near the woods in Ohio and Colorado. Both states provided a wealth of creeks, fossils, forests, mountains, and a variety of other wild treasures that led her to feel inextricably linked to the natural world. Always being fascinated by how humans and animals move and are built, Danielle studied biomechanics for her undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Colorado with the original intention to pursue a career in physical therapy.
However, with time, she realized that field didn’t sit quite right, and she started traveling to “find herself.” And the product of those travels can be best summarized by E.E. Cummings
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always ourselves we find in the sea”.
She then started interning for the Mote Marine Laboratory Animal Rehabilitation program in Sarasota, FL and has stayed in the state since. Danielle is currently a Ph.D. candidate and is the Vice President of Association of Biological and Biomedical Students at Florida Atlantic University. Danielle has also worked as an educator at FPL’s Manatee Lagoon in Riviera Beach and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.
To contribute to and speak with Danielle about her work, click on the donate button below!
About the Co-Founders
Caryn Self Sullivan
Caryn is a native and resident of Virginia. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University in 1997, and her Ph.D. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from Texas A&M in 2008. She started her academic career at age 39, after raising 3 children as a single mother while supporting her family as a real estate salesperson, teacher, and broker.
Caryn has served on the faculty of Georgia Southern University, Virginia Tech, and Nova Southeastern University and currently runs her own training, consulting, and research business, Ask Dr. Caryn LLC. She has published dozens of documents published in peer-reviewed journals, books, reports, and magazines. Caryn says her greatest accomplishment has been mentoring over 70 young marine mammal scientists, mostly young women focused on manatee and dugong biology, behavior, and conservation in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Southeast USA.
To contribute to and speak with Caryn about her work, click on the donate button!
Katie is a native and resident of Michigan. Following a more traditional academic route, she received her B.Sc. in Anthropology & Zoology from the University of Michigan in 1989, her M.Sc. in Forestry and Natural Resources from Purdue in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of Massachusetts in 2011. She has served on the faculty of Lansing Community College and is currently faculty at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She has authored or co-authored over a dozen documents published in peer reviewed journals, reports, books, and magazines.
Founded in 1999
Caryn and Katie co-founded Sirenian International at the SMM meetings in Maui in 1999. The dream started with 50+ hours of discussion on a small boat in Belize in 1998. They have continued to work together as co-PIs on the “Manatees & Dolphins in the Drowned Cayes of Belize” project and as co-founders of Sirenian International ever since that first amazing field season together.