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Global Chair

Dr Richard Sneider

Richard Sneider photo_cRichard Sneider is an accomplished entrepreneur, a conservationist and extreme explorer. Dr. Sneider is co-founder of One World Star Holdings International LTD (OSI), and its Chief Strategic Officer, overseeing its mergers and acquisitions. OSI is a vertically integrated global apparel and fashion enterprise. Dr. Sneider is also a principal of Earthbar LLC, a health supply retail company, and an investor and active participant in the GP Management of Primestor Properties LLC. Dr. Sneider holds degrees in Psychoanalysis and Philosophy and a PhD in Intellectual History from Claremont Graduate School, with a specialty in political ideology and hegemony identifying objectivity in strategy – a tool he has applied in his expeditions, and in business strategic planning; he has participated in conflict resolution negotiations in politically sensitive regions, and has partnered with the United Nations on initiatives. Dr. Sneider is a guest lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center on Leadership and Conservation and is an IUCN Patron of Nature. Dr. Sneider has a deep-rooted interest in exploration and fieldwork, nature, traditional societies, and their interaction. With decades of field exploration, a passion for exploring unchartered territories, Dr. Sneider has surveyed above and below water pristine places in the Americas, West Papua, Africa, Asia and the North Arctic, where he participates in biodiversity surveys, often in areas not previously surveyed or reached, and is a sponsor, field-architect and partner of Dr. Gerry Allen and Dr. Jared Diamond’s on-going Indonesian New Guinea field surveys. Dr. Sneider has been deeply involved in the world of aquaria for 35 years, discovered the significant Melanotaenia sneideri fish species, and still designs, builds, and sustains complex, one-of-a-kind, world class freshwater aquaria ecosystems. His concern for rainforests, freshwater habitats, and his belief that support for species survival, in concert with human communities, is an essential component of conserving a healthy planet, have prompted him to join the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International, the Board at the Los Angeles Zoo, the ICOA Board of National Geographic and the Board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute. Through these organisations, IUCN, and through his own activities, Dr. Sneider participates in funding and advocacy for environmental concerns. Dr. Sneider participates in a wide array of philanthropic initiatives earning him the 2017 Honoree of the City of Hope prestigious Spirit of Life award, and was recently featured in the book 100 Making a difference.

His special interests are:
• Extreme exploration-jungle-tactical skills
• Diving: cave, freshwater, arctic, and ocean-deep water
• Tribal and ethnic exchange
• Entrepreneurship: Leadership, strategy, mergers and acquisitions
• Academic research-philosophy, psychology, anthropology, zoology, environmental science, ethnomusicology and classical music
• Political ideology: conflict resolution, international relations
• Knife throwing/archery/canyoneering/helicopter abseiling
• Football/soccer
• Wine

Programme Officer

FFSG is currently seeking funds to support a Programme Officer. Details of our previous Programme Officer are below.

Alex Mauroner

Alex Mauroner

Alex Mauroner joined the FFSG Secretariat in June 2014 and worked with us until mid 2015, as the temporary Programme Officer. Alex helped coordinate several aspects of FFSG operations, including fundraising, planning FFSG meetings, assisting with developing FFSG’s priority activities, website outreach, and day-to-day operations of the Group. Alex earned his Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Science at Oregon State University where he concentrated in Natural Resources. He received his B.A. in Biology from Westminster College (Missouri). He has studied ecology in Belize and worked on leatherback turtle conservation in Grenada during his education. He served as an intern for Conservation International’s Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, working with Ian Harrison, and where he gained experience in climate adaptation, working for non-profits on environmental issues, and collaborating with experts and stakeholders across sectors.

Alex is currently working as the Research Assistant for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

Technical Officer

Dr Ian Harrison


Ian joined the FFSG Secretariat at the end of 2013 to assist Dr Richard Sneider.

Ian obtained his Ph.D. in systematic ichthyology at the University of Bristol, UK, and has conducted postdoctoral research on marine and freshwater fishes in universities and museums in France, Italy, Belgium, and the USA. He has conducted fieldwork in Europe, Central and South America, West and Western Central Africa, the Philippines, and the Central Pacific. He has worked for Conservation International (CI) and IUCN’s Global Species Programme since 2008 and is currently the Freshwater Specialist for the CI’s Moore Center for Science, where he is helping develop CI’s Freshwater Science Strategy as well as CI’s broader, institutional-wide Freshwater Initiative. He is also co-chair of the IUCN-SSC Freshwater Conservation Subcommittee, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Freshwater Specialist Group, and Freshwater Biodiversity Working Group of the Sustainable Water Future Programme, and part of the Advisory Group of GEO’s Freshwater Biodiversity Observation Network. Ian is a member of the Advisory Board for the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and a member of the Grant Reviewer Circle for the National Geographical Society Committee for Research and Exploration. He was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Fish Biology for several years, and has published over 50 scientific papers and book/report chapters on the biology and conservation of fishes, and conservation of freshwater ecosystems. He has lead several workshops at international conferences, presenting the work of both IUCN and Conservation International.

Email: iharrison@conservation.org

Global Chair (2004 – 2013)

Professor Gordon McGregor Reid

Gordon 004, 2010 ShadeGordon has had a diverse international career involving biological research, conservation, animal welfare and environmental education. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications, and held senior positions in zoos, museums and universities.

He is a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liverpool; Scientific Research Associate, British Museum of Natural History; and Director Emeritus of Chester Zoo (The North of England Zoological Society). He was Director General of Chester Zoo, for more than 15 years, until his retirement in 2010.

Gordon founded the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group  and served as Global Chair since it was established in 2004. He stepped down as Chair in December 2013.

Regional Chairs

To find out about the Regional Chairs for the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, please visit the FFSG Regions page and click on the relevant region.

Steering Committee

Claudio Baigún (Wetlands International, Argentina)
David Cooper (Mahurangi Technical Institute, New Zealand)
Harmony Patricio (Griffith University, Australia)
Heather Koldewey (Zoological Society of London, UK)
Ian Harrison (Conservation International, USA)
Jörg Freyhof (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Germany)
Matthew Gollock (Zoological Society of London, UK)
Michele Thieme (World Wildlife Fund, USA)
Pete Rand (IUCN Salmon Specialist Group)
Rajeev Raghavan (Conservation Research Group, St. Albert’s College, Kochi, India)
Roberto E. Reis (Catholic Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Taej Mundkur (Wetlands International, The Netherlands)
Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath (University of Morelos, Mexico)
William Darwall (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, UK)
Zeb Hogan (University of Nevada-Reno, USA)

Special Advisors to the FFSG

Biodiversity: Michele Thieme (World Wildlife Fund, USA)
Communications: Topis Contreras MacBeath (University of Morelos, Mexico)
Cryobiology: Krishen Rana (University of Stirling, UK)
FishBase: Rainer Froese (FishBase)
Fundraising: Ian Harrison (Conservation International, USA)
Gene banking: David Rawson (University of Bedfordshire, UK)
Geographic databases: Kevin Smith (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, UK)
Migratory species: Zeb Hogan (University of Nevada-Reno, USA) and Claudio Baigún (Wetlands International, Argentina)
Re-introductions and ex situ conservation: Tim Lyons (New Mexico BioPark Society, USA)
Subterranean fishes: Graham Proudlove (University of Manchester, UK)
Sustainable Trade in Ornamental Fishes: Scott Dowd (New England Aquarium, USA)
Taxonomy: Nathan Lujan (University of Toronto, Scarborough)

Freshwater representatives to the IUCN SSC Red List Committee: Jörg Freyhof (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), berlin, Germany); Rajeev Raghavan (Conservation Research Group, St. Albert’s College, Kochi, India)