Board of Directors

Todd Steiner

Executive Director

Todd Steiner is an ecologist and the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, an ocean advocacy and research NGO with offices in California, Texas and Hawaii.

Brock Cahill

Board Member

Brock is the founder of SeaChange Agency and an underwater cinematographer.

Gail Yamamoto Seymour

Board Member

Gail Yamamoto Seymour is an environmental scientist with a long and outstanding career in natural resource conservation for the State of California, most recently as California Department of Fish and Wildlife Senior Environmental Supervisor for Watershed Restoration and the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area. In 2018 she retired from State government service.

Randall Arauz

Board Member

Randall Arauz is a leading voice for marine wildlife conservation in Latin America. He served as Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Central American Director from 1997 to 2007 and founded TIRN’s sister organization in Costa Rica PRETOMA and later CREMA, and is a co-founder of MigraMar. He is currently the International Policy Director for Fins Attached. He has a BS in Biology and is currently a PhD. Candidate.

Deb Castellana

Board Member

Deb Castellana is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue, where she is responsible for strategic planning and forming new alliance relationships to generate cooperative programs and projects to increase ocean conservation.

Teri Shore


Environmentalist Teri Shore has championed winning campaigns to protect the natural world for more than two decades.

Carole Allen

Emeritus Director

Carole Allen is the founder and director of Help Endangered Animals - Ridley Turtles (HEART).


Todd Steiner

Executive Director

Todd Steiner is an ecologist and the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network, an ocean advocacy and research NGO with offices in California, Texas and Hawaii.

Preston Brown

Director of Watershed Conservation

Preston's work is focused on developing and facilitating stream restoration projects and administrating salmonid population monitoring programs.

Joanie Steinhaus

Gulf of Mexico Program Director

Joanie Steinhaus attended Houston Community College in Houston Texas studying Animal Health Management and Veterinary Technology.

Audrey Fusco

Nursery Manager & Restoration Ecologist

Audrey focuses on utilizing native plants to enhance habitat for wildlife and works with all aspects of revegetation of SPAWN’s riparian restoration projects.

Ayano Hayes

Watershed Biologist

Ayano strives to protect and restore the natural environment through action, education, and connection.

Benedict Tagle

Communications Specialist

Benedict is a communications professional from Northern California.

Scott Webb

Advocacy & Policy Director

Scott is ecstatic to join the Turtle Island Restoration Network team as the Advocacy & Policy Director.

Deborah Dillard

Membership Specialist

Deborah has lived in Texas all her life, and is passionate about ocean conservation and protecting endangered species.

Morgan Huette

Gulf of Mexico Program Coordinator

Morgan grew up living in northern Texas but always knew that the ocean was where she belonged. Her strong passion for ocean conservation and education grew during her time working and volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations.

Emily Cooper

Director Of Development

Emily Cooper is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and brings over nine years of fundraising experience to her role at Turtle Island Restoration Network. Emily is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is passionate about her volunteer work with the Humane Society of the United States.


Elizabeth Purcell

Communications & Policy Intern

Elizabeth is currently studying environmental science with an aquatic biology tract.

Zoe Vavrek

SPAWN Intern

Zoe is a college student at Pitzer College studying Environmental Science. She is passionate about ecological restoration and is so grateful that she is able to help build back habitat in her local watershed this summer.

Isabelle Dachs

Advocacy & Policy Intern

Isabelle is our new Advocacy and Policy Fellow! From Phoenix, Arizona, Isabelle has always been involved in environmental efforts and is excited to join our team!

Emily Backman

Emily Backman

SPAWN Intern

Alexandra Leyva

Gulf of Mexico Intern

Alexandra is from El Paso, TX, currently pursuing a marine biology degree at Texas A&M University at Galveston and plans to further her education in animal physiology research.

Sobeida Degante

Gulf of Mexico Intern

Sobeida is from Austin, TX, and is currently a senior undergraduate student at Texas A&M University at Galveston, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology with a minor in Diving Technology & Methods.

Science and Policy Advisory Board

César Peñaherrera, Ph.D

César Peñaherrera is an Ecuadorian Marine Biologist specialized in Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) and currently serves as the Academic Director at Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador – Manabí.

Myra Finkelstein, Ph.D

Myra Finkelstein is a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow at the University of California Santa Cruz whose research focuses on human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Kevin Weng, Ph.D

Kevin Weng is an Associate Professor at College of William & Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science where he studies the impact of fisheries on sharks and other marine species.

Kerstin Forsberg

Kerstin Forsberg is the Founder and Director of Planeta Océano, a growing marine conservation non-profit based in Lima, Peru.

Jonathan R. Green

Jonathan R. Green

Jonathan R. Green is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London as well as a notable photographer.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D

Wallace J. Nichols is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and founder/co-director of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates and author nearly 100 publications on ocean ecology

William Loftus, Ph.D

William Loftus is the President of Aquatic Research & Communication, LLC, which involves different institutions and agencies to restore fish communities via sampling techniques and communication of scientific issues

George Shillinger, Ph.D

George Shillinger is the Executive Director of Upwell. He has worked in environmental conservation since 1986.

Boris Worm, Ph.D

Boris Worm is a Biology Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a Marine Research Ecologist whose lab includes students and postdoctoral fellows studying the causes, consequences of change, and conservation of marine biodiversity.

Mark Stabb, Ph.D

Mark Stabb is a professional engineer, small business owner, environmental conservationist and long time scuba divemaster.

Mariano Castro

Mariano Castro is a Costa Rican lawyer with an LLM in public international law from Leiden University, and current candidate for a Mphil in Conservation Leadership in Cambridge University.

Elpis Joan Chávez

Elpis Joan Chávez is a wildlife biologist whose work focuses on shark ecology. She has worked as a research coordinator and scientific consultant for organizations from Mexico, Costa Rica, and USA, including Turtle Island Restoration Network.