Dr. John Payne is an ecologist who has been fortunate to live and work in wilderness areas in Africa, Asia, and South America. He developed fisheries models at the University of Washington and extinction risk models as a National Research Council postdoc at NOAA. As the senior scientist for the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking program, he helped to deploy a coastwide array of acoustic receivers for collaboratively tracking marine species, and was a member of the team of scientists who started the U.S. national Animal Telemetry Network. He worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in the rainforest of Cameroon, as the Asia Program officer in New York, and as the Science Advisor in Mongolia, where he and his colleagues used satellite telemetry to track wildlife, and ran a large aerial survey of the Gobi Desert. Most recently, Dr. Payne trained AI models to recognize animals and other objects in aerial survey images.

“Anyone privileged to live in nature comes to feel that respect for all life is at the foundation of what it means to act ethically. It is deeply meaningful to me to find that respect woven throughout Sea Shepherd. Professionally, I am a typical scientist: curious, skeptical and independent-minded, and I will follow data wherever they lead. I am thrilled to contribute to the passionate mix at Sea Shepherd.”