Our Team

The work World Fisheries Trust does wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team! They are the people who helped to build this community into what it is today. 

Please visit Seaquaria.org and Coastalcollabsci.org for the full staff list of each division.

Pradnya Sawant, PhD

Executive Director

Dr. Pradnya Sawant is an oceanographer by training and has over fifteen years of professional experience in Marine Science Research and Policy, Environmental Consultancy, and Education and Outreach. She has worked with different stakeholders in North America and South Asia on integrated coastal management, climate change adaptation, and marine living resources management projects funded by federal governments, Global Environment Facility, and the World Bank.

With a keen interest in bridging the gap between science and policy, she has also volunteered extensively for environmental awareness and advocacy, including for water quality and watershed management programs, working with several regional, national and international environmental organizations. Along with her scientific expertise and non-profit leadership experience, she brings her passion and strong commitment to supporting and building equitable and sustainable use and conservation of aquatic resources through research, education, and stewardship.

Pradnya Sawant holds a doctoral degree in Marine Science (Oceanography) from The University of Southern Mississippi, USA and a Master’s degree in Zoology (Marine Science) and Bachelor’s in Zoology from the University of Mumbai, India.

She is honored to work on the traditional and unceded territories of the Lekwungen-speaking Coast Salish Peoples.

Joachim (Yogi) Carolsfeld, PhD

Executive Advisor

Dr. Carolsfeld is originally from a small coastal town in BC, Canada. He obtained his PhD working with fish pheromones and reproduction, completed a Masters in invertebrate neurophysiology and an Honours in marine biology.  His extensive experience includes working with fisheries, aquaculture, environmental surveys, boat mechanics, and SCUBA instruction. For the last decade, he has devoted his time to blending his diverse technical expertise with social sciences to design and implement multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder projects that foster environmental conservation blended with equitable sustainable resource-based livelihoods. He has been Executive Director at WFT since mid-2006.

Rebecca Nielsen

Division Coordinator - Coastal Collaborative Sciences

Rebecca was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley and moved to Victoria in 2004. She has an Associate Degree in Chemistry and Biotechnology from Camosun College, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University. She has worked as a landscape gardener for the past fifteen years, and started as a Research Technician for Coastal Collaborative Science in early 2020. Her Current position as Outreach Coordinator for the Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration project at Haliburton Farm is to manage landscaping and tackle invasive species with the help of interns and student volunteers.

Emily Armstrong

Division Coordinator - Seaquaria Ocean Education

Emily grew up in the prairies but developed a love of the ocean through visiting family on our beautiful coast. She loves animal care, ecosystem restoration and has spent time volunteering at different rescue centres, including MARS wildlife rescue. While she was a student she worked for our research branch, Coastal Collaborative Science. After graduating from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Marine Biology, she worked as an educator for Seaquaria! She has loved her time here and is thrilled to continue her work educating the public on our beloved Salish Sea.

Coming soon!

Office Manager and Adminstrator