Mr. Tomas Diagne is an African freshwater turtle and tortoise expert who has been working to save threatened and endangered turtle species in Senegal for the past 20 years. He began rescuing endangered African spurred tortoises (Centrochelys sulcata) as a teenager and in 1992 he created S.O.S. (Save Our Sulcata), a non-profit conservation organization. He also co-founded and built the Village des Tortues in Noflaye, Senegal - a sanctuary and captive breeding facility for sulcata tortoises that now houses over 300 individuals and has re-introduced numerous others back to the wild. Tomas has also been actively involved in freshwater and marine turtle research throughout Africa. He is a member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. In 2009 he decided to create the African Chelonian Institute (ACI) in order to expand turtle research, captive breeding, and re-introduction to all African turtle species.
Mr. Abdoul Aziz Diaw holds a Master's Degree in Accounting Procedures. He has a passion for and is actively involved in humanitarian and other non-profit organizations operating in Senegal. He joined the ACI team in 2012 and now supervises the financial and accounting operations.
Mor Talla is an expert metal worker and handyman who leads construction projects for the African Chelonian Institute facility in Ngazobil, Senegal.
Dr. Kévin Labille received his Doctorate in Computer Science in 2019 from the University of Arkansas and also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in their Social Awareness and Intelligent Learning Lab. He earned his Master’s Degree in Computer Science in France. Kévin discovered the Pelusios species when he bought 3 Pelusios castaneus hatchlings, beginning his true focus on the husbandry, education, and conservation of African species. He is now the Communcations & Fundraising Officer for the ACI. Kévin also is a Senior Developer for theTurtleRoom. He has combined his passion for turtles along with his computer knowledge by initiating the development of theTurtleRoom’s data-keeping software called Digital Chelonian Log (DCL).
Boubacar’s work at the African Chelonian Institute consists of daily care and maintenance of all turtles and exhibits, monitoring the growth of head start hatchlings, and assisting with fieldwork when needed.
After obtaining her license in Life and Earth Sciences, Awa completed her Master's degree in Ecology and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems at the University Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), Senegal. She did two internships at the Joal-Fadiouth Marine Protected Area in Senegal. Her research themes related to different aspects of marine turtles (ecology, threats, and conservation measures) and their relationships with seagrass beds. She joined ACI in November 2019 as a program manager, providing administrative support and animal monitoring at the turtle protection station in Ngazobil, as well as conducting turtle fieldwork in Senegal.