Chinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)EnglishFilipinoGermanHaitian CreoleJapaneseKoreanMalayMaoriPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedish

James Karl Fischer, PhD RIBA AIA

ZLI Board President, C.E.O.

An architect holding a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Architectural Association (London), Dr. Fischer has lectured in the US, UK, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Poland, Germany and Australia on the importance of natural light for biodiversity-loss mitigation. Having served as RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)  International Council Representative and as RIBA, US Region President, he seeks integration of wildlife conservation into architectural practice, and recognition of the importance of light for wildlife conservation.


Claudia Tay

ZLI Board Member, Animal Welfare

Claudia is an animal researcher with a special interest in animal behaviour and animal welfare science. She works at Wildlife Reserves Singapore with over 15,000 individual animals and 1,000 species. She is also an active member of both the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Animal Welfare Working Group and Southeast Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA) Animal Welfare & Ethics Committee.


Xavier Manteca Vilanova, BVSc, MSc, PhD

Xavier Manteca Vilanova received his BVSc degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh. He also has a PhD from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Currently, he is professor at the School of Veterinary Science in Barcelona, where he teaches animal behaviour and animal welfare. View Presentation Here


Avalon Owens

ZLI Board Member, Grant Recipient 2017, PhD Candidate

Avalon Owens is a PhD candidate in insect conservation at Tufts University, where she investigates the impact of light pollution on firefly courtship and population persistence. She earned her Masters degree in Entomology from National Taiwan University, and is the designer and current webmaster of the Fireflyers International Network website.


Brett Seymoure, PhD

ZLI Board Vice-President, ZLI PhotoSciences Chair

Visual and Behavioral Ecologist, National Park Service Night Skies Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Dr. Seymoure studies how animals are affected by both natural and artificial lighting at many different levels ranging from rainforest lighting in butterflies to oil development lighting on mammalian carnivores.
Visit Website


Sönke Johnsen, PhD

ZLI Board Member, Principal Investigator, Johnsen Lab, Duke University NC

My research combines mathematical analyses with behavioral and morphological studies and in situ measurements and imaging. My field work primarily involves open-ocean research cruises that use SCUBA and deep-sea submersibles. In addition to exploring the evolution and diversity of the optical and visual tricks that animals perform, I am interested in improving communication between theoretical and experimental scientists and between scientists and artists. Visual Ecology book wins Best Biology Text from the Association of American Publishers
Optics of Life book is listed as one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles.
Visit Website


Marc Branham, PhD

ZLI Board Member, Associate Professor, Insect Systematics and Taxonomy, University of Florida

Dr. Branham’s lab is oriented around research in insect phylogenetic systematics (both molecular and morphological) and the study and description of morphological variation as it relates to taxonomy and systematics. Broadly interested in the evolution of insect mating systems, Dr. Branham is specifically interested in the use of phylogenetic reconstructions to explore the evolution of sexual communication in fireflies (Lampyridae).
Visit Website


Dr. Ken Yeang AIA RIBA

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Sustainable Design Advisor

Dr. Ken Yeang is the world’s leading architect in ecological and passive low energy design. He has delivered over 200 built projects and his ‘bioclimatic’ towers have had an impact around the world, fusing high-tech and organic principles. He has represented  The Zoological Lighting Institute by offering lectures at Annual AIA Conferences and at several Universities, championing the cause of accommodating biodiversity and ecosystems through better architecture. Learn more here.


Meredith Kernbach, PhD Candidate

ZLI Board, PhD Student

Meredith is a PhD candidate at the University of South Florida in the Martin Lab, where she studies the effects of light pollution on West Nile virus responses within the host, and how that translates to infectious disease dynamics ecologically. She is also interested in marine organism photobiology, specifically of those with unique sensory physiologies such as sharks and rays.


Carrie Buo, PhD Candidate

An Integrated Biosciences PhD candidate studying Integrated Biosciences in the The University of Akron, Department of Biology, Carrie specializes in molecular biology and informal education. Carrie’s Dissertation: “On leptin and learning: Investigating interactions between leptinA and zebrafish (Danio rerio) neural functions”, is anticipated for completion in early 2021.


Stephen Villante

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Communications Director

Stephen brings critical skills and understanding to The Zoological Lighting Institute’s Film & Media Department, benefiting its animated productions, documentary films and digital media. Creator of Turner Studios digital animation department and Creative Services Director, Stephen’s organizational skills and goal oriented approach to creative productions maximize the effectiveness of ZLI’s resource allocation. He enables ZLI to pursue adaptive strategies to achieve organizational goals; giving particular emphasis on market analysis  and the identification of business opportunities in the rapidly changing media industry.

Having also served as Director of Network Partnerships and Strategic Planning for Turner Studios, Stephen has built high-level relations within the Turner Broadcasting portfolio, both domestically and internationally. An avid surfer after having overcome a dreadful fear of the water early in life, Stephen also creates custom surf boards to help others pursue their passions.


Kei Isshiki

ZLI Japan Coordinator (2018 Grant Recipient) / Education Coordinator

Ms. Isshiki has served as an invaluable catalyst for ZLI in Japan since 2014, leading educational initiatives and facilitating a productive relationship with our partners, particularly JAZA.


Hazel Sangalang

ZLI Education Americas / ZLI Grant Administrator

Hazel Sangalang is responsible for fundraising, special events, education programs, and communicating with stakeholders. Hazel comes to ZLI with ten years of nonprofit experience in fundraising and program administration. She is also the owner of the Feisty Pepper, a local CSA, and is an advocate for small farmers and the local food movement.


Emily V. Driscoll

ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Director of Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night and Light of the Genji, Emily serves ZLI as Head Advisor for all ZLI & PhotoDiversity Productions. Emily is the founder of BonSci Films, a production company specializing in science and art documentaries. Recent films include ‘ShellShocked’, ‘Invisible Ocean’, ‘Brilliant Darkness’ and ‘Masterpiece in a Mill Town’. She produces short films for Science Friday as well as the Museum of the City of New York, Spectrum News, The Fitchburg Art Museum, NBC Mobile, and artnet. She taught production at New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) and has a master’s degree from the same program. When not producing videos, she’s on the court playing competitive badminton.


Dan-e Nilsson, PhD

ZLI Board Member, Functional Zoology Professor, Lund University, SW

Founder of the Lund Vision Group in 1990, Pr. Nelson has, former a cheerful and creative research environment in a lab of about 30 people. The expertise covers most aspects of visual ecology and eye evolution across the entire animal kingdom. Physics has been the foundation for understanding of this work. The visual system is almost pure optics and electronics in a biological packing. The enormous diversity of eye designs is breathtaking, evolving to meet different demands in different animals.
Animal visual systems offer a rich selection of finished and ongoing evolutionary experiments. Work includes projects upon computational visual ecology, the evolution of vision, measuring visual scenes and habitats, primitive eyes, and low-resolution vision, seeing through animal eyes, as well as visual fields of vertebrate and cephalopod eyes
Pr. Nillson’s Research


James McEachen

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Director, Highland Gaffers Inc.
Directed, wrote and edited The Leopard in the Land – A feature documentary about a Snow Leopard conservation project that traversed the Altai mountains of western Mongolia and explored contemporary ideas about art, adventure and conservation and the link between animals and landscape. Distributed through Amazon and Dreamscape Media – “Staff Select” at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC, the American Documentary Film Festival, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and many others.

Recognized for strong creative and leadership skills across many fields and in diverse worldwide locations – from Sub-Saharan Africa and the remote corners of the Himalaya, to the L.A. and London film industries, international technology firms and non-profit boardrooms.


Timo Rissanen PhD

Timo Rissanen is the Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design. He currently serves as the School Associate Dean of the School of Constructed Environments, and he is one of the Associate Directors of the Tishman Environment and Design Center. He was born in Finland and trained as a fashion designer at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia. Rissanen completed a practice-based PhD on zero waste fashion design at UTS in 2013. As an artist he has focused on the (in)humanity of labour, politics and love through installation, performance and cross-stitched poetry. Rissanen co-curated Fashioning Now with Alison Gwilt in 2009 and Yield with Holly McQuillan in 2011, and he has co-published two books on fashion and sustainability, Shaping Sustainable Fashion with Gwilt in 2011 and Zero Waste Fashion Design with McQuillan in 2016.


Joe M. Rohde

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Artist, Designer, Writer, Executive, Speaker, media personality. Member of The Explorer’s Club ’10. Recently completed expedition to Western Mongolia to raise money for Snow Leopard conservation efforts. With over thirty years at Walt Disney Imagineering, Joe Rohde has established himself as a respected veteran in the themed entertainment industry. He has led the conceptualization, design, and production of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and all subsequent installations in that park, inducing the current “Avatar” project, as well as “Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.”

Joe travels extensively for work and pleasure and has visited some of the most remote corners of the globe, most recently returning from Mongolia, where his Explorer’s Club Flag Expedition, “The Leopard in the Land” has him painting large scale plein air landscapes in snow leopard habitat to raise money and awareness for these endangered cats.


Andy Brandy Casagrande IV

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Andy Brandy Casagrande IV aka (ABC) is an Emmy Award winning cinematographer, field producer & television presenter specializing in adventure & blue-chip wildlife documentaries worldwide. From King Cobras & Killer Whales to Great Whites Sharks & Polar Bears, Andy’s innovative cinematography & unorthodox camera techniques are helping revolutionize the way the world sees & perceives wildlife. From super-slow motion & thermal-infrared to night-vision & remote-controlled spy-cams, Andy shoots with the most advanced camera technologies on the planet and continues to push the boundaries of wildlife filmmaking to shed new light & perspective into the hidden lives of the planet’s most feared & misunderstood predators. With more than 100 wildlife films credits to his name Andy has shot & produced films for the world’s top television networks including National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, ABC, NBC, CBS & Animal Planet, etc. Andy’s life-long mission is to inspire people to care about our planet & its vanishing wildlife.


Nobuaki Ochi, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental Education, Toyo University (Tokyo)

Visit Website


Marjolaine Tremblay

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Marjolaine Tremblay is an accomplished Senior Executive and Board Member with more than 25  years of success across the film, animation, technology, and education industries. Leveraging extensive experience developing innovative business plans and leading dynamic growth, she is a valuable advisor for an organization experiencing a communication crisis or presenting packages to potential clients. Her broad areas of expertise include business development, brand development, relationships, virtual reality, presentations, and creative direction. Throughout her executive career, Marjolaine has held leadership positions with RodeoFX, Pukka Inc, Six Foot Two Productions, and elementFX.


Jasper Wilkins

ZLI Film & Media Advisor

Jasper is a motivated individual that has a vast amount of experience in leadership, events, documentary photography, international development and sustainability. He founded In Focus, in which he’s currently developing a partnership with the United Nations and through this project he has interviewed some of the most inspiring individuals working in the field of conservation. He is currently an Olympus Ambassador and has had work published internationally in magazines, booklets and in exhibitions.


Craig Oxley

Campaign Leader - Otohime's Light

Being an avid conservationist and photographer, I love combining the two to engage people in eco-tourism, animal-welfare and conservation. Work at SeaLife Scarborough, Blackpool, the Seychelles, Brunei and the Maldives taught me the importance of adopting a global view on these issues. Working alongside The Manta Trust, Olive Ridley Project and Maldives Whaleshark Research Program through Citizen Science using biological survey technique skills including; transects, quadrats, photo and video surveys. The Otohime’s Light Campaign is an important one not only to stress a vital challenge for Sea Turtles, light pollution, but also to engage audiences to solve the many challenges to our oceans most people are already aware of. Working in Kephalonia on the nesting beaches of Loggerhead Turtles, I learned that there is much that we can do.


Paulina Villalobos

ZLI Board Member, ZLI Program Coordinator, Chile

Arquitecta de la Universidad de Chile Diplomada en Conectividad, UNCRD, Nagoya, Japón. Master de Iluminación Arquitectónica de la Universidad Tecnológica de Wismar, Alemania. Diseñadora de Iluminación de la Universidad Tecnológica Real de Suecia, KTH. Directora DIAV Lighting. oficina dedicada proyectos de diseño de iluminación arquitectónica y eficiencia energética. Con base en Santiago de Chile.


Jeremy Kasile Goldberg

Board Member, ZLI Advisory Council

Jeremy is interested in the prudent and efficient use of technology, as a means to maximize collective well-being. He is a native of northern California, has lived in or traveled through more than seventy countries, and now resides outside of New York City.
A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Jeremy has worked as a transactional lawyer since 2010.


Susan D. Walsh

Board Member, Aquatic Husbandry Advisor

Georgia Aquarium, Animal Health Department Title: Manager, Environmental Health See STEAM Presentation/Aquatic Husbandry


Jeff Lamie

ZLI Board Member, Organizational Development Advisor

Development professional with an established track record of increasing philanthropic revenue from diverse constituencies. Experience leading fundraising initiatives and capital campaigns at public and private institutions for healthcare and higher education. Specialties include planning and implementing campaigns as large as $60M and structuring planned gifts including charitable trusts.


Vanessa Pirotta

Vanessa’s research is focused on marine megafauna conservation by investigating interactions with anthropogenic activities. Vanessa has conducted whale research in a variety of locations including Australia, Tonga and Antarctica.


Sudhir Brahmbhatt

Board Member, Organizational Development

Sudhir Brahmbhatt is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 40 years of success across the biotech, environmental, food, and chemical industries. Leveraging extensive experience in innovative strategy development and change management, he is a valuable advisor for a non-profit organization looking for structure, fundraising, and communication approaches. His broad areas of expertise include budget oversight, technology implementation, global training initiatives, and technology development. Throughout his executive career, Sudhir has held leadership positions with Technology Services Incorporated, Center of Indian Cultural Education, Bal Vihar of St. Louis, MO, and Air Liquide America.


Teal Kiwana


Kanako Tomisawa PhD

Board Member, ZLI Advisory Council

Current: Spokesperson at Omuta City Zoo .


Roeland van Wijk

Board Member ZLI PhotoSciences Department

(Coming Soon)

zli donateDonate to ZLI

Subscribe to ZLI

No thanks.