Manta Watch Aotearoa New Zealand (MWANZ) is a
charitable trust that combines dedicated research,
education and collaboration to learn more about
Aotearoa’s oceanic manta rays.
Our Kaupapa (or vision) is a sustainable future for mobulid rays in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Mark Erdmann, 2017
Rowan Virbickas, 2019
Is to foster knowledge of and advocacy for Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceanic ecosystems through research, conservation, education, and collaboration. This is being achieved by:
Lydia Green, 2017
Lydia is an experienced marine ecologist and has worked with manta rays since 2013, researching manta ray populations in Fiji, Mexico, the Maldives and New Zealand. Lydia founded Manta Watch New Zealand Charitable Trust and has been Project Manager since 2017. She has extensive knowledge of oceanic manta rays in NZ waters and manages the project’s national sightings and photo identification databases. Lydia is an experienced marine educator and is MWANZ’s primary contact for community engagement and outreach programs.
Emily currently works as Taranaki Regional Council’s Environmental Education Officer and is passionate about community driven science and conservation. She has developed and facilitated a multitude of highly successful citizen science projects including Project Hot Spot and Dotterel Defenders and is well known for her Backyard Biodiversity lockdown series. Prior to embracing citizen science, Emily had extensive experience working in marine biological monitoring and was a senior marine biology lecturer at the University of Swansea in Wales where she specialised in phytoplankton.
MWANZ was formed in December 2017 and became a New Zealand registered charity in February 2020.
Our research team consists of experienced marine scientists and educators specalised in multifaceted manta ray research and conservation, including:
Oceanic manta ray foraging ecology in the Hauraki Gulf
Understanding the distribution of Oceanic manta rays and Spinetail devil rays over space and time
Our charity is proud to collaborate with the University of Auckland in supporting the next generation of manta ray scientists, furthering oceanic manta ray research in Aotearoa NZ.
Support our research & discover moreGet Involved