Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D. - New England Aquarium
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Lucy Keith-Diagne

Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D.

2017 Marine Conservation Action Fund (MCAF) Fellow
Executive Director, African Aquatic Conservation Fund Senegal


Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D., specializes in African manatee research and conservation studies, including status and distribution, threat assessments and mitigation, population genetics, and feeding ecology. Additionally, she leads Senegal’s Atlantic Humpback Dolphin research program, and as a founding member of the Senegal Stranding Network, Lucy focuses on African marine mammal strandings and bycatch reduction in Senegal and throughout West Africa. She has also trained over 100 African biologists and has supervised over 12 graduate students in African and American universities. In 2008, she initiated a collaborative network for manatee fieldwork and conservation, which now has members in 19 African countries.

The goals of Lucy’s work are to raise awareness and to work to reduce threats for the African manatee in its 21 range countries, to define populations across the species range, and to reduce the impacts of bycatch for all African marine mammals. Lucy works collaboratively with governments, universities, and other NGOs for long-term protection and increased knowledge of African manatees and cetaceans.

Learn more about African Aquatic Conservation Fund.


Manatees, Conservation Leadership, Social Media, Public Speaking, Conservation in Developing Countries, Advocacy, and Education

Awards and Fellowships

2019 Alumni Achievement Award, University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
2018 National Geographic Explorer
2017 Pew Marine Fellowship
2017 IFAW Marine Mammal Conservation and Welfare Award
2003 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manatee Conservation Award


  • Founder, African Aquatic Conservation Fund (co-founded with Tomas Diagne)
  • Senegal Stranding Network, founding PI (with Tomas Diagne and colleague Wim Mullie)
  • IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, member and Co-chair of African Manatee Sub-group
  • IUCN Red List, Author of the 2016 Assessment for the African manatee
  • Convention of Migratory Species, Scientific Council, Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wildmeat Working Groups
  • International Whaling Commission, member, Scientific Committee and Africa-Focused Sousa Task Team
  • Society for Marine Mammalogy, member, International Relations Committee and Conservation Committee

Learn More About Lucy and Her Work


Marine Conservation Action Fund

Ensuring conservation leaders around the globe have the financial and professional resources to achieve key ocean conservation gains and the platform to amplify their work.