Our Team

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Steven Platt
WCS Herpetologist for Southeast Asia and China
Steven G. Platt, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, received his BSc. in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Louisiana State University (1986), MSc. in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University (1986), and PhD in Zoology from Clemson University (1996). Platt conducted his dissertation research on the ecology of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize (1992-95) and then returned to the country and completed a nationwide survey of the endangered American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) for Wildlife Conservation Society (1996-98). From 1998-2001, Platt worked for Wildlife Conservation Society on crocodile and turtle conservation issues in various countries in Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand). In 2001 Platt returned to the United States and began a career in academics. He was an Instructor in the Department of Math and Science at Oglala Lakota College, a tribal institution on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (2002-2006). From 2006-2011 Platt was an Assistant and later an Associate Professor in the Biology Department of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Platt resigned from academics in 2011 to return to Myanmar with his wife Dr. Kalyar Platt, and now serves as the WCS Herpetologist for Southeast Asia and China. Most of his time is spent in Myanmar where he is involved in various turtle conservation projects, most notably efforts to reintroduce Burmese Star Tortoises (Geochelone platynota) into protected areas in the dry zone. Platt also spends much of each year on the upper Chindwin River working to save the Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) from extinction. Outside of Myanmar, Platt works closely with the WCS Cambodia Program on Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis) and Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) conservation. In China, Platt has been monitoring reintroduced Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) with Professor Lu Shunqing; together they are hoping to launch an ambitious reintroduction in the spring of 2016. Platt has co-authored numerous scientific papers on crocodilians and turtles, and in 2014 received the Castillo Award for crocodile conservation from the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. In his spare time Platt enjoys reading, travel, bicycling, and walking the Earth.
Aung Ko Thet
Protected Area Capacity Development Specialist
Aung Ko Thet has over eleven years of professional experience working on forests, coastal areas and biodiversity conservation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Forestry, Yezin and a Masters degree in Ecological Marine Management from Vrije Universitieit, Belgium. Aung Ko Thet joined WCS as full time staff in 2015 as Protected Area Capacity Development Specialist. Previously, he worked as a consultant. His recent consultancies include National Biodiversity Conservation and Monitoring Specialist for the MERN and the ACB-SGP; Team Leader for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Daewoo Mangrove Restoration Project implemented by the Mangrove Service Network, and National Community Forestry Advisor to FFI for their improved legality, governance and trade for Community and small holder timber project.
Gumring Jong Kum
Site Coordinator
Gumring Jungkum joined WCS in December 2006 as research assistant at the Panthera Tiger Project in Hukaung Tiger Landscape. The main project activity was camera trapping and occupancy survey. In 2008 he was promoted as project Manager of CBNRM (Community Base Natural Resource Management) in Hukaung, working towards promoting sustainable livelihoods of local communities through Natural forest management and conservation. His responsibilities included performing inventory and household surveys in order to better understand the community demand and supply of natural resources. Since 2013 he is working as Site Coordinator in Hukaung.
Kyaw Hla Thein
Deputy Project Manager
Kyaw Hla Thein holds a degree in Marine Science from Mawlamyine University. After graduating in 2006 he worked as a technician for a shrimp farm at CP company until 2009. Afterwards, he joined the Department of Fisheries as a field assistant. He surveyed Dugong and Irrawaddy dolphins in the Tanintharyi division and Rakaing State. In 2012 he joined the WCS and currently he is working on projects for the conservation of the Irrawaddy dolphin.
Kyaw Zay Ya
Technician (GIS & RS)
Kyaw Zay Ya graduated with a Bachelor degree in Zoology from Mandalay University. He has been working at Wildlife Conservation Society since 2007. Previously he was an Assistant Project Manager (Community Base Natural Resource Management).Currently, he works as Technician of Remote Sensing & GIS. He has responsibility over all Remote Sensing & GIS and Forest Cover Change in Myanmar, and has extensive field and technical experience regarding ground truthing and classifying many challenging forest types of Myanmar. He has been leading the remote sensing classification, historical data analysis and deforestation rate at WCS for several years so far.
Me Me Soe
Turtle Conserrvation Manager
Me Me Soe received her Master’s degree in Zoology at the Arts and Science University of Yangon (2000). From 1995 through 1998 she worked as a tutor in Biology and served as a part-time lecturer in Zoology at Yangon University. Prior to being employed by WCS, Me Me Soe worked as a technician at Yuzana Shrimp Culture Farm in Kyauk Tan Township, Yangon Division. She was employed by WCS as a researcher in 2011 and has since participated in a chelonian survey of Natma Taung National Park, an assessment of Minzontaung and Shwe Settaw Wildlife Sanctuaries as Star Tortoise Reintroduction Sites, conducted population assessments of Batagur baska in Tanintharyi Division, Chelonian survey along Chindwin river and management of captive chelonians at several assurance colonies in Myanmar, including Lawkanandar, Rakhine Yoma, and Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuaries. She currently oversees the highly successful reintroduction of Burmese Star Tortoises at Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuary and assists in other turtle projects as needed. She enjoys working outdoors and is dedicated to conserving Myanmar’s wildlife and wild places. Currently, she is passionately working as a Turtle Conservation Manager in WCS Myanmar Program (Turtle Conservation Team), in Myanmar.
Naw May Lay Thant
National Landscape Coordinator
Naw May Lay Thant received her PhD degree in Forest Environmental Sciences with specialization on wildlife ecology from the Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. Her professional background is forestry with an emphasis on wildlife conservation. Her interest in primates lead her to research for her PhD degree on genetics and ecology of an endangered leaf monkey called Phayre’s leaf monkey. She has been working on environmental conservation for about a decade, and joined WCS in late 2013. She worked for stakeholder engagement concerning with wildlife and community based natural resources management in southern Myanmar for three years. Now she is responsible for strengthening national protected area system and institutional capacity development particularly for wildlife and protected area management in Myanmar while continuing to nurture her interest in primates. Contact her at: nthant@wcs.org
Thant Zin
Ecotourism Manager
Thant Zin earned graduated at the Shwe Bo Degree college in 2007, and later earned a diploma of Teaching Knowledge Test from the British Council in 2010. He has an extensive background in language and computer teaching to students living in Mingun and along the Ayeyarwaddy river. His responsibilities included training local teachers. After briefly working with WCS as a tour guide of the communities surrounding the Ayeyarwaddy river, he become passionate about using his skills for serving wildlife conservation and capacity building of local communities. He is now Manager of the Ecotourism project which aims at protecting the endangered Ayeyarwaddy dolphin through livelihoods improvement of the fishing communities living in its range.
Thet Swe Aye
Communication Officer
Thet Swe Aye gained his B.Sc. (with honors) and M.Sc. Specialization in Zoology from the University of Monywa. Before joining WCS he worked as an English teacher, and as reporter for the Irrawaddy English language newspaper. He also worked for MSF-Holland as personal assistant, and for DRC as office staff. His former experience include working with Mercycorps as township technical consultant for the CDD (a World Bank project) in Myeik Township. Thet Swe Aye love for nature and wildlife conservation along with his passion for public relations let him join the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2014, where he is responsible for communication and media.
Thet Zaw Naing
Technician - Bird expert
Thet Zaw Naing got his M.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Yangon. He took part in many monitoring and research programs on avifauna widely throughout the country. He is not only a highly qualified ornithologist but also a very dedicated conservationist. He has been actively involved in a variety of conservation activities across Myanmar. He is working for WCSMP as a Technician (Bird Conservation) since 2009. In addition, he is the National Coordinator for Asian Waterbird Census of Wetlands International and he has been also involved in local NGO namely Myanmar Bird and Nature Society as the Secretary.

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