Meet Our Team
Tim McCormack – Program Director
Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Tim McCormack grew up more familiar with wildlife of the Dales than turtles, of which there are no native species in the United Kingdom. Passionate about conservation, he completed a BSc in Zoology at the University of Leeds in England before travelling out to Vietnam. While in Vietnam an interest in turtles developed after volunteering at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park back in 2002. A Research Master’s degree (MRes) in Conservation Biology from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England followed; he focused on radio telemetry of the native Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii). One thing led to another and the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) evolved through early research and awareness activities focused on Vietnam’s most endangered tortoise and freshwater turtle species, before joining Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) where he was appointed as Program Director in 2015 and responsible for overseeing research and awareness activities and general program developments.
Hoang Van Ha – Vietnam Turtle Program Coordinator
Born and raised in the Red River delta, south of Hanoi, Ha had not seen any turtles throughout his entire childhood. However, Ha was interested in nature and conservation, and obtained a B.Sc. in Natural Resource Management from the Vietnam National Forestry University (2008) in Vietnam and an M.Sc. in Environmental Science from University of Western Australia (2015) in Perth, Australia.
Has has worked for ATP/IMC since 2008. His current main roles are to support staff and supervise activities on local projects as well as developing working plans for freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation projects in Vietnam. In addition to chelonian ecology and conservation, he is also interested in research and education, which is important for building the next generation of turtle conservationists and young biologists in Vietnam and South East Asia.
Bui Thi An – Office Manager
Before joining the ATP/IMC family in January 2013 as an Office Manager, she worked for The Atlantic Philanthropies, an international non-government organization specializing in Education and Health from 2003. After graduating from University of Foreign Languages and International Studies in 2001, An worked as an English Teacher for nearly two years teaching English as a foreign language in schools and universities in Ha Noi. She obtained her MBA degree in 2010 from LaTrobe University (Australia). An always strives to contribute to the conservation mission of ATP/IMC to protect nature and wild animals for future generations to see.
Nguyen Thu Thuy – Animal Manager
Thuy has been working for the Asian Turtle Program since 2009 after she participated in ATP/IMC’s annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course in March 2009. She graduated in Environmental Science at the Hanoi University of Science, writing her thesis about the conservation of the Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. Today, she holds the position as Animal Manager and her responsibilities include managing staff and supervising activities at the TCC, coordinating the rescue of turtles from the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam and working with other rescue centres to increase capacity for turtle conservation.
Nguyen Thanh Luan – Scientific Officer
Graduating from Hue University in May 2012, Luan has been passionate about herpetology, especially turtles, for a long time. He attended ATP/IMC’s annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training course in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam in March 2012 and joined ATP in September 2012 as a field officer based in Central Vietnam.
After merging with IMC, Luan gained a role as Scientific Officer. His responsibilities include conducting interview and field surveys throughout Central and Southern Vietnam focusing on priority species such as the endemic and critically endangered Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamemsis) and Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti). Currently, Luan is also working on the amphibian conservation in Vietnam.
Kieu Ngoc Bich – Office Assistant
Graduating from the Banking Academy of Vietnam, majoring in English for Banking and Finance, Bich joined the ATP/IMC family in 2014. Working as an office assistant in the Hanoi office, Bich has the opportunity to nurture her passion for nature and contribute to the effort of saving Vietnam’s wildlife. She is responsible for publishing press releases, preparing bulletins and managing ATP/IMC’s website in order to raise the organization’s profile and enhance public awareness of the importance of the conservation of endangered turtle species in Vietnam. She also works enthusiastically supporting other staff to accomplish ATP/IMC’s mission and objectives.
Tran Thi Ngoc Hang – TCC Project Assistant
Hang graduated in Environmental Science from Hue University of Sciences in 2015. After graduating, she was involved in many community survey projects around Viet Nam. In 2018, Hang participated in a TRAFFIC survey about the attitude and behaviour of consumers regarding the use of bear products in Vietnam, and realised her passion for conservation work and protecting wild animals. She has been working for the ATP/IMC since January 2019 as a Project Assistant. Her work is focused on supporting ATP/IMC’s activities at the Turtle Conservation Centre of Cuc Phuong National Park. By doing so, she hopes to contribute to the conservation of endangered wildlife in Vietnam.
Sam Hai Son – Field Assistant
Son graduated from Environmental Science at Vinh University in 2016. After graduating, his love of nature and animals led him into many research and conservation projects in Vietnam such as the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)’s project titled “Using novel approaches to support the conservation of mammalian endemics in the central Annamites” at Pu Mat National Park. Son has been working as a field assistant for ATP/IMC since October 2019.
Nguyen Tai Thang – Rafetus Project Manager
Thang graduated from the Vietnam Forestry University in June 2010. During his degree, he gained experience surveying nature reserves in Northern Vietnam for birds and other wildlife for 2 years. He also attended ATP/IMC’s annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training course Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam in April 2010, which led him to start volunteering with ATP/IMC on the Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) project in northern Vietnam and on field surveys in Pu Mat National Park. In August 2010, he was employed as a field assistant for the Rafetus swinhoei conservation project. His main responsibilities include conducting surveys to attain information about additional Rafetus swinhoei individuals in the northern Vietnam, supporting local staff in monitoring priority sites to protect the remaining individuals and raising awareness in local communities and schools about the conservation of this rare turtle species. In 2020, Thang was promoted to Rafetus project manager after obtaining his M.Sc. in Forest Resources and Environment Management from Vietnam Forestry University.
Nguyen Van Trong – Rafetus Project Field Assistant
Born in 1974 in Nghia Son village near Dong Mo lake, Hanoi, Trong used to be a fisherman, working hard in the lake after he returned from his national service in the army. Trong was employed by the ATP/IMC in 2007 to monitor Dong Mo lake for signs of the rare Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei). Not long after, he and his colleague, Nguyen Xuan Thuan, discovered and documented an individual of this species, which was only the second wild individual, and fourth in total, known at the time.
Trong spends most of his time working at Dong Mo lake, monitoring the turtle, collecting environmental data and supporting other community and research activities. Trong plays a vital role in the conservation of the world’s rarest turtle; he was key to the rescue of the turtle in 2008 after it escaped and was caught by local fishermen several kilometres from the lake. Committed to working with turtles, Trong now says “I love turtles”.
Bui Van Dien – Local counterpart
Born in 1978 in Xuan Khanh village, Xuan Son commune, Son Tay town, Hanoi. Dien was recruited as a local counterpart for the ATP’s Rafetus Project in June 2018. Previously he was a fisherman working on Xuan Khanh Lake. The knowledge and skills he gained as a fisherman is extremely helpful for the research and conservation of this endangered turtle in Xuan Khanh Lake. He is very proud of his work and delighted to participate in the conservation of the world’s rarest turtle species.
Pham Xuan Quyen – Rafetus Project Field Assistant
Quyen was born and grew up in Nghia Son village near Dong Mo lake, where the world’s rarest turtle, Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), also known as Hoan Kiem turtle, was discovered in 2007. Due to this discovery, the area has become an important conservation site, and the local community has become passionate about contributing to the conservation of the world’s rarest turtle species.
After graduating from Ha Noi Education University in 2013, Quyen attended ATP/IMC’s annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam in 2014. He then volunteered with ATP/IMC with both the Rafetus project and the TCC. In March 2019, he was employed as a field assistant for the Rafetus project. He is responsible for conducting interview surveys to obtain information about additional Rafetus swinhoei individuals in northern Vietnam, supporting local staff in monitoring priority sites to protect known animals and raising awareness of turtle conservation in local communities and schools.
Ta Thu Thuy – TCC Vet Nurse
Thuy graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry in 2017. Shortly after, in September 2017, she joined the ATP/IMC team as a vet at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park. Her main responsibilities at the TCC include performing health assessments for sick individuals, doing veterinary treatment and surgeries and carrying out husbandry duties for captive turtles and tortoises. She works largely in the Quarantine Area, examining and treating sick animals, and those which have been rescued from illegal trade and require urgent care and isolation.