Tara Pelembe

Deputy Director

Tara has an MSc from the University of Exeter in Conservation and Biodiversity and a BSc.  (Hons) in Geography from the University of St. Andrews. She is currently seconded to the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in UK where she continues to play a part-time role as the Senior Overseas Territories Adviser.  Tara was previously the Head of the Conservation Department on Ascension Island and the Director of the Environmental Management Department on St. Helena. 
Tara’s interest and experience covers the whole spectrum of environmental management from conservation and biodiversity to waste management and climate change. She has considerable experience in the management of both small-scale and larger scale multi-disciplinary projects and has led and/or contributed to a large number of programmes and projects that range from on-the ground implementation initiatives to multi-party partnership working platforms. She is also is an experienced in communication, networking, stakeholder engagement, workshop organisation and facilitation, project and programme management.

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Current project

Within SAERI Tara will be focussing a number of areas that include:  

  • Assessing  the international demand for science in the SAOTs. N.B. this reflects the need to assess the demand for science in different disciplines, natural and physical, to plan facilities to meet this demand, cost them and most importantly develop the strategy for sustaining them for the long term.
  • Developing relationships with partner institutes and universities that wish to work in the OTs so that a strategic mechanism can be fostered for cross OT science capacity and knowledge building;
  • Developing a cross OTs equipment sharing strategy to reduce duplication of expensive equipment.

Selected publications

  1. Pelembe , T. (2015) Understanding our Islands: How to get the best out of our GIS and our data. Workshop report. JNCC report, No. 549
  2. Weber, S., Weber, N., Godley, B., Pelembe, T., Stroud,S., Williams, N., Broderick, A., (2014)  Ascension Island as a Mid Atlantic developmental habitat for Juvenile Hawksbill turtles. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the
  3. Nathan F. Putman, N.F., Abreu-Grobois, F.A.,  Broderick, A., Formia C.,  Godley, B., Stroud, S.,  Pelembe, T., Verley, P., Williams, T., (2014) Numerical dispersal simulations and genetics help explain the origin of hawksbill sea turtles in Ascension Island. Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology 450:98-
  4. Pelembe, T. (2014). South Atlantic Overseas Territories Regional workshop report. JNCC report, No.
  5. Pelembe, T. et al eds (2013) St. Helena State of the Environment Report. St. Helena Government published
  6. Pelembe, T. (ed) (2012) National Environmental Management Plan. St. Helena Government published
  7. Pelembe, T. and Cooper, G. eds. (2011). UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies: 2011 Biodiversity Snapshot. Peterborough, UK, Joint Nature Conservation
  8. Ratcliffe N, Pelembe T, White R., (2010) The responses of tropical seabirds to the eradication of feral cats from Ascension Island.
  9. Lambdon, P., Stroud, S., Clubbe, C., Gray, A., Hamilton, M., Nissalo, M., Pelembe, T., Renshaw, O., (2009)  A plan for the conservation of endemic and native flora on Ascension Island. Ascension Island Government published
  10. Ratcliffe, N., Bell, M., Pelembe, T., Boyle, D., Benjamin, R.,  White, R., Godley, B., Stevenson, J., Sanders, S.,  (2009) The eradication of feral cats from Ascension Island and its subsequent recolonization by seabirds. Oryx 44(01) 20-
  11. Ratcliffe N, Pelembe T, White R., (2008) Resolving the population status of Ascension Frigatebird fregata aquila using a ‘virtual ecologist’ model, Ibis doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2007.00778.
  12. Hartnoll RG, Macintosh T, Pelembe T,J (2006)  Johngarhia lagostoma (H.Milne Edwards, 1837) on Ascension Island: A very isolated Land crab population Crustaceana
  13. Broderick A, Frauenstein R, Glen F, Hayes G, Jackson A, Pelembe T, Ruxton G, Godley B (2006) Are green turtles globally endangered? Global ecology and Biogeography 15 pp21-
  14. Gray A, Pelembe T, Stroud S (2005) The conservation of the endemic vascular flora of Ascension Island and threats from alien species Oryx vol 39 no 4 pp1-5