The Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance is very pleased to announce Dr. Andrew L. Mack as our Executive Director as of 1 January 2013. Dr. Mack will provide important leadership as IPCA seeks to continue and advance our existing programs and expand into new conservation areas and priorities.
Andrew comes to IPCA with extensive field experience in the region, including over 15 years spent in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Malaysia. He has undertaken a wide spectrum of conservation activities and conservation-related field research, and has written over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He organized and led numerous expeditions in New Guinea, built and managed (with D. D. Wright) a field research station in PNG for many years and was also involved with the management and operation of two other field stations in the country. Dr. Mack is highly committed to facilitating and strengthening grassroots conservation efforts in the Indo-Pacific region, and was fundamental in the development of a large training program for conservation biologists, conservation professionals and university students in PNG.
Retiring Executive Director and founder of IPCA, Burke Burnett, said he is thrilled to have Mack step in: "I hoped we could get Andy for this position for over a year as part of the Board's plan to expand IPCA. Now that we are poised to expand in 2013, I speak for the entire Board when I say Dr. Mack is the ideal candidate to direct IPCA's expansion. I intend to remain very active on the IPCA Board, and look forward to working closely with him in the years ahead as we take on new challenges." The IPCA Board Chairman, Dr. Allen Allison of the Bishop Museum, echoed these sentiments, saying "I have known Andy since he joined our expedition to the Hunstein Mountains in 1989. He has been tremendously dedicated and effective in building conservation programs in New Guinea."
Dr. Mack was on the board of the Research and Conservation Foundation of PNG and is a founding board member of the PNG Institute of Biological Research and a founding board member of Green Capacity, Inc. His critical role in training the next generation of conservation biologists, conservation professionals and university students in PNG resulted in dozens of students receiving Honour's degrees at the University of PNG and Master's degrees at a variety of universities in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Several graduates of that program are now enrolled in Ph.D. studies in the USA and Australia. That program continues under the PNG Institute of Biological Research.
Dr. Mack’s dissertation research was on the ecology of rainforest seed dispersal, particularly by cassowaries. His detailed study of an endemic species of mahogany led to it being described in his honor, Aglaia mackiana, and the description of a unique seed dispersal syndrome by cassowaries. His research has also led to publications about frogs, birds, bats, and sustainable hunting by indigenous people. His cassowary research was featured in Sy Montgomery's bestselling book "Birdology."
Andrew has also undertaken research in Costa Rica, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. He has worked for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and was a visiting scholar at Australian National University. He is a research adjunct at the University of Kansas and University of Papua New Guinea and teaching adjunct at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Miami, Tropical Biology Program.Dr. Mack resides in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania where in his spare time he volunteers as director of a small publishing company, manages an 85 acre "personal carbon sequestration project," and is on the board of Natural Biodiversity, Inc.