As our international work in Southeast Asia continues to grow, our office in Laos has also expanded. We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce our two newest fish biologists at FISHBIO Laos: Somsanook Soulikhan and Siphone Phondaboutdy. Somsanook received a degree in biology at the National University of Laos, and previously completed an internship with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, where he first became familiar with our ongoing project to establish Fish Conservation Zones for endangered Probarbus fishes. Somsanook has also worked as a tour guide for an eco tourism company called the Gibbon Experience, and has shown an affinity for multimedia since joining FISHBIO, such as recording several video interviews for our Fish Conservation Zone project.
Siphone Phondaboutdy graduated with a degree in fisheries from the National University of Laos, and has a variety experiences with different kinds of fish surveys. This included working on a project with Eric Baran from World Fish Center to study the migration of Mekong River fishes as part of a collaboration between the National University of Laos and Ubon Ratchathani University in Thailand. Siphone also has experience in fish pond aquaculture and frog propagation, including in his own home pond. We have recently converted our office back patio into a stomach content analysis lab, where he has diligently analyzed the meals of hundreds of collected fishes. Both Somsanook and Siphone have been very busy since they started, and we are excited to have them as part of our team!