Lucy Keith Diagne Lucy Keith Diagne, MCAF Fellow

Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D.

2017 MCAF Fellow

Executive Director, African Aquatic Conservation Fund


Lucy Keith-Diagne, Ph.D., specializes in African manatee research and conservation studies, including status and distribution, threat assessments and mitigation, population genetics, and feeding ecology. Additionally, as a founding member of the Senegal Stranding Network, Lucy focuses on African marine mammal strandings and bycatch reduction in Senegal and throughout West Africa. She has also trained more than 90 African biologists and has supervised over twelve graduate students in African and American universities. In 2008, she initiated a collaborative network for manatee fieldwork and conservation, which now has members in 19 African countries.

The goals of Lucy’s work are to raise awareness and to work to reduce threats for the African manatee in its 21 range countries, to define populations across the species range, and to reduce the impacts of bycatch for all African marine mammals. Lucy works collaboratively with governments, universities, and other NGOs for long-term protection and increased knowledge of African manatees and cetaceans.


Manatees, Conservation Leadership, Social Media, Public Speaking, Conservation in Developing Countries, Advocacy, and Education

Credit: Lucy Keith-Diagne
  1. Select Publications

    Mayaka, T.B., J.P. Koh-Dimbot, and L.W. Keith-Diagne. 2019. Occurrence patterns of manatees and conflicts with humans in the Southern Korup Area, Cameroon. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems29(10): 1801-1813. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3210

    McGowen, M.R., K.R. Murphy, I. Ndong, C.W. Potter and L.W. Keith-Diagne. 2020. The complete mitochondrial genome of the critically endangered Atlantic humpback dolphin, Sousa teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892). Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 5:1, 257-259. DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2019.1700196

    Hunter M.E., Meigs-Friend G, Ferrante JA, Takoukam Kamla A and Keith-Diagne, L.  (2018) Surveys of environmental DNA (eDNA): a new approach to estimate occurrence in Vulnerable manatee populations. Endang Species Res 35:101-111.

    Marsh, H., E.M. Arraut, L. Keith Diagne, H. Edwards, and M. Marmontel. 2017. The Impact of Climate Change and Loss of Habitat on Sirenians. In A. Butterworth, ed. Marine Mammal Welfare. Spring International Publishing. Link.

    Adimey, N., M. Ross, M. Hall, J.P. Reid, M.E. Barlas, L.W. Keith Diagne, and R.K. Bonde. 2016.Twenty-six years of post-release monitoring of Florida manatees: Evaluation of a cooperative rehabilitation program. Aquatic Mammals, 42(3): 376-391.

    Keith Diagne, L. 2016. Discovering the Forgotten Sirenian. Save Our Seas Magazine Issue 5: 54-67.

    Keith Diagne, L. 2016. African Manatees: Transboundary challenges and conservation planning. In A.A. Aguirre and R. Sukumar, eds. Tropical conservation: Perspectives on local and global priorities. Oxford University Press, New York. Link.

  2. News

  3. Awards and Fellowships

    2019 Alumni Achievement Award, University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
    2018 National Geographic Explorer
    2017 Pew Marine Fellowship
    2017 IFAW Marine Mammal Conservation and Welfare Award
    2003 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manatee Conservation Award

  4. Affiliations

    • Founder, African Aquatic Conservation Fund (co-founded with Tomas Diagne)
    • Senegal Stranding Network, founding PI (with Tomas Diagne and colleague Wim Mullie)
    • IUCN Sirenian Specialist Group, member and Co-chair of African Manatee Sub-group
    • IUCN Red List, Author of the 2016 Assessment for the African manatee
    • Convention of Migratory Species, Scientific Council, Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wildmeat Working Groups
    • International Whaling Commission, member, Scientific Committee and Africa-Focused Sousa Task Team
    • Society for Marine Mammalogy, member, International Relations Committee and Conservation Committee