Supporting a 'chocolate box assortment' of programs

Under the Sea
Blue Venture’s research environment

One of the ways Mendeley hopes to change the way we do research is to increase collaboration and connection between researchers across the world, especially in developing countries and places with less access to resources. Blue Ventures is a marine conservation organization committed to rebuilding tropical fisheries in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities. Besides making us totally jealous by sending their lovely photos under the sea, we were interested to hear more about how Blue Ventures uses Mendeley to keep their international group of researchers in the loop with the latest in research.  

Charlotte Gough, from the marine science team in Madagascar, tells us how Blue Ventures uses Mendeley to support programs around the world:

It is 8am, and I am walking along a white sandy beach with the tropical sun warming my back. The sounds of village life that roused me from my sleep a few hours earlier now a gentle buzz behind me. To my right is the ocean, a seemingly never-ending swathe of turquoise blue.  Sounds like an idyllic start to a holiday in paradise…But this is no holiday

I turn left down a sandy track and arrive at a wooden hut, where there is already a hive of activity.  This as you can probably guess, is not just any hut, this is the Blue Ventures Conservation office where an international and eclectic team of marine ecologists, social scientists, health professionals, conservationists, and inspirational community organisers work on a daily basis supporting the development of Velondriake, one of the Indian Ocean’s largest community managed Marine Protected Areas (MPA).

This hut in Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar is just one of Blue Ventures’ offices. Supporting an exciting new movement in grassroots marine conservation means that we have field sites in numerous locations around Madagascar, as well as in Belize.

Charlotte Gough
Charlotte Gough

Blue Ventures – changing the way conservation is done

 Believing in a holistic and integrated approach to conservation Blue Ventures’ programmes are wide ranging from fisheries science and management to sexual and reproductive health, and from alternative livelihoods to gender empowerment and primary and secondary education.

With such a chocolate box assortment of programmes comes a need for knowledge on what is happening in other countries and communities throughout the world. From a novel approach for conducting fisheries stock assessments in data poor fisheries, to measuring the additional value of integrating health and environmental programmes or even a simple how to make sea cucumbers grow faster, all this information needs to be quickly and easily accessible to our field teams so that they can develop ideas to implement in the field.

Mendeley – Changing the way research is done.

Back in the office and today we are searching out all of the literature that has been written on sustainable financing mechanisms for fisheries management. The short-term nature of many funding programmes means that for community based fisheries management in a remote location such as Andavadoaka to be sustainable into the future, we need to identify ways that it can be supported financially.

Our first stop is Mendeley, which allows us to search, organise, store and share all of the literature we find.

Mendeley’s ability to create, organise and share large reference libraries means that whether Blue Ventures researchers are in London or Lovobe, Andavadoaka or Ambanja they can share information, ideas and notes on all of the new publications in conservation and development. Bringing new and innovative ideas from around the globe to the remote communities in which we work.

Sitting next to me is Lalao, Blue Ventures Senior Blue Carbon Scientist, she is writing a paper on recent findings about the carbon sequestered by mangrove forests in the region. She too is using Mendeley. Having completed her literature review, and having shared her findings online with her collaborating authors she is now using the software to cite other research on carbon sequestration and quickly and easily create a bibliography for her paper.

While Blue Ventures supports communities to manage their marine environments, Mendeley is supporting the Blue Ventures team in finding, managing and sharing, the latest literary resources.