Searching for Seahorses & Sustainability

Lindsay Aylesworth

The SciFund Challenge

$3,200Next Goal
This project was funded on:
7 March 2014
Last year I spent 3 months searching for seahorses in Thailand, but found only 8 individuals. This was surprising because Thailand is the world's largest exporter of seahorses, sourcing its seahorses from local fisheries. Why were seahorses so hard to find? Was I looking in the wrong places, using the wrong methods, or had so many seahorses been captured in fishing gear, were there none to be found? My future research will seek the answer.


Budget Overview

I am seeking $2400 to support a local research assistant for three months ($800 / month) during my second field season. If additional funds are raised, they will be put towards other field expenses such as scuba tank rentals and fuel costs for the boat. Thank you for supporting seahorse conservation, sustainable fisheries, and my doctoral research!

Meet the Researcher


On June 12, 2002, the world as I knew it changed. I stepped into my
wetsuit, donned my mask, and stuck in my regulator as I took my first plunge into what would turn into a life long pursuit of marine conservation and research. My true passion for the ocean revolves around conservation and seahorses. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked in Ceará, Brazil to study habitat preferences of seahorses and apply my work towards conservation of the aquarium trade. Since my first seahorse observation, I have been determined to complete a PhD on seahorse populations in an effort to help with their conservation and management. I am currently a PhD candidate with Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, on my way towards accomplishing this goal. My research interests lie in ecology and population dynamics, specifically to address seahorse conservation, threats and management. After my PhD it is my intention to teach abroad at the university level.

Endorsed by


Lindsay is an excellent, hardworking researcher who cares very much for seahorses. This is a novel investigation on...See more

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Research Assistant


I heartily endorse Lindsay's project to study seahorses in Thailand. She is a very bright and diligent scientist with...See more

Director, Project Seahorse, The University of British Columbia, Canada


Want to Follow My Research?
Blog: Seahorse Adventures
Twitter: @L_Aylesworth

Want to learn more?
Why study seahorses?
What is Project Seahorse?
Want to help seahorses? Check out iSeahorse
Phuket Gazette Newspaper Article: Saddle up, seahorse lovers

Why local research assistants are important
The unsung heroes of conservation research, dedicated field assistants are priceless. A good field assistant not only understands your research goals but also shares in your passion for the subject matter - in this case searching for seahorses and sustainability. They willingly put up with the demands of field research - long hours, remote locations, and physical exhaustion with little financial reward. Additionally, working in a foreign country can be logistically challenging. A local assistant knows his or her community, and will help me to build bridges between my research and their lives. By employing a local research assistant, who would otherwise lack the skill set necessary to monitor seahorse populations for sustainability, I can increase local in-country capacity for marine conservation.

Fund $5 or more: Thank you and acknowledgement on Twitter and Blog
Fund $10 or more: Receive Lindsay's Top 10 Favorites of Seahorse Research in Thailand
Fund $25 or more: Name your own seahorse. Choose the name of one of the seahorses we find. You'll recieve a photo of your seahorse along with relevant stats about how big it is and where it lives.
Fund $50 or more: Receive a postcard update from the field along with a signed autographed photo of our local research assistant in action
Fund $100 or more: Receive a box of seahorse chocolate and all of the above.
Fund $250 or more: Group / Teacher package. Get your group or class to donate receive a personal group presentation of "Searching & Seeking for Seahorses & Sustainability" and 5 weekly emails of "updates from the field & recent photos."
Fund $500 or more: Personal skype phone call to answer project questions and all the above
Fund $1000 or more: Acknowledgement in publication and all the above

Project Backers

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