Board of Directors

The Free Morgan Foundation was founded on the 2nd of September 2011 in order to help the wild-born, female orca Morgan.  Our Board of Directors have a wealth of experience from a wide range of professions.  They are listed here, alphabetically.

Hester BartelsBartels, Hester

Vice Chair
Co-founder of the original Orca Coalition and Founder of DolphinMotion, Hester has been involved with Morgan’s case since the beginning.  She is an animal welfare advocate and promotes education and awareness among children and adults in the Netherlands with regards to captive cetaceans.  Hester also works tirelessly to help badgers in the Netherlands.

Grimm, Heiko

As an avid wildlife photographer, Heiko has observed orca in the wild in various places around the world.  He is currently working towards his marine biology degree and when not studying or photographing orca he is an avid birder.  Heiko was one of the Directors of the award-winning short film “I am Morgan ~ Stolen Freedom” and he toured with the film at a number of international film festivals.

hardieHardie, Terry

Director of IT (Information Technology)
Co-founder of the Free Morgan Foundation, Researcher and Trustee of the Orca Research Trust.  Terry assisted with the Keiko project and is passionate about orca.  He has also helped to expose wrong doings at a dolphinarium in Europe, which resulted in a law being passed in Switzerland, banning the keeping of cetaceans in captivity.

He has observed Morgan in captivity at Dolfinarium Harderwijk, in 2011 and co-authored the report about her status, with Dr Visser.

Schwering, Maaike

Ever since Morgan was captured, Maaike has been following her plight.  As a long-time advocate for animal welfare Maaike is well placed to understand the issues at stake.

She joins the Free Morgan Foundation with a desire to make a difference for Morgan and to see a move towards better protection for all cetaceans in captivity in the EU.


Spiegl, Matthew

Legal and Policy Advisor
Attorney, environmental blogger and ocean advocate living on California’s Central Coast.  Matthew first learned of Morgan at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in 2012 and since then has been telling her story in the Huffington Post and other avenues.

Matthew is passionate about righting the wrongs of Morgan’s situation and revealing the layers of injustice that put her in Loro Parque.  Matthew co-authored the Free Morgan Foundation white paper on ‘whale laundering’, with Dr. Visser and was the senior author on the peer-reviewed 2019 law journal publication “Mission creep in the application of wildlife law: The progressive dilution of legal requirements regarding a wild‐born orca kept for ‘research’ purposes.”  He has also presented Morgan’s case at various conferences and at the European Parliment.

He is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.

Visser, IngridVisser, Ingrid, Dr. (PhD)

Co-founder Free Morgan Foundation, Founder and Principal Researcher Orca Research Trust, Director Punta Norte Orca Research, Papua New Guinea Orca Research and Founder Antarctic Killer Whale Identification Catalogue. Co-founder Whale Rescue, founding member of the Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition.

Ingrid studied the New Zealand orca for her PhD and has become an advocate against keeping cetaceans in captivity.  Shortly after Morgan was captured in June 2010, Ingrid became involved in exposing the extremely poor conditions at Dolfinarium Harderwijk and later at Loro Parque.  She has authored, or co-authored four extensive reports on Morgan’s plight.