Members of the scientific committee are experienced research specialists in the field of humpback whales, working amongst a number of key international scientific teams in different regions of the world. Members have the following responsibilities :
Scientific committee 2023 (alphabetic order)
Dr Peter Stevick will be our Honorary President
Peter Stevick has studied humpback whales for more than 40 years. His
ﬁeldwork has taken him from Arctic to Antarctic waters and to the tropics. He is
particularly interested in animal movement patterns, the factors inﬂuencing
them, and their implications for understanding population dynamics. He has
published extensively on the population ecology of humpback whales, with
particular focus on movements, spatial structuring and abundance in the North
Atlantic, largely using photo-identiﬁcation techniques. He is currently retired and
living in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
Dr Liliana Betancourt Fernández.
She is a scientific advisor who has worked for more than 20 years in the Dominican Republic as coordinator of humpback whale monitoring in the Samaná Bay as part of the work of the Samaná Bay Conservation and Ecodevelopment Center and her Technical and scientific reports, as well as publications and presentations made nationally and internationally, have been in charge. Likewise, she is a researcher for the EcoMar Program with studies focused on marine coastal biodiversity in the Dominican Republic.
Dr Jaime Bolaños-Jiménez.
Researcher at Sea Vida, a non-proﬁt for marine mammal conservation in Venezuela. In 2009, together with researchers from Aruba and the Netherlands, he founded the Caribbean-Wide Orca Project (CWOP) an informal, cooperative initiative to review the current status of all marine mammal species in the Wider Caribbean Region that counts on the participation of a network of 51 collaborators belonging to 37 organizations distributed in 19 countries/ territories of two continents. He was a member of UNEP´s Group of Experts for the design of the "Action Plan for conservation of marine mammals in the Wider Caribbean Region". He is an invited participant to the Scientiﬁc Committee of the International Whaling Commission, and participates in the Working Group for Aquatic Mammals of the Convention on Migratory Species.
Erich Hoyt is Research Fellow with Whale and Dolphin Conservation and founder/co-director of the long-term Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) in Kamchatka and the Commander Islands. Author of 25 books (Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, Creatures of the Deep, Planktonia and others) and more than 40 research papers, he co-chairs the Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is rolling out a global scientiﬁc tool to map the habitats for the 132 marine mammal species. He is an invited member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group. In 2013, Hoyt received the Mandy McMath Award from the European Cetacean Society for his body of work on marine conservation. A Canadian-American dual citizen, he lives in Dorset, England, with his family.
Dr Lindsey Jones
Dr Lindsey Jones is the Director of Photo-Identiﬁcation Research at Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic. She began at Allied Whale as a graduate student, completing her master's thesis on the ocean-basin-wide movement patterns of North Atlantic humpback whales. Her current research focuses on the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog (NAHWC) and ﬁeld studies in the northern Gulf of Maine.
Dr. Amy Kennedy
Dr. Amy Kennedy is a research scientist with over 20 years of experience leading marine mammal research projects across the globe. Amy received her B.Sc. from Maine Maritime Academy and her Ph. D. from the University of Paris Sud. Her work mainly involves bio-logging research and development, with emphasis on describing ﬁne-scale cetacean behavior within protected areas and regions of high human impact. In addition to behavior and movement studies, Amy collaborates on projects that examine the long-term physiological impacts of bio- logger deployment on large whales and the overall performance of various bio-logger designs. This work has allowed her to travel around the globe to collaborate with researchers in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Kenya, Réunion Island, Oman, and South Georgia Island, to name a few. When she’s not on an airplane or a boat, Amy spends an inordinate amount of time staring at birds through binoculars.
Dr Lyne Morissette
Dr Lyne Morissette is an ecologist specializing in marine mammals and ecosystem functioning. She’s an associate professor at Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski and the CEO of M - Expertise Marine, an environmental mediation ﬁrm. She owns a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, and has completed two post-doctoral fellowships: one in nature conservation at Arizona State University and the other at the University of Guelph with the Canadian research chair in biodiversity. Lyne has developed a notoriety and expertise in species at risk and human activities , and a vast program of research and innovation called “Fishers helping whales”, an approach based on coexistence. Her work has been published in leading journals such as Science and Nature, and she’s a medalist of the National Assembly of Quebec for her contribution to the advancement of marine sciences and recipient of the Rolland Michener Award from the Canadian Wildlife Federation for excellence in conservation.
Dr Adam Pack
Dr Adam Pack is Full Professor at University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo) with a joint appointment in the Departments of Psychology and Biology. He is the current chair of the Psychology Department, a cooperating faculty member of UH Hilo’s Master of Science Degree Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science, and the co-creator of the UH Hilo LOHE Bioacoustics Laboratory. Also, he is the former chair of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, an associate editor of the journal Marine Mammal Science, and co-founder and current president and director of The Dolphin Institute, a not-for-proﬁt Hawaiʻi-based organization dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research and conservation.
Dr Joy Reidenberg
Dr Joy Reidenberg is an American comparative anatomist specializing in the vocal and breathing apparatus of mammals, particularly cetaceans (whales, including dolphins and porpoises). She is best known as the Comparative Anatomist in the TV science documentary series Inside Nature's Giants. In this series, she performed dissections of the animals to demonstrate their anatomy, and explained how these adaptations function in living animals.
Dr Jooke Robbins
Dr Jooke Robbins is a senior scientist at the Center for Coastal Studies and the director of its Humpback Whale Studies Program. She is also research faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Dr. Robbins holds a Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She has studied whales since 1994, with a primary focus on large whale biology, population structure & dynamics and human impacts. Her research in North Atlantic, North Paciﬁc and South Paciﬁc Oceans has led to more than 50 scientiﬁc publications to date. Dr. Robbins has also been a long-time member of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and the Scientiﬁc Committee of the International Whaling Commission.
Oswaldo Vásquez is a senior scientist with more than 30 years experience of studying whales and dolphins around the world and with countless marine biology texts to his name. He is an expert on humpback whale genetics and behaviours. Heralding from Dominican Republic, one of his scientiﬁc interest was focused on the humpback whale population in and around Silver Banks, and as such he has worked closely with the Ministry of Environment to ensure whale tourism is done sustainably and to a strict code of conduct.