- Dr Robert L. Brownell, Jr.
- Dr Justin Cooke
- Dr Brian Dicks
- Dr Greg Donovan
- Dr Douglas Nowacek
- Dr Randall Reeves
- Dr Grigory Tsidulko
- Dr Glenn R. VanBlaricom
- Dr Alexander Vedenev
- Dr Alexey Yablokov
- Dr Dave Weller
Panel Members' Biographies
Dr Robert L. Brownell, Jr.
Dr. Robert L. Brownell, Jr. is a Senior Scientist for International Protected Resources with NOAA Fisheries at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Pacific Grove, California, USA. Dr Brownell received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1975. He has conducted research on the biology and conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises throughout the world with major studies in Mexico, South America, Japan, and Russia.
Since 1995, he has led the U.S. side of the joint Russian-American research on the Western Gray Whale off Sakhalin Island. He has published close to 200 scientific papers, book chapters, and management documents on various aspects of whale, dolphin, and porpoise biology, conservation, and management.
Dr Brownell has been a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since 1975 and served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the IWC Scientific Committee from 1985 to 1991. He also served as President of the largest international society for marine mammals, The Society for Marine Mammalogy, from 1987 to 1989. Dr Brownell served as the Chief of Marine Mammal Research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the late 1970s to 1991. Between 1991 and 1993, he was the Science Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Oceans at the U.S. Department of State.
In 1993, he became the Director of the Marine Mammal Division at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Fisheries in La Jolla, California, and then took up his present position in 2007. He has also been a member of the various marine mammal specialist groups under the IUCN for about 25 years and has served three terms as a Scientific Advisor to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.
Dr Justin Cooke
Dr Justin Cooke is a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group and the IWC Scientific Committee, and specialises in the quantification of risk to marine populations due to exploitation and other factors.
His work includes the modeling and estimation of whale demography, as well as the quantitative evaluation of the efficacy of management and conservation measures. He developed the quantitative component of the IWC's Revised Management Procedure for baleen whales. He works as a scientific consultant based at the Centre for Ecosystem Management Studies in Germany.
Dr Brian Dicks
Dr Brian Dicks is a marine biologist who completed a PhD in marine ecology and invertebrate behaviour following joint studies at the University of Reading and the University of St. Andrews in the UK between 1968 and 1971. Following this, he spent four years on research projects with the Oil Pollution Unit of the Field Studies Council in West Wales, studying the impacts of oil spills and refinery effluent discharges on rocky shores and saltmarshes in temperate environments. This was followed by a spell of three years acting as an environmental adviser for North Sea Operations for Shell UK Exploration and Production, working on the environmental impacts of oil exploration in the North Sea. Following this brief interlude in the oil industry, he returned to research as director of the Oil Pollution Research Unit and spent the following nine years until 1987 working on a variety of research and consultancy projects relating to the impacts of oil spills and oil industry developments in cold water, temperate and tropical marine habitats.
Dr Dicks joined the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. (ITOPF) as a Technical Adviser in 1987. ITOPF is a not-for-profit organisation specialising in the provision of technical advice regarding oil spill clean-up and damages. He has advised on more than 60 oil spills world-wide, with the aim of minimising marine environmental and economic damages. Major spills attended include Amoco Cadiz (France), Exxon Valdez (USA), Braer (Shetland, UK), Iron Baron (Tasmania, Australia), Evoikos (Singapore), Erika (France) and Tasman Spirit (Pakistan). In addition, he has been involved in numerous post-spill impact studies and in contingency planning to identify marine environmental risks and minimise impacts.
During his career, he has published numerous scientific publications and articles on the impact of spills, and has contributed to many oil spill contingency plans and manuals prepared by the IMO, ITOPF, industry and governments on the impact of oil spills and spill clean up.
He retired from his post as a Technical Team Manager in 2006 and continues to work in this field as an independent consultant.
Dr Greg Donovan
Dr Greg Donovan is the Head of Science at the International Whaling Commission. He has been an active cetacean biologist since 1977. His research work has been both practical and theoretical.
His principle fieldwork concerns the estimation of abundance of cetaceans and he has led numerous international survey efforts using both ships and aeroplanes. Much of this work has been carried out in the Arctic and sub-Arctic (Greenland, Iceland Alaska, Northern Norway).
His theoretical work largely concerns issues related to population dynamics and the use of computer modelling of populations in a conservation and management context. In recent years, this has focussed particularly on the management of aboriginal subsistence whaling, issues related to bycatch reduction, and issues related to pollution and other environmental effects at the population level.
He is the Editor of the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management.
Dr Douglas Nowacek
After receiving his B.A. in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1991, Dr Nowacek worked for about 2 years in a pathology laboratory at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He entered the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Biological Oceanography in 1993. In 1997 he married Stephanie Smathers, who completed her masters in marine science at UC Santa Cruz in 1999. Dr Nowacek completed his Ph.D. in 1999 with a project focused on the sound use and behavior of foraging bottlenose dolphins.
From 2000-2002 Dr Nowacek was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate working on right whale bioacoustics and behavior specifically focused on the circumstances surrounding collisions between ships and right whales. After completing his NRC postdoc, Dr Nowacek joined the scientific staff at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL. Then, in 2003, he joined the faculty in the Oceanography Department at Florida State University. He continued his right whale research and has also studied aspects of manatee and bottlenose dolphin bioacoustics and behavioral ecology.
Dr Nowacek is currently Associate Professor in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University in North Carolina.
Dr Randall Reeves
Dr. Randall Reeves is a consultant based in Hudson, Quebec (near Montreal, Canada). His main areas of interest and expertise are marine mammal biology and conservation. He has a Master’s degree in public policy from Princeton and a doctorate in geography from McGill.
During the 1980s and early 1990s he was involved in field research with bowhead whales in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic and Greenland, and with right whales in the western North Atlantic. He has also conducted extensive research on river dolphins in Asia and South America and on the history of whaling worldwide.
As chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group since 1996, Dr. Reeves has been responsible for preparing and evaluating Red List assessments, drafting action plans for threatened species and populations, and advising government agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations on science and conservation issues.
He has published numerous articles in scientific journals and co-authored or co-edited several books including, most recently, Conservation and Management of Marine Mammals (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999) and Guide to Marine Mammals of the World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002).
Dr Grigory Tsidulko
Dr Grigory Tsidulko is a researcher and consultant based in Moscow, Russia. His main interests and expertise include the behavioural ecology and conservation biology of marine mammals. In 1998, he graduated from Moscow State University, Biology faculty, Zoology of vertebrates and published a Master's thesis on behaviour and distribution of Okhotsk-Korean Gray whales (also known as Western Gray whales) at their feeding grounds. In 2002, he got a second Master's degree in ecology from Moscow State University.
He has participated, led and conducted a number of studies on cetaceans and pinnipeds in the Far East Russia and Arctic. Since 1997, Dr Tsidulko has been involved in field studies of gray whales off Sakhalin.
As a whale campaigner for the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW-Russia), he has been actively involved in the IFAW-Russia campaign to have companies - operators of Sakhalin shelf extraction projects - endorse the best international practices governing whale conservation and establish measures to mitigate industrial impacts on gray whales off Sakhalin.
Dr Tsidulko has participated in the work of all pre-WGWAP Gray Whale panels as an invited scientist and observer.
He is a lecturer at Moscow State University and Moscow State Polytechical Museum and serves as an expert in marine mammals to the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Nature Resources and State Service for Control in Nature Management.
Dr Glenn R. VanBlaricom
Dr Glenn R. VanBlaricom is Endowed Professor of Ocean and Fishery Sciences at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington (UW), Seattle, and is the Assistant Unit Leader (Wildlife) of the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. He has adjunct faculty appointments in the UW College of Forest Resources, and in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Pullman.
He received Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Oceanography in 1972 from the University of Washington, and a PhD in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, in 1978.
The VanBlaricom research group is interested in the conservation biology and community ecology of marine mammal populations, with particular emphasis on coastal species of the North Pacific Rim and the Arctic region. The group also is interested in the community ecology of coastal marine benthic habitats along the North Pacific Rim. The group includes thirteen currently enrolled graduate students (8 PhD, 5 MS). Seven doctoral and eight MS students have graduated from Dr VanBlaricom’s UW Program since it was established in 1993.
Dr VanBlaricom has 46 published papers in the technical literature and has made 166 formal research presentations, including 62 invited presentations, at professional conferences and university seminars during his career. He has published two books (one technical, one non-technical) on sea otters.
He has served two stints (8 years total) on the Board of Governors of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM), and he is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology. Currently he serves on a number of advisory and review committees and panels, ranging in scope from local to international.
Dr Alexander Vedenev
Dr Alexander Vedenev is a Senior Scientist for the P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS), Moscow. He graduated as a physicist from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (faculty of the General and Applied Physics) in 1973. He received his doctorate in oceanology from P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology in 1986.
During the 1980s and early 1990s he was involved in field research with acoustic background and anthropogenic noise of the world’s oceans. He participated in numerous acoustic expeditions on research vessels of the Russian Academe of Science in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
With regard to Sakhalin’s oil projects (Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-2), he has been involved in research and conservation efforts for Western Gray Whale as an expert on marine acoustics.
In 2002 Dr. Vedenev served as a member of the Russians State Environmental Expertise Panel on the Sakhalin-1 project.
His research work has been both theoretical and practical. His theoretical work mainly related to computer modelling of sound propagation in marine environments. His latest field work has focused primarily on measurements of acoustic noise and the evaluation of acoustic impact from industrial noise on Gray Whales off Sakhalin Island.
In 2002 at the Sakhalin expedition of the IO RAS he carried out acoustic monitoring and analysis of acoustic noise from the Vityaz Oil Complex recorded in the Gray Whale Feeding Area, Near Piltun Bay.
In the Summer of 2004 on the boat 'Nadezhda' he headed independent acoustic measurements of industrial noise generated by pipe-laying vessels at the Lunskoye construction site and propagation losses of noise around Piltun’s Gray Whale Feeding Area on Sakhalin.
He is author over 80 scientific papers and one invention. Currently Dr. Vedenev serves as a member of the Russian Acoustic Society, Marine Mammal Council and Grey Whale Research Strategic Planning Group of the Interagency Ichthyologic Commission.
Dr Alexey Yablokov
Dr. Alexey Yablokov is born in 1933 in Moscow, Russia. He holds MA in Vertebrate Zoology, Dr.Biol. in Marine Mammals (1959) and Dr. Sci.in Population Biology (1965).
In 1984 he was Corresponding Member for Biology with the USSR Academy of Sciences, from 1988 to 1991 Chairman of the Commission of Ichthyology of the USSR Ministry of Fisheries. From 1989 to 1991, Dr Yablokov was People's Deputy (MP) of the USSR and Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Ecology at the USSR Supreme Soviet. From 1991 to 1993 he was Counselor to the President of the Russian Federation for Ecology and Health. Between 1993 and 1997 he chaired Interagency Commission on Ecological Security, National Security Council of the Russian Federation.
Since 1993, Dr. Yablokov is Founder and President of the Center for the Russian Environmental Policy located in Moscow. Since1995, he is also Founder and Member of Russian Marine Mammals Council and Deputy Chairman of Council on the Ecological Problems, Russian Academy of Science.
In 2001, Dr. Yablokov served as Vice President of IUCN and in 2003 chaired the Working Group on Strategic Planning for Western Gray Whale at Interagency Ichthyologic Commission.
Dr Yablokov is an author for more than 400 scientific papers and 22 books on marine mammals, population biology, radioecology, environmental policy and others, including Beluha Whale (1959, 1964); Whales and Dolphins (1972); Conservation of Living Nature and Resources (1988,1991) , Population Biology (1986, 1987); Non-Invasive Study of Mammalian Populations (2004).
Dr Dave Weller
Dr. David Weller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii in 1986, a master’s degree from San Diego State University in 1991, and in 1998 a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.
His training and expertise are in the areas of behavioral ecology and conservation biology. He has spent the past 25 years studying gray whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, and bottlenose dolphins and is currently a Research Associate at Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries), in San Diego, California.
Dr. Weller has been conducting annual research on the critically endangered western gray whale population since 1997. He is Director of the joint Russia-U.S. Western Gray Whale Research Programme and, together with colleagues from Russia, South Korea and Japan, has collected the most comprehensive and detailed photographic and genetic data sets that exist for western gray whales.