Moira Brown, Senior Scientist
Moira was raised in Montreal QC and developed her passion for the ocean during family seaside vacations in New Hampshire. After her first career in physical education, the pull of the oceans brought her to the Bay of Fundy to volunteer for a right whale research study in 1985. She has returned every year since and finally made Campobello Island her year-round home in 2016.
Moira is CWI’s senior scientist. Her research includes studies on the distribution, population biology and genetics of North Atlantic right whales. Her work has appeared in numerous publications
, including Marine Mammal Science, Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Marine Policy, Ecology and Evolution, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Mammalogy, Conservation Genetics, Fishery Bulletin, Molecular Ecology, and many more.
Moira’s conservation work is focused on vessel collisions with right whales in Atlantic Canadian waters. She served as co-chair of the Canadian North Atlantic Right Whale Implementation Team and the Canadian Vessel/Whale working group. Working with the shipping industry, scientists at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), Canadian government regulators and the International Maritime Organization, she was instrumental in developing two conservation measures that substantially reduce the risk of vessel strikes of right whales in the Bay of Fundy and the waters south of Nova Scotia.
Moira’s achievements were recognized with a Gulf of Maine Visionary Award in 2002, a Canadian Environment Award in 2003, a lifetime achievement award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2006, the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership in 2009 and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Mount Allison University in 2012.
Her work continues - focused on the human-related threats to right whales in Atlantic Canadian waters and the identification of conservation measures to reduce the effect of human activities on right whale numbers. She presently serves on four committees: The North Atlantic Right Whale- Vessel Interactions Advisory Working Group, the Right Whale-Large Vessel Interactions Technical Sub-Committee; the Right Whale-Fishing Vessel Interactions Technical Sub-Committee and North Atlantic Right Whale Technical Working Group.
Moira holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Guelph and two Bachelors degrees (in Environmental Conservation and in Education) from McGill University.
Prior to joining CWI full time, she was Program Director, Right Whale Population Studies, at the Center for Coastal Studies, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she also trained in whale rescue techniques. She is an Emeritus Scientist, at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, in Boston, Massachusetts. Moira is one of only five expert whale disentanglers recognized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Connect with Moira on LinkedIn here.