Researchers, Educators & Advisors

Moira W. Brown, Research Scientist

Moira is the senior scientist for the CWI (since 2001) and a senior scientist in the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium (Boston, MA). Her research interests include population biology and demographic studies of North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters since 1985, in Cape Cod Bay 1997 – 2003, and genetic studies since 1988. Her conservation work is focused on the issue of 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. She was instrumental in working with the shipping industry, scientists at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), Canadian government regulators and the International Maritime Organization to gain two conservation measures to substantially reduce the risk of vessel strikes of right whales in Atlantic Canadian waters. These achievements were recognized with a Gulf of Maine Visionary Award, 2002, a Canadian Environment Award, 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, 2009 and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Mount Allison University in 2012. Her conservation work continues to be focused on the human-related threats faced by right whales in Atlantic Canadian waters and the identification of conservation measures to reduce the effect of human activities on their numbers. She received a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and Bachelor of Science in Renewable Resources from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Dr. Brown taught at the College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine) and provides lectures for school and university students and the public.

Brenna A. (McLeod) Frasier, Associate Research Scientist and Educator

Brenna received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Anthropology from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She then went on to establish an environmental contracting company providing expertise in land use, environmental impact assessment, and management of waste products for the oil and gas industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 2008, she completed her PhD in the Environment and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University where she focused on the analysis of ancient DNA of the North Atlantic right and bowhead whales. She uses the assessment of ancient DNA of a variety of marine mammals in order to better understand species history and recovery. She has also completed several projects creating research materials and field guides to assist in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) studies on marine mammals in the Canadian Arctic. She is currently a research associate with the Frasier Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Evolution (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS) and the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History (Halifax, NS). Brenna is also the coordinator of the Marine Mammal Summer Camp.

Angelia S.M. Vanderlaan, Associate Research Scientist

Angelia received a Bachelor of Science Co-op in Marine Biology and Statistics (Combined Honours) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her honours research project focused on analysing and characterising some of the sounds produced by the endangered right whale in the Bay of Fundy; a first step in assessing the feasibility of a passive acoustic monitoring program. Angelia received her Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Victoria in 2004. In 2010, Angelia completed her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Dalhousie University where her research quantified the risk to North Atlantic right whales from ocean-going vessels and fishing gear. This research was used in the design and justification for conservation initiatives to protect right whale from vessel strikes in Canadian waters. In recognition of the conservation efforts of her research, she was awarded the William T. Hornaday Conservation Award from the American Society of Mammalogists as well as a Canadian Whale Institute Award. Angelia has recently continued her right whale research as a Lindy S. Johnson Fellow where her research focused on evaluating the efficacy of the voluntary Area To Be Avoided by determining the compliance of vessel past the initial year of implementation and the affect of a letter-writing campaign on non-compliant vessels. Angelia was also a Research Associate at the Large Pelagics Research Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst where her research focused on integrating sonar and aerial results in support of fishery-independent surveys of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna. Currently, Angelia works as a cetacean biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Delphine Durette Morin, Research Assistant

In June 2016, Delphine received a Bachelor of Science with First Class Combined Honours in Marine Biology and Oceanography with a cooperative component from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her honours research focused on the feasibility of using acoustic monitoring to determine inter-annual variability of North Atlantic right whale habitat use in the absence of visual surveys. Since then, she has worked as a research assistant for the Canadian Whale Institute and the Whale, Fish, and Particle Lab at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include acoustic communication, marine mammal ecology and conservation, science communication and public outreach.

Michael J. Moore, Associate Research Scientist

Michael has a veterinary degree from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and a PhD from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. He has been based at WHOI in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, since 1986 where he is now a Senior Scientist. He is Director of the WHOI Marine Mammal Center and provides veterinary support to the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Division of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, supporting their work with stranded marine mammals on Cape Cod. His research encompasses the forensic analysis of marine mammal mortalities, especially in regard to the accurate diagnosis of perceived human impacts and the prevalence of zoonotic agents, large whale health assessment at sea using unmanned aerial systems, the interaction of natural and man-made impacts on fish and marine mammal stocks, development of systems to enhance medical intervention with large whales, and the pathophysiology of marine mammal diving. He serves on the Boards of SR3 and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.