Panel Members' Biographies

In the composition effective from 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2016


WGWAP Co-Chairs


Greg Donovan

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.


Randy Reeves

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).


WGWAP Members


Dr Alexander M. Burdin

Dr Alexander M. Burdin

Dr. Burdin is a Senior Scientist at the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences.

He graduated from the biological faculty of Kirov Agricultural Institute. He has conducted research on the biology and conservation of sea otters, whales and other marine mammals throughout the Russian Far Easter seas since 1979.

In 1987 he received his Ph.D. degree in Severtsev Institute in Moscow, and Doctor degree in Biological Science in 2013. Since 1995, with his American colleagues he has lead the investigation of large endangered whales in the Russian Far East seas: bowhead whales in the Sea of Okhotsk, the western population of gray whales near the Sakhalin coast and Kamchatka.

In 1999, Dr. Burdin and colleagues began the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP), the only killer whales investigation in Russia. In 2004 Dr. Burdin became a member of the Steering Committee of SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific) and originated the humpback whale research in Russia Far East.

He has published as author and co-author more than 200 scientific papers on various aspects of sea otter and whale biology.

Justin Cooke

Dr Justin G. 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 Olof S. Linden

Dr Olof S. Linden

Dr Linden is Professor of Marine Environment Management and Director of Research at the World Maritime University which is an affiliate of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He is also Professor of Coastal Management at the Linnaeus University in Sweden.

His research fields are ompacts of oil spills on the marine environment including rehabilitation and recovery from oil pollution, and oil spill contingency planning; impacts of the maritime industry on the marine environment (ship/whale strikes, ballast water/invasive species, antifouling paints and GHG’s on the marine ecosystem; impacts of climate change on the marine environment, and evironmental impacts of disasters and conflicts.

Dr Linden has been working for a number of the international organizations such as UNEP, World Bank, FAO and IUCN as an expert in the above mentioned fields. He is involved in research projects around the world, related to oil spills for example in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, and the Niger Delta, on climate change and coastal management in East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, on disasters and conflicts in Gaza, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Somalia, Yemen, China and several countries in West Africa.

He is supervisor of several PhD and Masters Candidates. Professor Linden has extensive experience from East Africa and the Indian Ocean region: He was the coordinator of SAREC/Sida Marine Science Capacity Building Program for East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Islands (6 countries, 10 institutions) during the period 1989-1999. From 2000 to 2008 he was the coordinator of CORDIO – a program focusing on research related to climate change and involving 15 countries and over 200 scientists in the Indian Ocean region. In 2010-2012 he was Chairman of the CCICED Special Policy Study on China's Marine Environmental Management Mechanism. He is also member of the IUCN Panel of Experts for the (oil spill) rehabilitation of the Niger Delta.

Mr Lloyd L. Lowry

Mr Lloyd Lowry

Mr. Lowry is currently an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

He received a Master of Science degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and in 1975 began work as a Marine Mammal Biologist with the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). For the next 25 years he designed, conducted, and reported on arctic marine mammal research projects, dealing particularly with bowhead and beluga whales, ice associated seals, and walrus. Those studies focused on various aspects of distribution and movements, abundance and trends, and food habits and other aspects of ecology. Many of the studies were concerned with the potential impacts on species from oil and gas exploration and development, and he helped design and execute the harbor seal damage and restoration studies after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He also represented the State of Alaska’s interests in marine mammal conservation, for example as the State’s representative to the Marine Mammal Project of the U.S.-Russia Agreement on Environmental Protection.

After retiring from ADF&G he has continued to do marine mammal research, particularly with beluga whales, and to work with various groups on marine mammal conservation and science projects. He has belonged to a number of advisory groups, including the Marine Mammal Commission’s Committee of Scientific Advisors, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Alaska Scientific Review Group, the IUCN Pinniped Specialists Group and Red List Authority, and the North Pacific Research Board’s Science Panel. He served as Chair on several of those groups, and in addition on Endangered Species Act Recovery Teams for Steller sea lions, Western Alaska sea otters, and Hawaiian monk seals.

He has published more than 50 papers in the scientific literature, and numerous reports and book chapters.

Dr Douglas P. Nowacek

Dr Douglas P. Nowacek

After receiving his B.A. in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1991, Dr Nowacek worked for 2 years at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He entered the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 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 a University Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Technology in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University in North Carolina.

Dr Corrine Pomerleau

Dr Corinne Pomerleau

Dr. Pomerleau studies the ecology of marine mammals in the sub-arctic and arctic regions. She is interested in marine food web structure and function in polar marine systems, more particularly predator-prey interactions, trophic linkages and pathways, and the understanding of how marine species respond to environmental variability. Dr. Pomerleau has been doing research in the Arctic since 2005.

She holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Quebec in Rimouski (2005), a M.Sc. in Environment and Geography from the University of Manitoba (2008) and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Quebec in Rimouski (2012).

She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Ocean Sciences (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) where she studied the ecology of zooplankton communities in relation to oceanographic conditions in the Pacific Arctic sectors. During her Ph.D., she studied the feeding ecology of bowhead whales from the Eastern Canada-West Greenland population. Her research provided critical information about the diet and the summer feeding grounds of this species in the Eastern Arctic. Dr. Pomerleau is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manitoba and at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and is conducting further research on the trophic ecology of bowhead whales in West Greenland.

Dr Brandon L. Southall

Dr Brandon L. Southall

Dr.Southall is President and Senior Scientist for Southall Environmental Associates (SEA), Inc. based in Santa Cruz, CA, a Research Associate with the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Duke University.

He obtained Masters and Ph.D. degrees from UCSC in 1998 and 2002, studying communication and hearing in seals and sea lions. 

From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Southall directed the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Acoustics Program, within the National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology. In 2009, Dr. Southall founded SEA, a research and consulting small business conducting and applying science to support conservation management and environmentally-responsible development primarily.

Brandon has an extensive technical background in leading both basic and applied laboratory and field research programs as well as applying science in national and international policies. The largest such effort has involved his serving as the chief scientist for a major multi-institutional behavioral response study supported by the U.S. Navy to study marine mammal responses to military sonar systems. He also serves as a technical advisor to international corporations and environmental organizations regarding the impacts of conventional and alternative offshore energy development and commercial shipping. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and technical reports, and has given hundreds of presentations on related subjects to scientific, regulatory, Congressional, and general public audiences around the world.

Grisha Tsidulko

Mr Grigory A. Tsidulko

Mr 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, Mr 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. Mr Tsidulko has participated in the work of all pre-WGWAP Gray Whale panels as an invited scientist and observer.

He currently Russian Country Organiser for the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) Marine Protected Areas Campaign. He is also 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.

Alexander Vedenev

Dr Alexander I. Vedenev

Dr Vedenev is Head of the Laboratory on Noises and Sound Fluctuations in the Ocean at the P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (SIO RAS), based in Moscow, Russia.

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 1990s he has been involved in field research of acoustic background and anthropogenic noise of the world’s oceans. He participated in numerous acoustic expeditions on research vessels of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

His research work has been both theoretical and practical. His theoretical work mainly relates to computer modeling of sound propagation in marine environments. His field works have focused primarily on measurements of underwater noise of an industrial activity and the evaluation of acoustic impact on marine mammals.

Since 2000s he has been involved in research and conservation efforts for Western Gray Whales as an expert on marine acoustics. In 2002 he was expert of the State Environmental Expertise on the Sakhalin-1 project and was the first who constructed and applied an autonomous bottom buoys with digital recording of industrial noise from oil facilities located on the Sakhalin shelf. In 2004-2006 at the SIO RAS expeditions on Sakhalin he headed Independent acoustic measurements of industrial noise generated by pipe-laying and oil platform constructions and modeling of the sound propagation around the Gray Whale Feeding Area. Since 2004 Dr. Vedenev was a member of the all Western Gray Whale Panels convened by IUCN. Currently his Laboratory at SIO RAS is widely involved in an international collaboration on 7FP Projects of the European Commission related to conservation efforts of the marine mammals in European Seas.

He has authored over 100 scientific papers and one invention. Currently Dr. Vedenev serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Russian Marine Mammal’s Council and co- chair of the POGO Working Group on Marine Noise Exposure and Broad-Scale Acoustic Monitoring.

Dave Weller

Dr David W. Weller

Dr. Weller has been studying the biology and ecology of marine mammals for nearly 30 years. His specialization is focused in the areas of behavioral ecology, population assessment and evaluation of potential disturbance impacts from human activities. His current research includes studies of: (1) the behavior, ecology and population dynamics of gray whales in the North Pacific and (2) the behavioral ecology and population dynamics of coastal and offshore bottlenose dolphins off California. In the past decade he has worked closely with the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and IUCN on issues related to the conservation of gray whales in the western North Pacific.

Dr. Weller has authored or co-authored nearly 60 papers or reports on gray whales. These works include information on: abundance, occurrence, distribution, migration, reproduction, survival, behavior, genetics, population structure and interactions with human activities such as fishing gear and offshore oil and gas development. The geographic range of these papers encompass the eastern and western North Pacific, including areas off Mexico, California, Canada, Russia, Korea, Japan and China.

WGWAP Emeritus Member


Alexey Yablokov

Dr Alexey V. 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. 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).