Spreading The Word – Oceans Initiative

As I mentioned last week, in this post I am going to talk about the amazing guys at Oceans Initiative. They are a team of scientists who’s aim is to research marine life in order to increase our understanding and protect it in an ever changing world. They work in Canada and beyond looking at all kinds of marine life from whales and dolphins all the way to sharks and seabirds.

Oceans Initiative - Science for the sea. (Image from: http://www.oceansinitiative.org)

Oceans Initiative – Science for the sea. (Image from: http://www.oceansinitiative.org)

I was lucky enough to get to know and work with the scientists at Oceans Initiative during my masters degree when I contacted Dr. Rob Williams one of the co-founders and he happily agreed to share one of their vast data sets with me and also to co-supervise my thesis on vessel noise in Haro Strait, BC. Contacting Rob about Oceans Initiative’s research and thesis potential was one of the best decisions I have ever made and led me to where I am today as a scientist. As I said in my previous post, make the leap and contact those interesting researchers.

Rob and his co-founding partner Erin Ashe are an amazing pair of scientists that do some outstanding research (much of which they have made public access on their website!). They are intuitive about what research is important now and innovative in how they approach it. I feel very lucky to have worked with them and am looking forward to seeing what they do next.

They also have a very handsome dog called Wishart who is an integral team member and comes out on their research expeditions with them and loves all the marine life, especially dolphins!


They research on a wide variety of topics from ocean noise (Secrets to a Sound Ocean – video), the energetics of killer whales to abundance estimates of humpback whales as well as a plethora of other exciting topics that can be seen on their website.

As it is the Christmas season and a time of giving, I would also like to mention here that you can donate to their cause and it is an amazing cause to back. They are a charity and entirely self-fund their research so every little helps to get them on the way to doing more work in the new year and beyond. If you are Canadian then the donation is tax decutable and the donations website will issue a tax receipt! However, anyone can donate and if you are thinking of making a donation and conservation and environment is your charitable sector of choice then you can’t go wrong with Oceans Initiative. You can donate here!

You can follow their research on their website and also see more day-to-day updates and insights on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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