Virtual lecture on Sri Lanka’s blue whales and ocean conservation features acclaimed marine biologist Asha de Vos


Event continues the 2021 New England Aquarium Lecture Series

blue whale underwater
Photo credit: iStock

WHAT: The New England Aquarium Lecture Series welcomes internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan marine biologist Dr. Asha de Vos, who aims to change how we think about and carry out marine conservation. Fresh out of St. Andrews University, and while working on a whale research vessel as a deckhand, de Vos discovered a unique population of blue whales that inhabit the waters around Sri Lanka year round. This groundbreaking discovery and her research have challenged the existing marine conservation model and her view of it. Now, she strongly believes every coastline needs an army of local ocean heroes. The virtual lecture will focus on how being local has paved the way for de Vos to do meaningful and impactful conservation research in Sri Lanka while inspiring a generation of marine conservationists.

The Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute. This spring’s series will conclude with a lecture by distinguished Harvard professor and former president of the NAACP Cornell Brooks on June 21.

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 1 at 10 a.m.

HOW:  Register here for the free lecture. Participants will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link.

WHO: Asha de Vos is a marine biologist, conservationist, and pioneer of long-term blue whale research within the northern Indian Ocean. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia and a Marine Conservation Action Fund Fellow at the New England Aquarium. In 2017, she established Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization. Its flagship project, the Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, is the first long-term study on blue whales in this region. Findings from this ongoing study have appeared in numerous research publications and are used to inform policy at the local and global level.

She is the first and only Sri Lankan to have a doctoral degree in marine mammal research, the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, and the first National Geographic Explorer from Sri Lanka.

Asha de Vos


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068