Dana is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She spends most of the year bundled up against the Canadian winter, and frequently escapes to the mountains to go cross-country skiing, canoeing, and hiking.
She just graduated from a Bachelors in Ecology at the University of Calgary. Her honours project was on the spread of an invasive diatom in Alberta’s lakes. She spent last summer as a research assistant in a freshwater ecology lab, catching fish in the Bow River to study their stress hormones.
While the streams and lakes near Calgary are beautiful, Dana’s real interest is the ocean. To get marine experience while studying at a land-locked university, Dana ventured west to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre on Vancouver Island. In Bamfield Dana became even more excited about the ocean and marine conservation.
Dana feels so lucky to be joining AWF this summer. She is looking forward to exploring the Alaskan wilderness, being part of an amazing organization, and spending quality time with her favourite animal – the humpback whale.
Maeve is from Ireland and has an undergraduate degree in Physiology and a MSc in Marine Biology.
For Maeve’s graduate research project, she traveled to Penang, Malaysia for three months to undertake research with WorldFish in genetics and behavioral studies. Her thesis paper was on Social hierarchy in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus: genetic influences and association of sclera color. Her research experience also includes being part of a team at the University of Florida, involved in research on neuroplasticity in the brain and spinal cord and its influence on the control of breathing.
Maeve has a keen interest in photography, and looks forward to strengthening her skills while in Warm Springs Bay, and hopes to integrate photography into her future research as a way to help bridge the gap between research and the public. What better way to educate people about these magnificent mammals than with a snapshot of their world!
Future research goals that Maeve hopes to pursue would be to compare physiology between large marine mammal species, and to gain a better understanding of human impacts and influences on mammalian behavior.
Davide is from Italy and he graduated in Biology at the University of Genoa at the beginning of June. He has had a passion for cetaceans since he was a child and he wants to continue his studies in that direction looking for a Master program in Marine Biology abroad.
He has already done some field experience with cetaceans: the first one in the Ligurian Sea (Italy) in the “Pelagos Sanctuary” with the Tethys Research Institute and Genoa University where he participated on boat-based surveys on a whale watching boat collecting different of all the species that are found in that area (fin whale, sperm whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, pilot whale, and bottlenose, striped, Risso's and common dolphin). The subject of Davide's thesis is a geostatistical approach to identifying potential hotspots for cetacean conservation, a study of abundance, habitat use and the ecology pattern of fin whales and sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea from 2003 to 2014, based on boat surveys.
His second internship was in Spain, at the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute, where he participated in a lot of projects and activities and spending most of the time working with Photo-id of bottlenose dolphins both on boat and in the lab.
Davide is very excited to come to Alaska both to increase his knowledge and work about marine mammals and also to share a wonderful experience with AWF’s research team.
Margerita has a great passion for nature conservation and wildlife and is delighted to be offered the opportunity to carry out research and implement wildlife monitoring in Alaska. She was born and raised in Germany and completed her BSc in Wildlife Management in The Netherlands. Up until now, she has been mainly involved in terrestrial research projects, which include, amongst others, the interplay between ticks, tick-borne diseases and wildlife, as well as population estimates of large herbivores in Sweden, feral cat behavior based ontri-axial accelerometers on the Dutch island Schiermonnikoog and the distribution of Lepidoptera species and flowering plants in South Africa. Margerita has always wanted to visit Alaska and experience the wilderness of a seemingly untouched nature. Therefore, she is really excited to be able to contribute and support AWF’s research team and projects and is especially looking forward to gaining insights into marine mammal related research at the Center for Coastal Conservation.