by bcole


Fueled by curiosity, driven by nature, Asha de Vos is a marine biologist with a strong affinity for marine mammals. Armed with degrees from the Universities of St. Andrews, Oxford and Western Australia she founded The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, the first long-term study on an unusual population of blue whales within the Northern Indian Ocean. Asha has played a pivotal role in conducting research, introducing and creating awareness about this unusual population – that she calls ‘The Unorthodox Whales’. To this end, her work has been featured by Channel 7 Australia, BBC, the New York Times, CNN and National Geographic online and globally in the print media. Asha is currently a TED Senior Fellow and a Duke University Global Fellow in Marine Conservation alumnus. In 2013 she also became an invited member on IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group.

Asha has engaged in research and presented her work in the Maldives, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US. Her commitment to ocean conservation and awareness creation saw her selected as a panelist for the Oceans themed Sustainable Development Dialogue at the UN organized Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. She won a Zonta woman of achievement award in 2011, was selected as one of Reach Out’s female role models in Sri Lanka in 2012, was selected as ‘one of the top 16 women to watch in Australia in 2014’ by Women’s Agenda, won a Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the year award for environmental leadership in 2013 and a President’s Award for Scientific Publications in Sri Lanka in 2014.


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