Research Associates

Ann Zoidis

Cetos Director, Principle Investigator Humpback Whale Studies, Research Projects Manager
Ann Zoidis - Project Manager

Ann Zoidis (M.S. Physiology and Behavioral Biology) is the Director and Founder of Cetos Research Organization. Ann has over 20 years experience as a field researcher, wildlife biologist, and marine mammal scientist. Though she started out studying terrestrial species and habitats, Ann has spent most of the last 18 years researching marine mammals. In addition, for the last several years, she has managed numerous large environmental contracts for various federal agencies, and also has directed field research projects for various institutions (including at Cetos). Ann spent much of her childhood in Greece where she had close encounters with diverse marine life (whales, dolphins, sea turtles, octopus, squid, and more), many times just by snorkeling off the beaches. This hands-on exposure to marine wildlife, as well as her time spent with local fisherman watching them set and haul their nets, started her love of the sea, as well as gave her an early education to the destruction that occurs from overfishing, gill nets, long lines, and other abuses of the oceanic environment.

Ann has worked with many organizations and on numerous projects relating to marine mammals and terrestrial wildlife all over the US. In addition to her academic and research pursuits, Ann is an environmental consultant for Tetra Tech. She is also a Research Associate of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. As part of this role, Ann served as senior scientist and the Mount Desert Rock Marine Research Station assistant manager for the marine mammal research group Allied Whale for many summers at COA . At Tetra Tech, Ann researches and authors environmental documents (EISs, EIRs, BAs) assessing anthropogenic impacts to wildlife and has recently been involved in numerous federal projects in Hawaii. As a research biologist, she does biological monitoring, surveys, and behavioral research, with much of her work focusing on acoustic research (animal vocalizations) or on the effects of ecosystem disturbance on animal behavior. Ann has conducted numerous species surveys and studies from vessel, shore, and aerial platforms throughout the US, including AK and HI. Ann's latest role is running Cetos, an organization born out of several dynamic and interesting factors but largely fomented by a spirit of collaboration between several long time colleagues, many of whom have all done work in Hawaiian waters for decades. Ann is currently a Federal and State Permit holder for humpback whale research.

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Andy Day

Andy Day

Senior Scientist
Co-Investigator Humpback Whale Studies, Boat Captain, Cetos Scientific Advisory Board

Andy Day (B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Biology) has been a field biologist and research scientist for over 25 years, throughout the US and internationally. After getting his Bachelors Degree from the University of Georgia in 1984, he began working on field biology projects. He has a broad knowledge of ecosystem ecology, natural history, behavioral biology, disturbance studies, avian studies, fish habitat assessment, endangered species, and marine mammal studies. Andy has many skills including being a certified boat operator, a professional wildlife photographer, an expert diver, and a veteran field biologist. Much of Andy's work has been on seabird or terrestrial bird research. In fact, he currently is a director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Swallow-tailed Kite Monitoring program which he has assisted with for many years. In addition, Andy has worked on numerous marine mammal projects nationally and worldwide. Andy is on the Cetos scientific advisory board and assists in many of the decisions involving our projects. He has been part of Cetos's research since our inception. His insight and perspective have been instrumental in the development and work of Cetos from the beginning and his technical expertise is invaluable. A short list of his skills that support Cetos include his work as an acoustic tech, his expertise with humpback whale behavior, his knowledge of the local Hawaiian waters, his keen observer and ID skills, boat handling and survey skills, and more, all of which supports and enhances our research.

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Tom Norris

Senior Scientist, Principle Investigator Offshore Surveys and Acoustic Research, Cetos Scientific Advisory Board
Tom Norris

Tom Norris (M.S. Marine Sciences) is the director of Bio-Waves, a marine environmental consulting company. He has over 18 years of experience specializing in marine vertebrate ecology and behavioral biology, marine bioacoustics, and most recently, the development of new technologies to study large marine animals.

Tom works with Cetos Research Organization as senior scientist and is a member of the scientific advisory board. His research with Cetos is focused primarily on deep-water acoustic-visual surveys for which he is the lead scientist. Tom also leads our collaborations with NOAA-NWFSC where he provides expertise on the use of passive acoustics in support of Dr. Brad Hanson's killer whale research.

Tom has worked on several applied projects to reduce the impacts of man-made noise on living marine resources. These includes work on the ATOC (now NPAL) marine mammal research program, the marine animal monitoring and mitigation effort for the USS Winston Churchill shock trials, and a marine mammal mitigation program for the R/V Ewing (the geo-seismic research vessel operated by the NSF and Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory). Most recently Mr. Norris has served as the team leader for passive acoustic studies as part of the Mineral Management Service's Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) in the Gulf of Mexico. He also is working with NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center's marine mammal program, to develop and use passive acoustic methods to survey and track killer whales along the outer coast of the Pacific Northwest.

Tom received his graduate degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey Bay, CA. He holds a federal research permit to conduct tagging on a variety of federally protected and endangered species of whales. When he isn't at sea, he is usually in the water surfing or thinking about surfing.

Thomas A. Jefferson

Senior Scientist; Project Manager (CA and International Research); Cetos Scientific Advisory Board
Tom A. Jefferson

Tom Jefferson (Ph.D. Wildlife and Fisheries Science) has been studying marine mammals since 1983, when he was an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His Masterís degree is from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and his Ph.D. is from Texas A&M University. He is currently a Visiting Scientist as the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries.

Tomís main interests are the development of marine mammal identification aids, and investigating the systematics and population ecology of the more poorly-known species of dolphins and porpoises. Essentially all of his work for the past 16 years has been related to conservation and management of marine mammals threatened by human activities. Since 1995, he has been working extensively in Southeast Asia, and has traveled widely in the region. His current primary research focuses on the conservation biology of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and finless porpoise populations in Hong Kong and surrounding waters, as well as the population biology of bottlenose dolphins in California. He is also working on other projects looking at the systematics and ecology of these species throughout their ranges.

In addition, Tom is involved in many side projects, including those on the taxonomy and population ecology of tropical dolphins (Delphinus and Stenella). With co-authors, Marc Webber and Robert Pitman, he just published a comprehensive identification guide to the marine mammals of the world (published by Academic Press in 2008). He has published over 100 scientific papers and books, and has attended many meetings and workshops as an invited expert. He has also spent many months at sea on fishing boats and research vessels in various parts of the world.

Tomís outside interests include mountain biking, hiking, drums and percussion, outdoor photography, and wildlands preservation. He is married and lives in San Diego. A member of the Cetos Scientific Advisory Board, Tom has participated in a number of Cetos research projects.

Sasha McFarland

Scientist

Sasha McFarland

Sasha began working with Cetos in 2004 and has participated in the humpback whale field projects and research analysis. She supports the general day-to-day running of Cetos, assisting with administrative work for both the Cetos Atlantic and Pacific offices, permit work, fundraising, and more. She also does the research, and is part of data entry/processing, data write-ups, presentations, and many other facets of our work. Sasha works as both a data collector and an underwater videographer in the field, and has learned a lot from Ann and her team. She got her start in Maine working as a naturalist on a whale watch vessel, and with Allied Whale as the manager of the North Atlantic Fin Whale Catalogue, during which time she was introduced to Ann and began working with Cetos Atlantic. She has extensive photo-ID experience, as well as endangered species observer experience, both vessel-based and helicopter-based. Sasha has recently relocated to Bellingham , WA to pursue a Master’s of Science in Marine and Estuarine Science at Western Washington University . She is working with Cetos board member Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez studying foraging ecology, specifically diving behavior, of NW Pacific harbor seals. Once she graduates, Sasha hopes to continue studying diving behavior of marine mammals, but with a focus on fin whales in the Gulf of Maine with Cetos Atlantic. Sasha holds a USCG 100-Ton Inland Master's License, as well as a PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification.

Kate Lomac-MacNair

Scientist

Kate Lomac-MacNair

Kate's passion for cetacean research started when she studied humpbacks in Costa Rica, while completing her BS in Environmental Science (Union Institute & University) with a focus in Cetacean Biology in 2003. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Environmental Science and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Kate's marine mammal experience includes compliance and mitigation during seismic operations in Cook Inlet, Alaska specific to the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales since 2007, marine mammal research and observation in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during a multi-year baseline study since 2008, and marine mammal aerial surveys during naval training events off Southern California since 2009. She has extensive non-profit and outdoor experience, previously working in Costa Rica with ASANA, rainforest conservation and marine protection organization, guiding in the rainforest of Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge and is currently on the board of directors of HoWL (Homer Wilderness Leaders) in Homer, Alaska. Kate began working with Cetos in 2008 and has participated in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Maui field seasons. In between those seasons she contributed to our publications, conference presentation work, fundraising efforts, and more. Working as both a data collector/processor and an underwater videographer in the field, she assists in data analysis, paper writing and other technical aspects of Cetos research year 'round.

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