Dr Lori Marino

Founder and Executive Director of the Kimmela Centre for Animal Advocacy

Dr Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence, formerly on the faculty of Emory University. She is currently President of the Whale Sanctuary Project, whose mission is to create the first seaside sanctuaries for orcas and beluga whales in North America, and Founder and Executive Director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic scholarship and on-the-ground animal advocacy efforts.

Lori is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales, and comparisons to primates. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and magazine articles on marine mammal biology and cognition, comparative neuroanatomy, self-awareness in other animals, human-nonhuman animal relationships, the evolution of intelligence, marine mammal captivity issues (such as dolphin assisted therapy), and intelligence in farm animals (with Farm Sanctuary’s The Someone Project).  In 2001 she co-authored a ground-breaking study offering the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins, after which she decided against further research with captive animals. Lori was recently featured as a National Geographic Innovator.  And, she appears in several films and television programs including the 2013 documentary Blackfish, about killer whale captivity, and this year’s Unlocking The Cage, on the NonHuman Rights Project, with which she worked for two years as lead scientist. 

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