Our Manager of Science & Education in Australasia, Dr. Mike Bossley, will retire at the end of the month after over 12 years of dedicated work for WDC.
Mike is conservationist and scientist with all his heart. During most of his early life he worked as a university lecturer, while moonlighting for environmental groups. He has published a number of scientific papers and given many presentations at international conferences. Mike served on the Australian government International Whaling Commission (IWC) delegation for six years and made many submissions to governments on various conservation issues. He also has been studying the dolphins in Adelaide for 25 years, using the non invasive photo ID method. The study documents various human impacts on the dolphins and also the spread of “tail walking” through the local population, an example of cultural behaviour (see video below). Awards he received throughout his career include Australian of the Year for South Australia, the Australian Centenary Medal and the Order of Australia for services to marine conservation. We are very grateful for all his work and dedication and are happy that Mike will stay with us as a part time consultant, working on the NZ Dolphin campaign! In his last blog, he briefly talks about a typical week in his lead role at our Australian office:
Some people may have wondered what kind of things people who work for WDC do. The answer is that we all do different things depending on the projects we are working on but this is what I have been doing during this past week.
It started with running a workshop on how to deal with a whale or dolphin stranding on Kangaroo Island; worked on a scientific paper which demonstrates the success of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary; worked up a contract for a consultant to assist us with improving protection for the endangered NZ dolphins; worked on a scientific paper describing the cultural behaviour of tail walking in the local dolphins; corresponded with fellow conservationists and scientists in various parts of the world; mended my old wetsuit and carried out maintenance on my boat; undertaken a boat based survey to document the local dolphins and ensure none were in trouble; and pondered the return to local waters of local dolphin, Roman, who had been missing for eight years and who was presumed dead.