OTN scientific director elected to the Royal Society of Canada

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OTN Scientific Director elected to the Royal Society of Canada

The country’s National Academy of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists today announced the election of 89 new Fellows. Six Dalhousie professors and researchers were elected to the Royal Society of Canada this year, one of whom is professor and Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) Scientific Director Dr. Sara Iverson.

Iverson’s groundbreaking research on the physiological ecology, lipid metabolism and life history strategies of the ocean’s top predators, including polar bears and seals, earned her the nomination to the Academy of Sciences. She is also recognized for her work as the Scientific Director of the global, Dalhousie-based OTN, as well as her highly collaborative approach to research.

“It’s a testament to the impact of the Dalhousie research community to see so many of our faculty honoured by the Royal Society of Canada,” said Alice Aiken, VP Research at Dalhousie University. “The recognition is a remarkable achievement for Dr. Iverson and is further evidence of her distinguished contributions to the field of animal biology.”

Pioneering research mapping the oceans’ vast food webs

Iverson also pioneered the use of animals’ fatty acids as a quantitative tool for determining diets of free-ranging animals, allowing the elucidation of previously unknown ocean food webs. The methodology has led to enhanced conservation and management of a number of species of marine mammals and seabirds and helped establish Canada as a world leader in the use of fatty-acid signatures.

“We are delighted to learn of the election of Dr. Sara Iverson to the Royal Society of Canada. Sara is a consummate scientist whose research has made major contributions to the understanding of the physiology and ecology of Canada’s marine mammals, and their conservation. She will bring a passionate and active voice to the Society.” – Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director, OTN

Several prestigious awards have recognized Iverson’s prolific and cutting-edge work over her almost 30-year career, including the NSERC E.W.R Steacie Award. She has authored over 140 papers and given invited presentations at national and international conferences on international ocean research cooperation.

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