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Chris Parsons, Associate Professor (Term)
Ph.D. University of Hong Kong
M.A. Oxford University
Research Focus: Marine Mammals and Conservation
Office: DK 3033
Email: Click Here
Dr. Chris Parsons has been involved in whale and dolphin research for over a decade and has conducted projects in South Africa, India, China and the Caribbean, as well as the UK. He is currently involved in research projects on coastal dolphin populations in the Caribbean and the effectiveness of marine conservation policy. Dr. Parsons started teaching at George Mason University in 2003.
Before moving to the US, Dr. Parsons was the Director of the research and education departments of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), from 1998 until 2003. Prior to this, he was involved in research on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and finless porpoises in Hong Kong and China, which included the behavior and ecology of Hong Kong’s cetaceans, marine pollution and its effects on marine life.
An acknowledged international expert on cetaceans, Dr. Parsons has been a member of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) since 1999 and is currently the co-convenor of the IWC sub-committee on Environmental Concerns. He was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Geographical Society in 1997, and a Fellowship by the Society of Biology in 2012, and won a Scottish Thistle Award in 2000 for his work in Environmental Tourism, and was acknowledged a young achiever in Scotland for his achievements in cetacean conservation by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1999.
In 2009, he was the Secretariat Director for the first International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC), which was held at George Mason University – the largest marine conference ever held to date. He was the Program co-chair for the 2nd IMCC held in Victoria, Canada in 2011, and is the chair of the 3rd IMCC to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. He was also one of the organizers of the 1st International Marine Conservation Think Tank, held in New Zealand in 2011, and the Program chair of the 2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology, held in Baltimore. He is currently the Marine Section President and a Governor of the Society for Conservation Biology. In addition, Dr. Parsons has published over 100 scientific papers and reports and has written a textbook on marine mammal biology & conservation.