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Meet the Expedition Team

Dr. Robert Michaud, president and director of research programs, GREMM

Dr. Robert Michaud
Photo courtesy: Dr. Robert Michaud

Robert Michaud's relationship with the whales of the St. Lawrence all started when he was hired to work as a naturalist aboard the first boats that started taking tourists out to see the whales off Tadoussac in the early 1980s. What had started out as a summer job turned into a career. Surrounded by acolytes as passionate as himself, he decided to found the Groupe de recherche et d'èducation sur les mammif╦res marins (GREMM) in 1985. His goal: study the whales to better understand and better protect them. He set out to use his newly acquired understanding to feed the public fascination for whales and to heighten awareness of the importance of protecting the marine environment.

In 1987 he co-founded the St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology (SLNIE) and is presently in charge of a long term study on the St. Lawrence beluga whale population. He completed a master's degree at Universitè Laval on the distribution of St. Lawrence belugas and has since undertaken a doctoral degree at Dalhousie University to study the social organization of the beluga.

Robert also still takes time for those who first helped him make his dreams a reality: field work with the whales and the contact with the public. He continues, with the help of his team, to put together education and public awareness projects like the Whales online web site.