Alex Hearn – Whale Shark Project lead Scientist
“It is fundamental for the conservation of these species to understand their spatial ecology in Ecuadorian waters and throughout the Eastern Tropical Pacific region. Our aim at FMME is to generate the scientific information we need to protect our marine giants.”
Alex Hearn, a marine biologist originally from the UK, arrived in Ecuador in 2002 to work for six months on fisheries research and management in Galapagos. He fell in love with the country and its marine biodiversity, and is still here almost twenty years later.
In 2006, in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate and other institutions, he founded the Shark Research and Conservation Program in Galapagos. Since then, he has worked to understand the migratory patterns of scalloped hammerhead, tiger, silky and whale sharks, among others. Galapagos is host to a steady stream of hundreds of large female whale sharks each year, as part of a migratory pathway that brings them eventually to the coastal waters of mainland Ecuador.