Annual Lecture on South Asian Public Policy: Dr Asha de Vos

Centre of South Asian Studies invites you to

the Annual Lecture on South Asian Public Affairs 2023

Protecting Sri Lanka’s giants

Dr Asha de Vos

(Oceanswell, Sri Lanka)


Date: 14 June
Time: 5pm
Venue: SG1, Alison Richard Building, CB3 9DT

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception in the Atrium, Alison Richard Building.

Everyone is welcome.

Abstract: Dr Asha de Vos has pioneered long-term research on a unique non-migratory population of blue whales within the northern Indian Ocean. This work has changed what we believed was the role of tropical marine ecosystems in the lives of the largest animal that has ever roamed the planet. Beyond science and conservation, however, Asha’s journey has been peppered with challenges that have bolstered her desire to increase diversity and equity in marine conservation. Join us on a journey to unravel the mysteries of our planet’s giants while recognising the need for an ‘ocean hero on every coastline’.

Biography: Dr Asha de Vos is an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator, pioneer of long-term blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean and strong advocate for diversity and equity in marine conservation. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan-grown non- profit, Oceanswell – Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization. The BBC, the New York Times, TED and National Geographic have showcased her work internationally. Amongst her many accolades, Asha was listed on the BBC 100 Women 2018 list of most inspiring and influential women worldwide and named Lanka Monthly Digest’s Sri Lankan of the Year. In 2019, Asha was named one of 12 Women Change-makers by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and in 2020 was awarded an inaugural Maxwell- Hanrahan award in field biology whilst also being named Sea Hero of the Year by the Scubadiving Magazine. In 2021, Asha was awarded a Vanithaabimani lifetime achievement award and the Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize.