Lauren McWhinnie is a marine biologist and geographer. Her research focuses on how we can mitigate and better manage the impacts of human activities on marine environments. This work focuses on developing spatial planning tools and management strategies that reduces the impacts and risks associated with vessel traffic on marine mammals, and more specifically, whales.
McWhinnie is an Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and before this she was a Research Fellow at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, where she is also now an Adjunct Professor and member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies within the Department of Geography.
She has a 1st class BSc (Hons) in Marine and Freshwater Biology and a PhD in Marine Biology where her studies focused on developing spatial tools for implementing Marine Spatial Planning in Scotland. She then moved to Canada where she held a MEOPAR postdoctoral fellowship, an NSERC-IBM research fellowship and a CHONe postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria.
McWhinnie’s research involves projects all over the globe from Scotland to the Canadian Arctic and to the southern waters of New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. Her recent studies have predominantly focused on mitigating impacts of vessel noise and small boat disturbance on orca and humpback whale populations in British Columbia. She also belongs to the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland’s (MASTS) and sits on the steering group of their Marine Planning and Governance Forum.