The Team

Lori Schwacke, PhD – Consortium Director

Lori Schwacke currently serves as Chief Scientist for Conservation Medicine at the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF), supporting NMMF efforts to improve the health and conservation of marine mammal populations worldwide. In the 16 years prior to coming to NMMF, Dr. Schwacke worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she led efforts to assess and quantify injuries to Gulf of Mexico dolphin populations following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While at NOAA, she also led interdisciplinary research to understand the connections of human, animal, and environmental health under the NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative. Dr. Schwacke holds a PhD in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Systems Science from the Medical University of South Carolina and a BS in Computer Science from Florida State University.

Cynthia Smith, DVM – Consortium Deputy Director

Cynthia Smith serves as the Executive Director for the National Marine Mammal Foundation (, a nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California. Smith is charged with furthering the NMMF’s mission to improve and protect life for marine mammals by integrating exceptional care with innovative science, national service, and public education. Over the course of her career, Smith’s research efforts have focused on enhancing marine mammal health and welfare, with an emphasis on advancing non-invasive imaging techniques for the rapid assessment of animal health. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Smith served as a lead veterinary scientist for NOAA’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment, specifically to help determine the adverse health effects on wild bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. Smith earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with a Veterinary Thesis in Aquatic Biomedicine from Tufts University and then completed a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associateship with the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program. She also completed Executive Education at Harvard University in nonprofit management and finance. Smith understands the importance of giving back locally and globally through scientific expertise and high-quality research to improve conservation and marine mammal protection efforts worldwide.

Consortium Management

Brenda Bauer
Logistics Coordinator

Ryan Takeshita, PhD
Research Coordinator

Celeste Parry
Outreach Coordinator

Eric Franks
Creative Coordinator

Steering Committee

Lori Schwacke, PhD

Brian Balmer, PhD

Maggie Broadwater, PhD

Ruth H. Carmichael, PhD

Kathleen Colegrove DVM, PhD, Dip ACVP
U Illinois

Lance Garrison, PhD

Keith Mullin, PhD

Sylvain De Guise, DVM, PhD
U Conn

Patricia Rosel, PhD

Teri Rowles, DVM, PhD

Cynthia Smith, DVM

Len Thomas, PhD
University of St. Andrews, CREEM

Randy Wells, PhD

Science Advisory Board

Chair: Ailsa Hall, PhD
University of St. Andrews, Sea Mammal Research Unit

Mike Ziccardi, DVM, PhD
UC Davis

Tracy Collier, PhD
Ocean Associates

Philip Dixon, PhD
Iowa St U

Frances Gulland, Vet. M.B., PhD.
The Marine Mammal Center

Nick Kellar, PhD

Key Collaborating Researchers

Carl Cloyed, PhD

Forrest Gomez, DVM

Sharon Huston, DVM, Dip ACVIM
San Diego Veterinary Cardiology

Cormac Booth
SMRU Consulting

Mandy Tumlin
LA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries

Milton Levin, PhD
U Conn

Guillermo Risatti, PhD
U Conn

Forrest Townsend, DVM
Auburn, Bayside Hospital for Animals

Eric Zolman

Jeanine Morey

Brian Quigley

Todd Speakman

Ross Martinson

Tiago Marques


Consortium Members

National Marine Mammal Foundation

Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries

Chicago Zoological Society

marine mammal health University of South Alabama

University of Illinois at Ubrana-Champaign

marine mammal health - U CONN