Dr. Susan Shaw is recognized for her landmark research on chemical contamination in marine mammals and commercially important marine fishes along the northwest Atlantic coast. Named Gulf of Maine Visionary in 2007, she is credited as the first scientist to discover that brominated flame retardants used in consumer products are biomagnifying in this US coastal marine food web.


Born: 1943

Hometown: Amarillo, TX and New York, NY

Education: Dr.P.H. in Public Health/Environmental Health Sciences

Occupation: Environmental toxicologist; Founder/Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute

Expeditions: Seal ledges and islands of the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, Pacific Northwest coast

Favorite Place to Be: On the sea

Best Discovery: First scientist to document the widespread contamination of marine mammals and fish in the northwest Atlantic by toxic flame retardant chemicals used in consumer products 

Favorite Items in the Field: Seaworthy vessel, favorable winds, good friends, marine mammals

Personal Heroes: Rachel Carson for her courage and unflinching honesty; Elisabeth Mann Borgese for her vision of peace in the oceans; Sylvia Earle for her impassioned leadership as an ocean advocate

Website: www.meriresearch.org

Advice: Follow your convictions; seek our ways to advance in your field and show leadership because you are needed.

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