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  • December 2019

Unusual sighting of juvenile elephant seal in southern Sri Lanka

Based on available video footage forwarded by Sri Lanka Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Oceanswell Founder and Executive Director Dr. Asha de Vos, along with a team of international experts, was able to identify it as a juvenile southern elephant seal.

  • January - 2019

9 Ocean Conservation Groups You Don’t Know about…but Should

It can be easy to focus on the bad news when we think about the ocean: climate change, overfishing, pollution, loss of coastal habitats, biodiversity loss, Read more:

  • NOVEMBER - 2018

The story of Asha de Vos, a Sri Lankan woman who was among the world’s most influential women

The story of Asha de Vos, a Sri Lankan woman who was among the world’s most influential women. Read more:

  • NOVEMBER - 2018

Asha de Vos: BBC 100 Women 2018:

Asha de Vos is selected as one of the 100 most influential and inspirational women in the world. Read more:

  • OCTOBER - 2018

Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet

Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Read more:

  • SEPTEMBER - 2018

Asha is a finalist for the prestigious Pritzker Environmental Genius award:

Asha is a finalist for the prestigious Pritzker Environmental Genius award. Read more :

  • MAY - 2018

study uk alumni awards regional winner

The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession.
Read more:

  • MARCH - 2018

Women in Research: Dr. Asha de Vos

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Read more:

  • FEBRUARY - 2018

The Five ‘Beaked’ Whales Species Spotted In Sri Lankan Waters

The tropical waters of Sri Lanka are home to 29 species of marine mammals, five of which are large whale species. Read more:

  • FEBRUARY - 2018

The Unorthodox Blue Whales of Sri Lanka

It’s no secret that at 100 feet long, blue whales are the largest living animal on Earth. A blue whale can be the size of a passenger plane, Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2018

Environment Society of Oman hosts Arabian Sea whale protection workshop

To protect and conserve endangered whales, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) hosted a workshop on ‘Managing Data for Whale Conservation in the Arabian Sea’. Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2018

The Five Large Whale Species That Live In Sri Lankan Waters

From the nature parks of Wilpattu and Yala to the forest reserves of Bundala and Sinharaja, Sri Lanka is teeming with plants, animals, and microbes of every hue and colour. Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2018

Tear Down That Paywall: The Movement to Make Ocean Research Free for All

As scientists race to save coral reefs and tackle other crucial marine issues, access to expensive scientific journals has become a roadblock to sharing knowledge, especially for researchers in developing countries. Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2018

Sea Award Winner 2018!

We are thrilled to announce that our Executive Director Asha de Vos has been awarded a prestigious WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery Sea Award for 2018! The organisation’s tagline says ‘Extraordinary women, extreme discoveries’ and celebrates some of the most remarkable women on the planet (including Sylvia Earle). What an honor for Asha! Read more:

  • NOVEMBER - 2017

Sri Lankan Whale Researcher Calls for an End to ‘Parachute Science’

Most of the planet’s coastlines are in the developing world. Western marine scientists and institutions could do better work by developing the scientific talents of the people who live there, says Asha de Vos, founder of Oceanswell. Read more:

  • JULY - 2017

Asha de Vos and Thandiwe Mweetwa discuss how to save the world’s animals

Most of the planet’s coastlines are in the developing world. Western marine scientists and institutions could do better work by developing the scientific talents of the people who live there, says Asha de Vos, founder of Oceanswell. Read more:

  • JUNE - 2017

New Whale Species – ‘Omura’s Whales’ – Sighted In Sri Lanka

Marine Biologist Asha de Vos has published a paper on the first ever sighting of Omura’s whales in Sri Lanka. Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2017

‘The biggest story on Earth is Earth itself.’

Those who explore the planet come to cherish it, and those who cherish the planet want to protect it. In that spirit, National Geographic and Rolex have formed a new partnership to promote exploration and conservation. Read more:

  • AUGUST - 2016

Asha de Vos: Explorer at large

Asha de Vos knew what to expect before the big announcement. “The hardest part was keeping it secret,” she tells The Sunday Times. Read more:

  • JULY - 2016

Ocean of opportunities for this young woman of the sea

Having received the honour of being named an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society for her work with Sri Lanka’s blue whales, Asha de Vos who is determined to make more waves, talks to Smriti Daniel Read more:

  • MARCH - 2016

The scientist saving Sri Lanka’s blue whales

“People give me bones,” Asha de Vos says, dwarfed in the shadow of an 87-foot blue whale skeleton on display at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, California. Read more:

  • OCTOBER - 2015

Ask An Entrepreneur

Dr. Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, educator and founder of The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project. She is the first Sri Lankan to obtain a PhD in a field related to marine mammal research and established the first long-term study on blue whales in the Northern Indian Ocean. Read more:

  • SEPTEMBER - 2015

Marine life on the line

It reads like a mystery novel; the search continues for a blue whale entangled in a buoy line, heading towards Mexico from southern California. First spotted on September 4th off the coast of San Pedro, rescue teams tried to free the 80-foot whale but rough seas and failing light meant the operation had to be abandoned until the next day. Read more:

  • MAY - 2015

Asha De Vos | Marine Biologist & Educator

Asha de Vos has published several key research publications on Sri Lankan blue whales, which have led to this population being designated as a species in urgent need of conservation research by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Read more:

  • APRIL - 2015

Asha de Vos on being a Marine Biologist and, ‘The Unorthodox Whales’

Having your work revolve around a great ocean giant such as the blue whale and other ocean creatures would seem quite surreal for most of us; Asha de Vos, lives that dream. Read more:

  • DECEMBER - 2014

Poo’s Clues

I have a completely healthy obsession with poo … particularly of the animal variety, mostly of the whale variety. Whether you like it or not, there is something ridiculously eye-catching about this stuff. Don’t believe me? Did you see the photo? Read more:

  • OCTOBER - 2014

A New Approach to Saving the Whales

A blue whale flukes up in the shipping lane off of southern Sri Lanka. Shipping is the biggest threat to this population of northern Indian Ocean pygmy blue whales. Read more:

  • OCTOBER - 2014

Blue Angel

How one UCSC marine biologist with a lifelong passion for whales is saving them from ship strikes on the other side of the world. Read more:

  • JULY - 2014

The New Scientist, ‘I’m modelling whale ways to keep them safe from ships’

The unique Sri Lankan blue whales live in busy shipping waters. Marine biologist Asha de Vos is using mathematical models to put them out of harm’s way. Read more:

  • MAY - 2014

WIRED UK, ‘Saving the blue whale – with mathematics’

The first time marine biologist Asha de Vos saw a blue whale, she was on a boat sailing from the Maldives to Sri Lanka; six of the enormous mammals were huddled together, hunting krill. “Blue whales usually migrate to the poles in warm weather, but these ones had stayed behind,” she says. Read more:

  • JANUARY - 2014

Fellows Friday: A magical oceanic feeding frenzy, up close and personal, in stunning detail

Monterey Bay is a marine biologist’s dream. It is arguably one of the most dynamic coastlines in the world and, for someone from the tropics like me, it opens up a whole new world for learning and adventure. Read more:

  • JULY - 2013

Launching a whale-saving career: Grad to watch Asha de Vos

They’re ambitious, innovative and highly intelligent – and they’re set to soon graduate from their chosen fields of study and launch careers that will inspire and change the world. Read more:

  • MARCH - 2013

Protecting blue whales, oceans and inspiring the next generation of marine biologists

“I was one of the little dreamers and I loved to be outdoors. I love water and I used to read the National Geographic magazines and it was a dream for me,” Read more:

  • FEBRUARY - 2013

Big Discovery and Big Challenges for the World’s Biggest Animal

During the TED Fellows presentations at the 2013 TED Conference in Long Beach, California, marine biologist Asha de Vos presented an update on her work with blue whales off the coast of Sri Lanka (get blue whale facts). Read more:

  • APRIL - 2012


Mission Blue spoke with marine biologist and TED Fellow Asha de Vos to get her perspective on blue whale research and conservation in her native Sri Lanka. Read more:

  • APRIL - 2012

Protecting the Enigmatic Blue Whales of Sri Lanka

The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale, is found in Sri Lankan waters. Unusually, the blue whales off our coast do not to migrate to polar waters for feeding – a characteristic of other populations. Read more:

  • OCTOBER - 2012

‘Saving the magnificent blue whale’, CNN Ideas Series

It’s a beautiful day to be on the water a few kilometers off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Within view of shore the spinner dolphins twist and turn energetically, flying fish launch out of the water and cruise for what seems like ages, and a manta ray gracefully glides under my boat. Read more:

  • APRIL - 2011

Whales Of Taprobane

When Ptolemy set out to draw his first map of the ancient world, I don’t believe he had whales and dolphins on his mind. Read more:

  • 2009

National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer 2016 Asha De Vos

Marine Biologist and Conservationist championing the cause of whales
When other people view a sea they just see waves but for Dr Asha De Vos she views the ocean as a planet teeming with a plethora of marine life. Read more: