Open main menu

Asha de Vos is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research within the northern Indian Ocean. She is known for her Blue Whale Project. She is a Senior TED Fellow[1] and was chosen for a BBC 100 Women award in 2018.[2]

Asha de Vos
Asha de Vos.jpg
Asha de Vos at TEDx Monterey 2013
Born1978/1979 (age 39–40)
Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Alma materUniversity of St. Andrews, University of Oxford, University of Western Australia
AwardsTED Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsMarine biology



De Vos's primary education was at Ladies’ College, Colombo and after completing her primary education, she moved to Scotland for her undergraduate studies in marine and environmental biology at the University of St. Andrews. She went on to gain her masters in integrative bio-sciences at the University of Oxford and a PhD from the University of Western Australia.[3] De Vos is the first and only Sri Lankan to gain a PhD in marine mammal research.[4]


De Vos had served as a senior programme officer in the marine and coastal unit of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She founded the Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project in 2008, which forms the first long term study on blue whales within the northern Indian Ocean. Through her research, the International Whaling Commission has designated Sri Lankan blue whales as a species in urgent need of conservation research and has started collaborating with the Sri Lankan government on whale ship-strikes. De Vos is an invited member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group. She was a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz and a guest blogger for National Geographic.[5][6]


De Vos is a TED Senior Fellow, a Duke University Global Fellow in Marine Conservation and as been selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2013, she received the President's Award for Scientific Publications.[7] In 2018, she received the WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery Sea Award.[8]

On 26 May 2018, she was awarded the Golden alumni award in the Professional Achievement category at the first edition of the British Council Golden Alumni awards.[9] Later in the year she joined the BBC 100 Women list.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ UK. "Asha De Vos". The Global Teacher Prize. Archived from the original on 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2017-04-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  3. ^ "Asha de Vos, Marine Biologist and Ocean Educator, Information, Facts, News, Photos". National Geographic. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  4. ^ "Blue whales in a changing world: Wildlife and Nature Protection Society Monthly Lecture – March 2017". The Island. March 11, 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ocean of opportunities for this young woman of the sea". 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  6. ^ "Together they traverse the deep blue sea". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  7. ^ "Life Online - Asha De Vos". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  8. ^ Kumara, Sisira (January 14, 2018). "Sri Lanka's Ocean Girl Asha de Vos Wins the Women of Discovery Sea Award for 2018". The Sri Lankan Scientist. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Marine biologist from Sri Lanka wins award in British Council's first ever Global Alumni awards". Retrieved 30 July 2018.

External linksEdit