Lowell Lecture

Diagnosing Leviathan: Adventures of a Whale Veterinarian

Date & Time

June 9, 2016 at 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.


New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf Boston, MA 02110
Driving Directions


Rosalind M. Rolland, DVM, Director of Ocean Health and Senior Scientist, New England Aquarium

Presenting Organization

New England Aquarium



In the late 1990s, the number of calves born to highly endangered North Atlantic right whales plummeted, declining to only 1 calf in 2000. Seeking to understand why right whales were not having more calves, Dr. Rosalind “Roz” Rolland, a research veterinarian, developed a variety of new ways to study health and reproduction in 50-ton whales in the wild. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Rolland has pioneered methods to measure an array of hormones in whales using novel samples including feces, respiratory vapor, and baleen. She oversaw the creation of an approach to monitor whale health using photographs, and studied red tides and disease. Her research has led to many adventures including an expedition to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, and training a scent detection dog handler.

Dr. Rolland will be presenting her work on whale health and what whales tell us about ocean health, including some of her adventures along the way.

Book signing to follow.