asha de vos

Asha de Vos

Executive Director/Founder



Nominated by Ami Vitale

Asha de Vos is a marine biologist, conservationist and ocean educator. She is internationally recognized for her work with a unique population of blue whales in Sri Lankan waters and as an advocate for diversity in marine conservation. She co-founded Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization. With Oceanswell, she mentors more than 30 students per year, giving individuals from underrepresented nations training and leading them on research expeditions, writing scientific papers and grant proposals, and running informal gatherings called Marine Conservation Conversations to discuss their research. Asha, a native Sri Lankan, also sits on the country’s National Research Council, and is a member of the governing board of Ocean University. She is global winner of the 2018 UK Alumni Awards, was named a 2017 Ocean Hero by Coastal Living Magazine, and was included in WIRED UK’s 2017 list of Pioneering Females Across the World. Asha holds a Ph.D. in marine mammal research from University of Western Australia, as well as a master’s degree in integrated biosciences from University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from University of St. Andrews. Her work has been featured in prominent publications such as National Geographic and the New York Times.