In his role as director of the newly launched Ocean Pollution Science Program at Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. Peter Ross returns to the places he likes best: the islands, coastal waters and the open oceans of Canada’s west coast . . . and the lab.

Dr. Peter Ross, director of Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Pollution Science Program.

Dr. Peter Ross, director of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Pollution Science Program.

He’s spent much of the past 25 to 30 years there collecting, studying and reporting his findings about pollution in the Pacific Ocean, and its effects on its inhabitants; he’s considered a world expert in the field and is the only marine mammal toxicologist in Canada.

Here at the Aquarium, Dr. Ross will continue to conduct international-caliber scientific research on ocean pollution, and provide comprehensive and authoritative information for individuals, communities and countries. The program will help inform partners and stakeholders in the science, government and private sectors on the health of our oceans.

Threats to ocean health include urban and industrial effluents, runoff from forestry and agriculture, oil and gas shipping and exploration, plastics and debris, and climate change. The health of our oceans is critical, and by launching this program, we’re hoping to meet immediate scientific, conservation and education needs. Although the issue of ocean pollution is often vexing and complex, it’s also worthy of dedicated research.

This vital research will take place on the ocean and in the laboratory. State-of-the-art equipment for measuring and assessing the impacts of ocean pollutants will be housed in a new laboratory at Vancouver Aquarium. The program will launch new studies and build on past research led by Dr. Ross, including:

  • Marine mammals as sentinels of ocean pollution
  • Clean seafoods for coastal communities
  • Marine debris and microplastics
  • Hydrocarbons in the coastal environment
  • Emerging pollutant concerns

Want to do your own part to combat ocean pollution? This spring, for the first time, all Canadians from coast to coast are invited to join in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, taking place April 1 – July 31. Learn more and register at

Related Posts

7 Responses

  1. Jean Walat

    It’s very exciting that you will be leading this effort at Vancouver Aquarium. We’ve appreciated all your past efforts on behalf of the marine environment and this new program has the potential to learn and communicate important information about human impacts and toxics in the marine environment. On a smaller scale, at Port Townsend Marine Science Center we’re doing citizen science projects focused on toxics and experimenting with new ways to communicate with the public this topic is study groups, group, in our exhibits and on the web. It’s a scary subject to most people!

    Thanks again for your work—we look forward to seeing how the new program develops. Good luck!

  2. Guy Gilron

    Congratulations, Peter! Great to hear you’ve landed in such an excellent position and place. I am a proud member of the Aquarium, and believe they have made a great decision in brining you on board – adds huge credibility to the organization.

    I am looking forward to reconnecting with you.

    Cheers, Guy Gilron.

  3. Dwayne Smith

    Congratulations Peter, it sounds like a great opportunity. Although, we will miss you at hockey.

  4. leslie mcgrath

    Congratulations Peter. I still recognize you from Trent days. It was a nice surprise to see you in the news all these years later, and to learn what good work you’ve been doing and continue to do.
    Wishing you continued success,
    leslie mcgrath


    Great news! Congratulations Peter! And congratulations to the Vancouver Aquarium for taking up this critical research. Our oceans need you more than ever. Good luck in launching the new program. From all of us at Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society | SIMRES

  6. Linda White

    Congratulations Peter!

    I cannot think of a more qualified scientist to head this program and continue the research and to monitor the health of our precious oceans and the animals within.

    All the best of luck in your new endeavors.

    Sincerely, Linda White

  7. Diana Robson

    Congratulations! I’m so proud that the Vancouver Aquarium is showing it’s commitment to the conservation of wildlife by hiring Dr. Ross and monitoring ocean pollution. But it’s also terribly sad that our own federal government doesn’t care about endangered wildlife anymore, and that a non-profit with limited resources has to bear the cost of protecting species that really all Canadians should be financially supporting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.