Heidi Dewar has
been enchanted by the ocean and its creatures for as long as
she can remember. After receiving her undergraduate degree at
Oregon State University in 1987, Heidi attended graduate school
at Scripps Institution of Oceanography working with Dr. Jeffrey
Graham. Her thesis, completed early in 1993, focused on the energetics,
swimming mechanics and thermoregulatory capabilities of tropical
Heidi was subsequently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at
the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California
where she helped develop tools to address more complex physiological
questions about fish in their natural environment. Moving next
to Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, she worked with
Dr. Barbara Block at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center,
a joint effort between Stanford and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
She participated in an Atlantic bluefin tuna-tagging program
that provided data on the species' movements and behaviors critical
to management and conservation, as well as proving an important
testing ground for both satellite and archival technologies.
During that time, she worked with John O’Sullivan at the Monterey
Bay Aquarium developing techniques for attaching satellite tags
to mola. It was during this time that she met Tierney Thys and
many months later in the fall of 2000, these three finally deployed
the first sat tag on wild mola down in San Diego.
Following her years at Stanford, Heidi returned to Southern
spend three years working at the Pfleger Institute of Environmental
Research, a small non-profit focusing on applied fisheries issues.
Here, she helped develop and implement a highly migratory species
program focusing on issues ranging from the post-release mortality
of billfish caught on recreational fishing gear to the movement
of Manta ray in the Komodo Marine Park, in Indonesia.
She is currently a Fisheries Research biologist at NOAA Southwest
Fisheries Center in San Diego as well as a shark working group
leader for the southern branch of the Tagging
of Pacific Pelagics project . In addition
to being a vital part of the mola team, Heidi also has worked
extensively with tuna and swordfish and even tagged the world’s
biggest fish, the whale shark.