Heidi Dewar

Heidi in the field



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 tunas.

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 California to
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.


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