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Spokespeople Bios


 marine mammal center, jeff boehm

Dr. Jeffrey R. Boehm - Executive Director

Dr. Jeff Boehm joined The Marine Mammal Center as its Executive Director in 2008. He was formerly the Senior Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation Science at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where he worked for 16 years. There, Jeff oversaw the veterinary medical program and led and coordinated the aquarium’s conservation science division, including conservation partnerships, in-house programs, and educational and advocacy programs and partnerships. Jeff traces his career path back to a volunteer position he held at the Center back in 1980. As is the case for many current volunteers (there are more than 1,100 on the Center’s roster) or staff members, the Center experience influenced him greatly. For Jeff, the opportunity to work with incredible wildlife in the context of conservation inspired him to pursue a nontraditional route in veterinary medicine and led him, ultimately, back to The Marine Mammal Center. Dr. Boehm received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at San Diego and his veterinary medical degree from the University of California at Davis. He is a diplomat of the American College of Animal Welfare.


Frances gulland, the marine mammal center

Dr. Frances Gulland - Senior Scientist

Dr. Frances Gulland is the Senior Scientist at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, where she has been actively involved in the veterinary care and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals and research into marine mammal diseases since 1994. She has provided medical care for thousands of seals and sea lions, has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and is coeditor of the CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine. She chaired the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events for six years, sits on recovery teams for the Hawaiian monk seal and southern sea otter, and is a member of the committee of scientific advisors to the Marine Mammal Commission. On November 10, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Gulland to serve on one of three Commissioner positions at the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. She was sworn in as commissioner on April 29, 2011. In this additional role, she will serve the federal government with a focus on the protection and conservation of marine mammals.


Dr. Shawn Johnson - Director of Veterinary Science

Dr. Shawn Johnson joined The Marine Mammal Center in 2012. His role as Director of Veterinary Science will be to guide the science team's study of marine mammal health issues around cancer in sea lions, toxic algae poisoning effects, and harbor seal health analysis, among others. Dr. Johnson is no stranger to the Center having completed the student extern program and later, becoming an adjunct veterinarian. He has also worked with the Alaska Sealife Center, Alaska's fish and wildlife services, the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the Wildlife Health Center at UC Davis. He most recently worked as a clinical veterinarian with the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Iowa State University where he received his degree in veterinary medicine, UC Davis where he received a Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, and also UC Davis where he most recently completed a fellowship in anesthesia.


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