Senior Scientist, Marine Mammals, Oceans Division, Nature Program
Francine Kershaw uses the best available scientific information to advocate for improved protections for marine mammals related to a variety of issues, including ocean noise, ship strikes, and bycatch. She currently leads NRDC's work to end large whale entanglements and dedicates a large part of her portfolio to advancing responsible offshore wind development. Still a whale population geneticist at heart, Kershaw also advocates for improved uptake of genetic information into conservation policy decisions. She is an active member of the NOAA Atlantic Scientific Review Group, the NYSERDA Environmental Technical Working Group for offshore wind, the IUCN Joint WCPA/SSC Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force, the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, and the Group On Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) Genetic Composition Working Group. She is also an associate member of the Indian Ocean Network for Cetacean Research (IndoCet). Kershaw holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Leeds, a master's degree in biodiversity, conservation, and management from the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Columbia University. She is currently based in South Carolina.