Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior.
She was on the faculty at Emory University for 20 years, and is currently the President of the Whale Sanctuary Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create a permanent seaside sanctuary for whales retired from the entertainment industry. She is also founder and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to academic and science-based advocacy for other animals.
Dr. Marino conducts noninvasive research on dolphin and whale intelligence. She has authored over 130 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and magazine articles on dolphin and whale biology and cognition, comparative neuroanatomy, self-awareness, human-nonhuman animal relationships, and animal welfare and protection. She has extensively studied the welfare of dolphins and whales in theme parks, has published on the educational claims of the theme park industry, and, in 2010, reported her findings on the public display of marine mammals to the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. She continues to work with a number of other organizations on legal, regulatory and policy issues relevant to captive dolphins and whales.
Dr. Marino was also featured as a National Geographic Innovator and was the Lead Scientist for the Nonhuman Rights Project for two years. She has appeared in several films and television programs, including the documentary Blackfish, about killer whale (orca) captivity and Unlocking The Cage, the 2016 documentary on the efforts of the Nonhuman Rights Project.