Dr. Anya Waite
Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director

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Dr. Anya Waite

Dr. Waite is the chief executive officer and scientific director of the Ocean Frontier Institute. Her previous roles include the associate vice-president research (ocean) at Dalhousie University from 2018-2024, section head of Polar Biological Oceanography at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, and professor of oceanography at the University of Bremen.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1985 at Dalhousie, she obtained her PhD in 1992 in biological oceanography at the University of British Columbia. She then held postdoctoral positions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Victoria University in New Zealand.

In 1997, Dr. Waite took a professorship at the University of Western Australia in Perth and was there for 17 years as a biological oceanographer. She was a research group leader in the Oceans Institute in addition to teaching students in the Environmental Engineering program. Dr. Waite’s early work included participation in the first Southern Ocean Iron Fertilization Experiment (SOIREE). After this, Dr. Waite’s work in the East Indian Ocean explored the dynamics of mesoscale eddies, the nitrogen cycle in oligotrophic systems, and the biology of the spiny lobster larvae in Australian waters. Her current interests include nitrogen fluxes in polar oceans and particle dynamics in mesoscale eddies.

Previously, Dr. Waite co-chaired the prestigious Global Ocean Observing System steering committee from 2020-2024 - the first woman at the head of this body since its creation in 2011. She was Canada’s representative on the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Study Group, and she co-chaired the Working Group on biological observation systems for the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (Integration of Plankton-Observing Sensor Systems to Existing Global Sampling Programs) from 2018-2022. Dr. Waite was also on the board of the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction, and Response Network (MEOPAR) from 2018-2024 and the editorial board of the international journal Limnology and Oceanography.

Earlier commitments included the Board of Directors of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, Australia, the Norwegian Research Council Advisory Board, the Programme Advisory Group for the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Changing Arctic Ocean Research Programme, the Steering Committee of the Southern Ocean Observation System (SOOS), and the board of directors for the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

Dr. Waite won teaching excellence awards in Australia and Germany and has recently been awarded the Japanese Oceanographic Society’s Yoshida Award for her oceanographic research on biological physical coupling. She currently sits on the board of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

Dr. Anya Waite