Dany Zbinden

Biologist and Founder of the Mériscope

Email : dany@meriscope.com

Curious and welcoming!

For 20 years already, Dany Zbinden has been navigating the waters of the Estuary in search of whales! Prior to embarking on this adventure in 1993, the Swiss biologist had worked in a national park in the Swiss Alps, in the heart of the tropical forests of Côte d’Ivoire, at the University of Zurich’s Anthropological Institute & Museum, as well as with the Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds (SVS).

In 2001 he founded the : Mériscope, a non-profit organization based in the village of Portneuf-sur-Mer in the Haute-Côte-Nord region. Among the numerous research projects, underwater sounds including whale vocalizations, monitored using hydrophones and a recorder transported aboard the zodiac Le Marsouin, are a favourite subject matter for Dany and his team. In fact, in 1995, after having graduated in biology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, he completed a training program in bioacoustics at Cornell University in the US.

Even if the Mériscope’s mission aims to further the understanding of marine mammal biology in the St. Lawrence by means of various research projects (feeding strategies, distribution, noise pollution, etc.), its involvement in education is also important. This station is committed to becoming a platform to host and support students and researchers who wish to carry out projects in a marine environment. To date, the station has welcomed nearly 300 interns from different countries.

The work of Dany Zbinden and his team has not gone unnoticed. In 2005, he received an award for environmental excellence from the Tartan Order (managed by the Scottish government). In 2012 he was elected board member of the regional corporation of university services (CSUSOCN). And in 2007, the Mériscope received an official endorsement by the Canada Research Chair in Rural Development for its work which falls within the concept of sustainable development with a regional dimension.