About Dany Zbinden
Growing up around sailboats and water, Dany developed a profound fascination with aquatic environments and wildlife at an early age. As a student, he spent his summers sailing in the Baltic and the North Sea and diving in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
A Swiss-Canadian marine biologist with a Master’s degree from the University of Zurich, he has been involved with the research, outreach, and conservation of marine mammals since 1993. Dany is a certified rescuer with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and is licensed to use a crossbow to perform biopsies on whales. It is appropriate to say that the marine environment has provided a second home to this country boy from rural Switzerland.
In 2001, following a research project on the bioacoustics of North Atlantic minke whales in the Subarctic Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, Dany founded a non-profit organization called the Mériscope Marine Research Station. Mériscope facilitated numerous research projects on marine mammals ranging from animal bioacoustics over feeding strategies, to the biological effects of persistent organic contaminants. The research examined a wide array of species, including toothed whales like harbor porpoises and belugas, as well as baleen whales such as minke whales and blue whales. As Mériscope’s executive director, Dany first became involved with polar outreach at a one-week polar educator workshop in 2012 and joined Quark Expeditions in 2017. Dany loves creating intimate encounters for polar guests, be that with a penguin, a seal, a whale, or even a tunicate!