Dr. Deborah Brosnan


Dr. Deborah Brosnan is President of the Brosnan Center and adjunct professor of Biology at Virginia Tech and University of California Davis.  Born in Ireland, she completed her B.Sc Honors, and Masters in marine science at the National University of Galway, and her Ph.D.in marine science in the USA at Oregon State University.  In her professional life Dr. Brosnan works on the interface of science and its practical application to high-level decisions and policies for government, private and NGO sectors, focusing on sustainability, resilience, hazards, the marine environments and endangered species  Based primarily in Washington D.C. she works on a broad range of issues throughout the USA, Caribbean and globally where her work incorporates the environment and disaster response and mitigation, including tsunami and volcano responses.

As a science entrepreneur, she recruited 700 top academics to affiliate with her Center in order to provide the best scientific advice to those who need it.  She developed a unique multi-disciplinary approach to engaging technical expertise to resolve challenging environmental problems and which has been used by US Government and other entities. Her pioneering work  in this arena was the subject of a Ph.D. thesis by McEathron (U. Wisconsin). Dr. Brosnan also maintains an active academic profile.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences and has an extensive peer-reviewed publication record.   She has twice been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and held visiting fellowships at the NW School of Law (Lewis and Clark) , University of Washington, and Smithsonian Institution. In addition to chairing the WGNIS, she serves on several boards including the U.C. Davis SeaDoc Board, Project AWARE, and National Courts and Sciences Institute.  In 2015 Dr. Brosnan was inducted into the Irish Education 100 for her services to science and education.





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