The Galveston Bay Dolphin Research Program (GDRP) aims to better understand the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops trucatus) that live in the Galveston Bay estuary, off the Gulf Coast of Texas. Primarily through boat-based surveying, we study the ecology, behavior, and health of this population. We also raise public awareness about Galveston Bay dolphins through various outreach and education initiatives.
Research Scientist, Galveston Bay Foundation
Vanessa is a Research Scientist with the Galveston Bay Foundation, founder of Wildlife Research Partnerships, and a Courtesy Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on understanding and evaluating the interactions between humans and wildlife, with a specialization in small cetaceans. She holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida (SNRE-UF), a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and B.S. in Environmental Science from SNRE-UF.
Research Associate, Environmental Institute of Houston
Kristi is a Research Associate with the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her research experience focuses on studying population biology, behavior and ecology, specializing in marine mammals. She has worked extensively with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program and on a variety of other projects in places ranging from Brownsville, Texas, to Kwajalein Atoll. She holds a M.S. in marine science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.S. in marine biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Sherah McDaniel, M.S.
Research Associate – Environmental Institute of Houston
Sherah is a Research Associate with the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL). Her research interests include foraging behavior of dolphins, population dynamics, and overall ecosystem health. She earned her M.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in Biology from UHCL and her B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology at West Texas A&M University.
Scientific and Program Advisors
Executive Director, Environmental Institute of Houston
Associate Director – Research, Environmental Institute of Houston
President, Galveston Bay Foundation
Program Director, Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program
Development Coordinator, Galveston Bay Foundation
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Galveston Bay Foundation
Donor Relations Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation
Communications and Marketing Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation
Administrative Assistant, Galveston Bay Foundation
Senior Business Assistant, Environmental Institute of Houston
Director of Development, Galveston Bay Foundation
Director of Education, Galveston Bay Foundation
Equipment and Maintenance Technician, Environmental Institute of Houston
Students and Research Assistants
Research Assistant, Galveston Bay Foundation
Prior Research Assistant, Galveston Bay Foundation (Now: University of St. Andrews, MSc Marine Mammal Science)
Prior Intern/Research Assistant, Environmental Institute of Houston (Now: Sarasota Dolphin Research Program)
Prior Intern/Project Research Assistant, Environmental Institute of Houston/Galveston Bay Foundation
Prior Intern/Research Assistant, Environmental Institute of Houston
Interns and Volunteers
Student interns and citizen science community volunteers are an integral part of our team. These hard working team members spend long days in the field and long hours in front of a computer sorting photos and matching fins. We post new volunteer and internship opportunities here and in our newsletter.
The GDRP believes that science is best accomplished by working together toward a common goal and is proud to collaborate with organizations and agencies committed to conserving dolphins and their habitats.
Partners and Sponsors
Our team cannot work without the many partners, sponsors and individuals that support our program.