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Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium announced that Evanston resident Philip Willink has joined the organization’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research as senior research biologist. Dr. Willink will help lead Shedd’s Great Lakes initiative to build relationships with universities and government agencies, advancing the understanding of local waters, wildlife and habitats through research in order to protect them
.”Dr. Willink is pivotal to bringing Shedd’s role as a conservation and research leader for the Great Lakes to the next level,” said Charles Knapp, vice president of conservation and research at the aquarium.
In collaboration with state agencies, Dr. Willink will lead Shedd’s efforts to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the state’s list of threatened and endangered species through on-the-ground population assessments. The project will collect data about 12 endangered species in Lake Michigan and 30 species in waters throughout Illinois, including the Mississippi River.
Dr. Willink, who holds a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan, has been featured in two BBC nature documentaries and a National Geographic television special. He also served as an expert consultant for several episodes of Animal Planet’s “River Monsters” series.