Dr. David E. Gaskin was a pioneer in harbour porpoise research in eastern Canada, and the founder of the Research Station. He was well-known in the marine mammal community for putting forth hypotheses about cetacean evolution and ecology that would be borne out later as techniques and methods were developed to test them. David was also an unusual marine biologist because he had a second, but equal, career as a butterfly and moth biologist. He was born in England, began working on whaling ships as a biologist right out of Bristol University, and traveled to South Georgia, the Falklands and New
Zealand. He completed a Ph.D. in Entomology at Massey University and then joined the
faculty at the University of Guelph, Ontario in 1969, at which point he started his research program on porpoises in the Bay of Fundy. David and two partners started the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station in 1981, and he continued to carry out field work on marine mammals and moths in the region until the early 1990s. He studied porpoises, whales and moths in places are varied as Japan, Texas, China, Mexico, Peru, Greece, Bulgaria and Albania. David lost a short but brave battle with liver cancer in 1998 and will be remembered as smart, eccentric, and irreverent, and as a huge contributor to our understanding of marine mammal biology and evolution. The research station’s museum is named in his memory.