Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence who was on the faculty of Emory University for twenty years. In addition to being on the faculty of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program, she was also a faculty affiliate at the Emory Center for Ethics for several years.
Lori is currently President of The Whale Sanctuary Project, whose mission is to create the first seaside sanctuaries for orcas (killer whales) and beluga whales in North America. She is also Founder and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, a science-based non-profit organization focused on bringing academic scholarship to animal protection efforts. She has also worked very closely with The Nonhuman Rights Project, particularly as science advisor during the preparation of the chimpanzee court cases. Lori is also Science Director for the joint Farm Sanctuary-Kimmela, The Someone Project.
Lori is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales (as well as primates and farmed animals). She has published 110 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and magazine articles on marine mammal biology and cognition, comparative brain anatomy, self-awareness in other animals, human-nonhuman animal relationships, the evolution of intelligence, marine mammal captivity issues, such as, dolphin assisted therapy, and the educational claims of the zoo and aquarium industry. In 2001 she co-authored a ground-breaking study offering the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins, after which she decided against further research with captive animals.
Lori appears in several films and television programs, including the 2013 documentary Blackfish, about killer whale captivity, and Unlocking The Cage, the 2016 documentary on the Nonhuman Rights Project.