Laurie Murison was a dedicated co-director of the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station for many years. She established the Gaskin Memorial Museum in North Head, which houses numerous specimens and educational materials, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The Gaskin Moth & Butterfly Collection she curated was sent to the Smithsonian Institution.
Since 1981, graduate students from the University of Guelph have conducted research at the station, covering various subjects. Laurie not only assisted in their research but also pursued her own studies at the university level and collaborated with Canadian and New Brunswick governments. She coordinated numerous projects to protect habitats and individual species and worked to save injured birds and animals. She participated in aerial census surveys of Right Whales in the Bay of Fundy and collaborated on research of Grey Whales and Bowhead Whales.
As a biology expert, Laurie traveled to the U.K. with a New Brunswick government trade mission. Her study on Right Whale mortality led her to propose moving a shipping lane, which required approval from multiple agencies and governments. Ultimately, 167 countries unanimously agreed to the change, resulting in the protection and population growth of the whales. While others claimed credit for her ideas, she continued her work in saving entangled and injured birds and marine mammals.
Conserving Atlantic whales and maintaining iconic lighthouses were among Laurie Murison’s passions during her influential research and teaching career on New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island.
Laurie was committed to education, teaching students at various levels, giving courses at St. Andrews University, and delivering lectures and slide shows. She created weatherproof educational panels for hiking trails and participated in the restoration of several historic buildings. She also served on the board of directors of the Grand Manan Museum.
A proficient fundraiser, Laurie made many projects possible. Her legacy lives on through those who continue her work, supporting the research station, educational programs, maintenance of trails, and the restoration of historic buildings.
Laurie Murison passed away on January 3, 2021, at the age of 61.
In 2021, the University of New Brunswick posthumously awarded her an Honorary Ph.D.
The Laurie Murison Meadow honours her at the Grand Manan Museum and the Laurie Murison Memorial Deck was built in her honour at the Long Eddy Point Light Station on Grand Manan.
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