Lori Marino, Ph.D.

Dr. Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence on the faculty of Emory University. She is internationally known for her work on the evolution of brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales and comparisons to primates. In 2001 she co-authored a ground-breaking study offering the first conclusive evidence for mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins. (Reiss and Marino, 2001) after which she decided against further research with captive animals. She has also published numerous empirical and review papers on human-nonhuman animal relationships, including the psychological and philosophical bases of animal exploitation and, more specifically, critiques of dolphin assisted therapy and other captivity issues.

Michael Mountain

Michael is the former President and one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest animal sanctuary, which spearheaded the no-kill movement to help bring an end to the mass killing of homeless pets in shelters, a campaign that, when he retired in 2007, had reduced the number of animals killed in shelters in the U.S. from 15 million a year to below 3 million.

After stepping down from Best Friends, he worked with the Nonhuman Rights Project in its early legal efforts to have chimpanzees recognized as legal “persons,” and is the co-founder of the Whale Sanctuary Project.