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Maxine Westhead

Maxine Westhead
Marine Affairs Program, Dalhousie University

Max(ine) Westhead is the current Director of the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University. She holds a B.Sc in Marine Biology from the University of Guelph (1996) and a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Acadia University (2005). Her Master’s thesis focused on the ecological and community impacts of baitworm and clam harvesting on the mudflats of the Minas Basin.


Max has worked for the Marine Planning and Conservation Program with Fisheries and Oceans Canada since 1998, mostly at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. She has held various positions within the Department over the years, but primarily as Section Head of the Maritimes Region Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Program. Over the years she has led several MPA design and designation processes, led MPA-specific consultation and engagement efforts, and she and her team have proudly contributed to Canada’s marine conservation targets. In 2018 Max shifted her focus to (less controversial) work with DFO’s Marine Spatial Planning Program and led both national and regional Marine Spatial Planning teams for one and four years respectively.


Max joined the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie in 2014 as an Instructor for the graduate level Marine Protected Areas course (MARA 5013) which she taught for 10 years. Now, as Marine Affairs Program Director her focus is on overseeing smooth program delivery, memorable student experience, and fostering broad relationships with the marine management community in Halifax and abroad. 


Areas of interest: 

Marine Protected Areas

Marine Spatial Planning

Consultation and Engagement

Public Service Program Delivery

Team Leadership and Strategic Planning


Contact: Maxine.Westhead@Dal.Ca

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