Zoe Lucas - Naturalist

Zoe Lucas


Naturalist Zoe Lucas has spent most of her adult life on Sable Island transplanting beach grass, observing wild horses, and mapping bees and flowers.

Zoe first heard of Sable Island while working a summer job as a kitchen assistant between semesters at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. At first look through a collection of old black-and-white photos, and she was captivated. In 1974, she had her first opportunity to work on the island when she volunteered as a field assistant with a Dalhousie University seal research team.

After several seasons with the seal crew, Zoe found a position as project manager for a terrain restoration program on the island. In the meantime, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree, and was teaching part time. However, by 1982, Zoe had become so engaged with life and activities on the island that she left the art college and began working full-time on Sable projects, spending eight to ten months annually on the island.

With her ever-increasing interests and experience on the island, Zoe conducted various research and monitoring programs including studies of persistent litter in the marine environment, shark predation on seals, and natural history of the island`s horses. Long-term projects include beach surveys for oiled seabirds and stranded cetaceans, as well as biodiversity studies (mosses, lichens, and invertebrates). Results of these programs have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as in newsletters and magazines.

In 2002, Zoe established the Friends of the Green Horse Society, a not-for-profit that supported biodiversity studies on Sable Island. In 2004, she became a Research Associate with the Nova Scotia Museum, and in 2008 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Dalhousie University.

Zoe is a founding member and president of the Sable Island Institute, a multidisciplinary not-for-profit organization that is expanding on the roles of the Green Horse Society. In support of conservation and protection of Sable Island’s unique natural and cultural values, the Institute is committed to knowledge generation and education through research, public outreach, and interpretive services, both on and off Sable Island, with a focus on the integration of arts and science.

Zoe manages and prepares most of the content for the Institute’s website. https://sableislandinstitute.o...