Whales

The world’s biggest dolphin eating the world’s coolest dolphin

June 28, 2012

During a seemingly ordinary fall day with dolphins,  I captured killer whales attacking and eating a dolphin on film.  It inspired me to devote a chapter of my PhD to killer whale predation on dolphins and the incredibly dynamic interaction unfolding between an intelligent, efficient predator and its similarly intelligent prey.  I’m hooked.  There is […]

Why are you in Scotland when the whales you study are in Canada?

June 26, 2012

We get asked that question a lot. Today, we saw the best answer possible to that question, in E.O. Wilson’s amazing TED talk, called “Advice to Young Scientists”. We’ll wait while you watch it. Wilson outlines the lessons learned from his career in interdisciplinary science as a series of basic principles, but the most important […]

VALUE FOR MONEY

June 05, 2012

In these troubled economic times, scientists are under increasing pressure to (a) demonstrate the value of the services we provide to society, and (b) find creative ways to provide those services at ever-lower cost.  Money is scarce, and environmental research is competing for funding with other worthy causes.  Because many of the biggest foundations in […]

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

March 14, 2012

  Maybe it’s a sign that we’re spending too much time in front of our computers these days, but it’s been fun to post some of our favourite whale & dolphin pictures on Pinterest.  Pinterest is a wildly popular and addictive website that allows you to pin, post & share photographs.  It has allowed us […]

OCEANS ELEVEN

January 01, 2012

Our plan was to spend a quiet year in Scotland.  Erin’s making great strides on her PhD on Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Rob won a Marie Curie Fellowship to model the effects of noise on whale populations.  But MAN!  This ended up being one of our busiest years ever.  Here are 11 of our highlights of […]

IF YOU WERE A WHALE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?

October 11, 2011

Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, said it best: “There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.” She was talking about people, but it’s not a bad description of how we protect wildlife. Much of our work as marine conservation biologists involves identifying habitat that’s important to whales and dolphins, and ensuring that […]

Happy Birthday Fin Whale

August 13, 2011

We love fin whales. A few years ago, this photo of a fin whale was taken on Rob’s birthday during a series of surveys he initiated with Raincoast.  The surveys for marine mammals in British Columbia coastal waters yielded an abundance estimate for fin whales (corresponding to an area that’s roughly the PNCIMA region) of 496 […]

(WHALE, DOLPHIN AND HUMAN) MOTHERS ROCK

May 08, 2011

I’m not a mom (yet), but being in the field with whales and dolphins for my PhD research is making me think a lot lately about motherhood.  The killer whales (orcas) that we study stay with their mothers their entire lives:  they live in a matrifocal society.  That’s rare.  Sure, when the daughters grow up and […]

REMEMBER, THE CAMERA ADDS 10 TONNES…

January 02, 2011

At New Year’s, we all make resolutions about diet. But we’ve got nothing on Pacific humpback whales, which are currently on their mating and calving grounds in Hawaii and Mexico. During this time, they go weeks or months without eating at all. BC waters provide important habitat for these highly migratory animals. When they’re here […]