My passion for marine mammals has evolved since I had my first encounter with whales in the wild as a kid. Today, my mission is to help protect them and their natural environments. During various projects worldwide I have been studying their reproduction, abundance and distribution, diet, disturbance by naval sonar, breathing and energetics.
As humans we are in certain ways dependent on the oceans and their resources and it is our responsibility to protect them. However, many things are unknown when it comes to marine life and the more I got involved in marine mammal research the more I realized how few we actually know.
Marine mammals are top predators and can be used as indicators of the health of ocean ecosystems, including sustainability of fishing industries and levels of pollution. Also they can indicate so-called ‘hotspots’ where marine species of various trophic levels are abundant, and which therefore ask for extra attention. There is a strong will, driven by the interests of many different stakeholders, to expand our knowledge on the life and behavior of marine mammals. However, data collection on marine mammals is highly challenging seen the fact that these animals spend a vast majority of their lifetime underwater. Yet, today’s improving technology is creating new opportunities to collect information on these animals in their natural environment.