John Calambokidis, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research
The amazing underwater world of blue and humpback whales: new tags provide insights into their lives and the threats they face
John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research has studied blue and humpback whales off California for 30 years. Starting with photographic identification of individual whales that now allows Cascadia to track most of the animals that feed off the US West Coast. More recently he has been using various types of tags to open up the underwater world of these animals. This has included video cameras that provide unique views of how these animals feed and interact underwater. These tags have also become powerful new tools for examining the threats whales face off California allowing an examination of how they respond to Navy sonar or the close approach of ships. The talk will trace some of the evolution of this research, the new insights it is providing into the underwater lives of whales, and will include some unique underwater videos of whales.
John Calambokidis is a Senior Research Biologist and one of the founders of Cascadia Research Collective, a non-profit research organization formed in 1979 based in Olympia, Washington. He periodically (1991-2013) serves as an Adjunct Faculty at the Evergreen State College teaching a course on marine mammals. His primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans. He has served as Project Director of over 100 projects. He has authored two books on marine mammals (on blue whales and a guide to marine mammals) as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports.