Welcome to whale-space.
This site documents the research I am currently involved with, previous publications, and if you are super interested, a page about my dogs and other hobbies that keep me fit and enjoying the natural world despite spending most my days in the lab with a pipette or at my desk keeping up with the administrative burden of the academic life.
Current Research Position
Currently undertaking a PhD (2017-2021) using population genetics and stable isotopes to understand pre-whaling ecology, connectivity and diversity of baleen whale populations in the South Atlantic. Based at the University of Cambridge Archaeology Department and British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge – in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London.
For centuries, whales have been commercially exploited for their blubber, vast amounts of oil, food and numerous other provisions. During the 20th Century, humans invented the exploding harpoon which meant all whale species could now be targeted. This innovation alongside the invention of factory ships meant we could target and harvest whales across the globe at an enormous and unsustainable rate. By 1986 over 2 million whales were killed in the Southern Hemisphere alone and many populations declined by up to 90%. The SouthWest Atlantic was the epicenter of 20th Century whaling, with 8.6% of all Southern Hemisphere catches made within a day’s sailing of one sub-Antarctic island.
Understanding the impacts of 20th Century whaling on population structure and diversity is vital to provide accurate baselines for current conservation measures.
My research focuses on using population genetics and stable isotopes to understand pre-whaling ecology, connectivity and diversity of baleen whale populations in the South Atlantic.