Leading whale researcher comes to Lismore

Published 27 February 2007

One of the world’s leading experts on humpbacks and the largest living whale – the blue whale – will be giving a free public lecture at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus on Friday, March 2.

John Calambokidis is a senior research biologist and co-founder of Cascadia Research. He is visiting Lismore to meet with members of the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre.

Mr Calambokidis has served as the principal investigator of more than 40 research studies on marine mammals, marine birds, and pollution.

He has co-ordinated a project to estimate the abundance of humpback whales in the entire North Pacific Ocean using photo-identification data.

Other projects have involved examining the movements and estimating the abundance of blue whales in the North Pacific; studying residency patterns of gray whales in Washington waters; examining habitat preferences and abundance of harbour porpoise; and evaluating trends in contaminant levels of harbour seals.

Associate Professor Peter Harrison, the director of Southern Cross University’s Whale Research Centre, said it was a wonderful opportunity for researchers and members of the public to hear about the research being conducted in the North Pacific.

“John is a world leader in this field of research. We also hope to be able to strengthen the links with the Whale Research Centre and establish further opportunities for joint research projects,” Professor Harrison said.

The public lecture will be held at the Lismore campus, on Friday, March 2 in Y205 from 1pm to 2pm.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.