29th Nov 2012: Unravelling Humpback Whale Behaviour by Dr Alison Craig
Name of speaker and subject:
Dr Alison Craig.
Title of talk:
Unravelling the Mysteries of Humpback Whale Behaviour
What you would like to cover:
Humpback whales are 45 tonne giants that live most of their lives below the waves, out of sight of humans. While some mysteries remain, since the mid-1970s scientists have been studying these animals and gradually piecing together the story of how they live their lives. In this talk I will share some of what we’ve learned about humpback whale behaviour over the years.
Humpbacks make long seasonal migrations between summer feeding areas and winter breeding areas, and their behaviours in these two locations are very different. I will describe some of what we know about their migratory behaviour and explain the kinds of social groups we see, how the whales interact with each other, and the kinds of sounds they produce in both the feeding areas and the breeding areas.
Suggested websites and / or texts where further information may be found:
Whalenet is a massive interactive educational web site which focuses on marine mammals and marine research. You will find lots of information on all sorts of whales and dolphins here:
If you want some background on the humpback whale research done by scientists based at the University of Hawaii, check the following link where you will find some ‘user-friendly’ descriptions. If you are really keen, you will also find full references to the scientific journal articles featuring this research:
A few words about you and your passion:
I gave up my initial career as a computer programmer to pursue my real dream of studying whales. After gaining some experience with whale research projects in the Azores, Canada and Scotland I went to the University of Hawaii where I spent many years conducting research into humpback whales, gaining both my Masters and PhD degrees in the process.
I have been back in Scotland for a number of years now (more than long enough for the suntan to fade!) and am based at Edinburgh Napier University where I teach students on a variety of biology courses including Animal Biology, Marine & Freshwater Biology and Environmental Biology.
No tickets – Just come along on the 29th
7 to 10 pm at The Counting House
West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh
|0131 667 7533|