Event date: 08 December, 2022 · Putney High School

Whale Research in Iceland – PIE talk

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Did you know that an average humpback whale can weigh around 40 tonnes – as much as eight fully grown African elephants? Or that you can measure whale stress from the cortisol in their “blow” which can be collected in a petri dish suspended from a drone?

We were delighted to welcome back alumna Jess Ward (class of 2017) who works with charity Whale Wise to give us more of these fascinating insights and to talk about her work with whales in their Icelandic feeding grounds between March and October. In her ‘PIE at Lunchtime’ talk Jess spoke passionately about her internship focusing on humpback whale identification and gave advice to students interested in pursuing a career in marine biology, research or conservation.

Jess studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths A Levels at Putney (with an AS in Spanish) before going on to study Zoology at Edinburgh University. Since graduating she has lived in Húsavík in the North and also in the Westfjords of Iceland, spending two field seasons with Whale Wise conducting research. She is about to lead a new project starting next year.


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