The Whale Wise team collaborates with several institutions, providing the knowledge and resources necessary to conduct marine conservation research and share this work with the public. As a young team, we are especially grateful to both our local and academic collaborations, for providing guidance and support throughout the entire process.
The University of Edinburgh has been a critical Whale Wise partner since 2018 – providing us with resources, funding and expertise. More specifically, the School of GeoSciences has collaborated with Whale Wise on a PhD and several MSc projects under the lead supervision of Dr Lea-Anne Henry from the Changing Oceans Group
. We are excited to keep working with the Edinburgh team on both Icelandic and British projects.
University of Iceland
The University of Iceland’s Research Centre Húsavík is fundamental to our current work. Directed by Prof. Marianne Rasmussen, the research centre has provided us with accommodation, equipment and whale expertise, having conducted marine mammal research since 2007. Without their support, Whale Wise would not exist today. Both Marianne and Dr Charla Basran, Post-doctoral Researcher, currently supervise numerous Whale Wise research and engagement projects.
Húsavík Whale Museum
Hvalasafnið á Húsavík
The Húsavík Whale Museum has supported Whale Wise since 2018 and since then has collaborated with Whale Wise on various engagement projects and events. Eva Björk Káradóttir (museum director) and Garðar Þröstur Einarsson, both staff at the museum, are also Whale Wise trustees. We are extremely grateful for the incredible platform they provide and their knowledge of local wildlife and culture in Iceland.
Sound Science Research Collective
Whale Wise first began collaborating with Sound Science in 2020. Dr Michelle Fournet, Director of Sound Science and current President of Whale Wise, has supervised most of our acoustic research. Michelle continues to guide the charity using her knowledge and background in the field of marine mammal science.
Through the University of Iceland, we have used whale-watching vessels belonging to North Sailing as a research platform for behavioural observation. Beyond this, North Sailing staff have gone out of their way to help and support us. We have met many of our closest friends and allies through North Sailing. Watching whales from boats such as Bjössi Sör, Náttfari and Sæborg have provided us with moments of inspiration and have helped us to develop research questions.
We started working with Láki Tours in 2020 for our Scars from Above, with Judith Scott, a whale-watching guide, providing photos and sharing whale sightings. More generally, the Láki Tours team have shared their local knowledge of marine life in the Westfjords to guide our work. Without this collaboration, Scars from Above would not be possible.
In 2020, we were excited to announce our partnership with Connelli Designs, owned by graphic artist and illustator Rosemary Connelli. Connelli Designs strives to create designs as a storytelling strategy in the efforts of conservation. The design work is based on infographics, educational materials, and various other designs to educate others on the importance of marine conservation, with specific interests towards cetacean species. Connelli Designs provides us with the opportunity to share with our audiences our research at a visual communication level, helping viewers to understand our conservation strategies and approaches.
We began our partnership with Barba.no
in 2019, collaborating on the Arctic Whale
project in Iceland. Captained by Andreas B. Heide, the sailing and conservation platform Barba aims to advance the protection of the Arctic through storytelling and scientific exploration. We continued our relationship with Barba by leading the scientific research for Arctic Sense
2021. Arctic Sense was a three month voyage through the North Atlantic – sailing along the Norwegian coast, Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Shetland Islands and down to London. The main research focus was acoustic monitoring of cetaceans. Through Arctic Sense, we also started a virtual reality education programme to engage schoolchildren and museum visitors in Iceland, Norway and Denmark with Arctic marine wildlife, research and conservation.