Curator Vertebrates, Te Papa Tongarewa
I am a curator at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, where I am primarily in charge of the marine mammal collection. In addition, I am an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago (Dunexin, NZ).
My main research interests are the biology and evolution of marine mammals, especially cetaceans (whales and dolphins). I am particularly fond of baleen whales - the largest animals that ever lived. My previous work has focused on reconstructing the baleen whale family tree, the environmental and biological drivers behind cetacean evolution, marine mammal feeding, swimming, and the description of new species. Together with Olivier Lambert and Mark Uhen, I have also written a textbook on whale and dolphin evolution: "Cetacean Paleobiology", published by Wiley Blackwell.
Have you ever clapped your hands to get someones attention? The resulting crack! sound is hard to ignore, rising above and penetrating through any background noise. Now imagine trying to do it underwater you would...