Robin W. Baird

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My research addresses various aspects of cetacean behaviour, ecology and management. From the mid-1980s through to the mid-1990s I undertook research on a number of species of marine mammals in British Columbia. Much of my research then and since has focused on killer whales in southern British Columbia, Washington state, and off Iceland. Since the mid-1990s I have also been studying cetacean diving (sub-surface) behaviour, and a number of species of Hawaiian cetaceans. Much of my research has been collaborative in nature.

I have also prepared reports on the status and management of a number of species of marine mammals in Canada, under contract to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), including: harbour porpoisestriped dolphinsbottlenose dolphinsRisso's dolphinsPacific white-sided dolphinsshort-finned pilot whalesfalse killer whalesnorthern right whale dolphinspygmy sperm whalesdwarf sperm whaleskiller whaleshumpback whalesharbour seals and northern fur seals (see publications).

For advice for prospective graduate students or people interested in a career studying marine mammals, click here


Member, Cetacean Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission, 2009-present. Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University, 2006-present. Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Washington, 2005-present.

Member, Marine Mammal Advisory Committee, Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, 2005-present

Post-doctoral fellow - Dalhousie University, 1996-2003.

Co-founder, Senior Editor - "MARMAM", an electronic mail discussion list focusing on marine mammal research and conservation, 1993-present.

Biologist - National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Beaufort, NC, USA, 2001-2003.

Member - Committee of Scientific Advisors, Society for Marine Mammalogy, 1995-2001.

Biologist - Marine Mammal Research Group, Victoria, B.C., 1987-2000.

Member - Cetacean Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission, 1992-1998.

Coordinator/Co-coordinator - Stranded Whale & Dolphin Program of B.C., 1987-1995. Established and coordinated a monitoring program for marine mammal sightings, strandings and incidental mortality. Undertook necropsies on stranded and incidentally caught animals, coordinated collection and distribution of tissues for external research projects, and curated education and reference collection of marine mammal skeletons.

Ph.D., 1994, Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. Thesis title: Foraging behaviour and ecology of transient killer whales (Orcinus orca).

B.Sc., Biology (Co-op), University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., 1987.

Last Updated September 2009 by Robin W. Baird