Saturday, July 31, 2010

Student Profile: Conor Ryan

I am a PhD student from Cork in Ireland. I am studying baleen whale ecology at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology using stable isotope analysis and molecular genetics. My project is primarily investigating fin and humpback whales in Irish waters whose movements and ecology are poorly studied to date. I received an Ireland-Newfoundland Partnership grant to visit Memorial University of Newfoundland to take baleen samples for my project, so I'mlooking forward to spending a few days there when we get ashore. Bill Montevecchi kindly secured me a place on this cruise as a seabird and marine mammal surveyor.

I have surveyed on several research cruises in the eastern North Atlantic, but this is my first time at sea on this side of the pond. I'm enjoying the sunshine (a rare treat in Ireland!) and the slightly different selection of bird species. The good food, company, weather and abundance of blubber are making the cruise very enjoyable!