In this episode we interview Dr. Hal Whitehead in his backyard, which overlooks the ocean in
Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. Dr. Whitehead is a marine biologist, a professor in the Department
of Biology, and author of several books. His interest in animal behaviour led to a scientific
career studying the cultural lives of whales (even though his academic life began with an
undergraduate degree in pure mathematics).
He tells us about travelling between Maine, USA and England, UK while growing up, and how
that experience on the eastern seaboard of the United States nurtured an early love of sailing
that persists today.
Now Dr. Whitehead uses his own sailboat to track sperm whales and northern bottlenose
whales at sea for weeks at a time. A handful of graduate students join him to collect visual,
acoustic, and biological data on how the whales behave and communicate with each other.