Researchers Receive A Whale Of An Award

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9th July 2010, 04:30pm - Views: 985

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Press Release

Researchers Receive a Whale of an Award

Pioneering Australian whale researchers Curt and Micheline Jenner are among the ten winners of

this year’s prestigious Lowell Thomas Award, to be presented at The Explorers Club’s headquarters

in New York in October. The award recognises their contributions to exploratory ocean science and

places them alongside previous recipients of the award including Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau,

Sir Edmund Hillary and Buzz Aldrin. 

"The Lowell Thomas Award is a tremendous accolade, and one which the Jenner's thoroughly

deserve!" states Chris Bray, Chairman of the Australia, New Zealand Chapter of the Club.

Ground breaking studies conducted by the Jenner’s over the past 20 years in remote Western

Australian waters have lead to the protection of blue whale feeding grounds and a humpback whale

calving ground.  “With such an unspoilt wilderness at our feet here in Western Australia, it’s easy to

be highly motivated to explore and protect its treasures.” Micheline said.

The Jenner’s discoveries include a whale calving ground in the remote and resource-rich Kimberley

region, and more recently, the locations of both feeding and calving grounds for the rare pygmy blue

whale.  “A satellite tagged blue whale we tracked last year with the help of our colleagues at the

Australian Antarctic Division”, Curt recalls, “swam the entire length of the W.A. coast before

stopping in the Indonesian Archipelago”. The Jenner’s believe the area the whale stopped and

circled in for over a month may be central to a yet to be listed calving ground for this species.  

The Jenner’s are about to embark on a series of deep ocean whale surveys that will take them to the

unspoilt but vulnerable southern ocean and to the numerous seamounts that dot the Western

Australian continental shelf, the focus of not only marine life but continued oil and gas exploration.

“Exploring is something the oil and gas industry do every day, and our job as scientists is to keep one

step ahead of these and other human activities, and find out what other treasures exist in, and

depend on, these never before studied locations.” says Curt,  “Our goal is to help these groups do

what we all need them to do without compromising the environment”.

Contact Details (available for interviews)

Curt Jenner 

Managing Director

Centre for Whale Research (Western Australia) Inc.

Tel: (+61) 0429 922 994 


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