Research Publications & Projects

Note: All research conducted by Orca Guardians Iceland is non-invasive.

Alves F, Towers JR, Baird RW, Bearzi G, Bonizzoni S, Ferreira R, Halicka Z, Alessandrini A, Kopelman AH, Yzoard C, Rasmussen MH, Bertulli CG, Jourdain E, Gullan A, Rocha D, Hupman K, Mrusczok M-T, Samarra FIP, Magalhães S, Weir CR, Ford JKB and Dinis A (2018) The incidence of bent dorsal fins in free-ranging cetaceans. Journal of Anatomy 232(2), 263–269. Available here.

Mrusczok M-T, Stefánsson RA and von Schmalensee M (2017) North Atlantic killer whale (Orcinus orca) identification and occurrence along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Presentation at Líffræðifélag Íslands – Líffræðiráðstefnan 2017 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Available here.

Mrusczok M-T (2017) Killer whales of West Iceland. Photo-identification catalogue of North Atlantic killer whales recorded along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and in Breiðafjörður 2014 – 2017. Grundarfjörður: Orca Guardians Iceland. Available here.

Rees JH and Mrusczok M-T (2016) My friend the whale: Emotional connectedness and willingness to behave pro-environmentally in whale watchers. Presentation at the 24th Conference of the International Association for People-Environment Studies in Lund, Sweden. Available here.

Sperm Whale Photo-Identification and Migration Patterns in the North Atlantic

We are currently contributing identification images of sperm whales that we have collected since 2014 to a long-term study on sperm whales in the North Atlantic, led by Evert Mul at the University of Tromsø (Norway). Individual sperm whales are recognized by the unique shape and markings on their fluke, such as scars, nicks, and various pigmentation patterns. So far, we have submitted over 2.000 identification images that we collected between 2014 and 2017, mostly during the summer months. The fluke ID pictures we are sending in to Evert are compared with thousands of other images from Norway, Madeira, and countries where sperm whales occasionally strand, such as the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Denmark. The pictures might be useful to identify where stranded sperm whales have been observed before, but mostly also to construct a North East Atlantic sperm whale identification catalogue, and to find out about migration patterns of these magnificent giants of the sea. The project ultimately aims at developing an online catalogue accessible to the public.