Kate Stafford

Kate Stafford's research examines migratory movements, geographic variation and physical drivers of marine mammals, particularly large whales.

Why you should listen

Dr. Kate Stafford has worked in marine habitats all over the world, from the tropics to the poles, and is fortunate enough to have seen (and recorded) blue whales in every ocean in which they occur. Stafford's current research focuses on the changing acoustic environment of the Arctic and how changes from declining sea ice to increasing industrial human use may be influencing subarctic and Arctic marine mammals.

Stafford is a Principal Oceanographer at the Applied Physics Lab and affiliate Associate Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has degrees in French literature and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and wildlife science (MS) and oceanography (PhD) from Oregon State University. Before going to graduate school, she lived as a Fulbright scholar for a year in Paris studying Medieval French literature. Stafford's research has been featured in Wild Blue: a Natural History of the World's Largest Animal by Dan Bortolotti, the New York Times "Scientist at Work" blog, The Planet magazine, and in Highlights for Children magazine. She has collaborated with artists around the world, providing sounds for multimedia art exhibits.

Kate Stafford’s TED talk