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Dr. Rebecca Wellard

Marine Biology Presenter & Guide

Dr. Rebecca Wellard, is a Researcher and Marine Mammal Scientist from the Curtin University.

Rebecca is a marine mammal scientist with a focus on multiple disciplines, including bioacoustics, population ecology, cognitive behaviour and applied conservation.

She completed her PhD investigating the vocal repertoire, social structure and dietary preferences of the Antarctic and Australian killer whales.

She is the founder and director of Project ORCA, an organisation focused on killer whale conservation and research in Australia and surrounding waters. Rebecca is an avid science communicator and loves to share her fascination and enthusiasm for marine wildlife through lectures, presentations and film/ media.

 

What is your most memorable Antarctic experience?

“Our team took a break from killer whales and went ashore to explore the penguin colony. We stumbled across 4 Weddell seals sleeping. The team soon got bored of these sleeping beauties and I was left by myself to creepily continue watching them sleep. After 10 minutes sitting by them, just as the snow started to fall, one of the adults woke up and started vocalising right next to me! Have you ever heard a Weddell seal vocalise?!
Weddell seals produce the largest range of sounds of any pinniped- their pulses and chirps will give you chills. This moment- sitting by myself in the snow- whilst listening to the eerie and otherworldly calls of the Weddell seal is one of my most favourite wildlife encounters to date.”