Ian Stirling

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Dr. Ian Stirling is a Research Scientist Emeritus with Environment Canada and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton. He has done research on polar bears and polar seals (Arctic and Antarctic) for 50 years. Particular areas of research interest include ecology, behaviour, evolution, relationships between polar bears and seals, the biological importance of polynyas, and the conservation and management of polar marine mammals and ecosystems. 

For his work, he has won several awards, including the Canadian Northern Science Award and the National Conservation Award in the Special Achievement Category of the US National Wildlife Federation. He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada by the Governor General, and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the primary scientific body of that country. In 2013 he was awarded the Norris Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for Marine Mammalogy and an Honorary Doctorates of Science from the Universities of Alberta and British Columbia. He participates in a number of national and international committees on polar bears and marine mammals and has authored or co-authored over 300 scientific articles (>250 in peer-reviewed journals) and written 5 books on bears and their ecology for the general public. Ian Stirling wrote Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species.

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